Start of the Long Trek

Heading north from Capetown it isn’t long before suburbia gives way to vast open spaces – vast & open being what we mean. Firstly it’s rolling green hills, plenty of water and then it becomes scruffier and scruffier and the housing and townships more and more modest. Along the west coast at least, South Africa is no rich agrarian playground – this is more Desert Road or Lindis Pass-type, scrub-interrupted desert terrain than fertile loam.

Springbok is the last stop before Namibia and we though for a second about staying there overnight so we could see the Christchurch ABs-Boks test amongst the Boer rugby crowd, but press on we must. Which reminds me, it’s only a few hundred kms north of Capetown before English disappears and Afrikaans is the language. And every hamlet has a rugby field, some pretty bare but always with a little grandstand for the locals to cheer on their team. Just as up on the Alto Plano in South America where the soccer ground takes pride of place in the village plan, so it is here that the rugby field prevails.

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