I spent Friday afternoon cycling around Soweto, eating bunny chow and having fun with colleagues.
We went to Lebo’s Backpackers in Soweto for a cycling tour around Orlando… and some of my colleagues opted for the tuk tuk option.
When we arrived in at Lebo’s, we started with bunny chow. I was starving by then, and the food was really welcome after the hectic morning at work. Bunny chow is normally a half loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with curry or stew. I opted for the beef stew and vegetable stew. It was very good.
The tuk-tuks lined up, ready for action.
We had our tour cut short a bit, so we didn’t get to visit the hostels, which are always very interesting. I’ll have to do this again, just to do that bit!
We stopped in Meadowlands, on the way to Vilakazi street. The guide told us about the history of Soweto while we had stopped there.
After visiting a local celeb’s house, we cycled to the Hector Pieterson Memorial. I’ve been there a few times, so the story isn’t new to me, but it’s still chilling to listen to, and makes me want to cry.
I must say though, that I was a little disappointed with the guide. I remember there being significance to the walls built around the place, and the “river of tears” and the lines of different coloured bricks along the pathways… and even the names of the kids killed that are listed on the walls… and he didn’t mention that at all. Half the team hadn’t ever been in Soweto before, and it’s a pity they didn’t hear the whole story. Because we work in a design space, the significance of the way it was designed and built would have been really interesting for the group.
Next time I’ll definitely take some cash with me, to buy some goodies from the market next to the memorial site. I just love these Soweto paintings!
Then we got to the famous Vilakazi street. We stopped outside the Mandela house (I’ve blogged about this on my jeanetteverster.com blog) for a while, and listened to the guide talking about how many famous people live on the street.
Then it was shebeen time.
It’s a pity we hadn’t read the site properly, because none of us had any cash on us, and the place was a cash-only bar! Note to self for next time!
Next time I do the tour, I need to find a way to take more photos! Maybe the tuk tuk would have been a better idea for photos… we didn’t get to stop enough for me to take photos with my camera. I did try to take photos while cycling, but that was really messy! LOL!
If you’re wanting a quick tour of Soweto, and you don’t have much time on your hands, then this is a great tour to do. It gives you a fabulous overview of the main sights.
However, if you’re really interested, then go back, and do proper tours of the Mandela house (which I’ve blogged about before), and the other amazing places in Soweto. You could spend a full day in the area for sure.
After the cycling, we went to the Orlando Towers. No, I didn’t jump again 😉 This time, we went to the awesome pub, Chaf-Pozi, to have a braai and a few drinks. The music was fabulous. The food was amazing… and the drinks… well… there was tequila!
It was an amazing day. I got home with a smile on my face… albeit with lots of sadness because that was the last outing with my old team.