Sunday, 16 November 2008

Soweto Adventure



“Slowed down when I reached the power-station. I’d only been there twice before with Stanley, once in the dark. And it’s a veritable maze of paths and tracks. Managed to stay roughly on course. Across the railway-line and in among the houses. But then I lost my way. Drove this way and that, losing all sense of direction in the dense cloud of smoke that obscured the sun.”

The above paragraph is taken from André Brink’s classic novel “A Dry White Season” which is what I was reading earlier on the plane heading from Durban to Cape Town. To put it into context, the stories protagonist Ben Du Toit, is relating his fear as an Afrikaans schoolteacher, going into Soweto during the Apartheid 1970’s. Although it was first published in 1979, it is impossible to recommend too highly and remains one of the best books I have ever read.

As per the above slide show, the very same power-station the paragraph makes reference to, is now home to the Orlando Towers Power Swing. It is a world first, and is a BIG BIG Swing that takes place from the top of Soweto’s landmark Cooling Towers.

Also highly recommended is what we like to refer to as the Soweto Experience, compliments of “Lebo’s Soweto backpackers”. Besides guided cycle tours, and taking guests to the places of historical significance, if you’re up to it, they will also introduce you to Soweto’s vibrant night life.

I have spent quite a bit of time in Soweto lately and thoroughly enjoy going there. I cant help wondering if author André Brink, at the time his book went to print, would ever have imagined that in 2008 people from all walks of life would celebrate Soweto’s rich history, by participating in some amazing adventure activity.

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