south of somewhere

Hi, our names are Sarah and Nathan Cooper. We are based in Sheffield in England, but are preparing to move to South Africa in September '06 to join a church planting team in the Western Cape. We hope that this blog will keep you up to date with our progress as we embark on this new adventure. Watch this space...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The journey to Maputo

Well, we made it safely to Maputpo, our furthest point North on our trip. We spent a lovely few days relaxing in St Lucia last week, and got used to having to do a scan for hippos before leaving the backpackers in the evenings. They like to feed on the grass and drink out of the hotel swimming pools, apparently.

We then travelled north to Kosi bay, which has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Itºs a river mouth that flows in to the Indian Ocean, and is full of the kind of fish you see in aquariums. The water is warm, and we did a bit of snorkelling to visit the fish. We were quite glad to know that there were no hippos or crocodiles, as there are further up the river!

Yesterday we said goodbye to Kosi bay and headed for the Mozambiquan border. What a place! After making it though the border crossing, we were faced with a choice of 3 sand tracks, and no signposts. We were told that the middle one went to Maputo, so off we set. It was very difficult driving, to say the least! We were glad we had brought a shovel with us, because it was well used after we became quite badly stuck in a deep stretch of sand. With a lot of pushing we managed to get the car out, and made the rest of the journey ok, including a ferry crossing shared with lots of people and cars squashed onto the deck.

Other than Maputo, it is a very rural area. We didnºt pass many villages, only the odd group of straw huts, goatherds and women carrying water containers on their heads every now and again. So, we are now off to explore the city for two days, and hopefully fill up on some Mozabiquan cuisine after all our efforts spent on the journey getting here!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hangin out with Monkeys

We are writing this from St lucia, on the coast near Mozambique. it's been an amazing few days, with two full days of driving to get here. It was wonderful watching the scenery change as we drove across the vast interior, the Karoo, and into the lovely rolling plains of the Free State,and then into the lush green hills of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). We have seen many Zulu villages scattered across the hillsides. We stopped to go and talk to some of the people living in one of the villages. They explained to us that they build their houses from mud and dung. it is a very rural area here.

We reached Hluhluwe-Imfolzi park in the pouring rain, which meant we had to make a couple of river crossings. We were really glad to have a fourwheel drive and for once packing far too many pairs of shoes was very helpful, in giving us a bit of extra weight against the flow of the water! We had a bit of a close shave with a frisky elephant, and saw lots of wildlife (zebra, monkeys, baboons, giraffe, rhino, lion, buffalo, wildebeest, mongoose, and many different kinds of antelope.

Yesterday we went down onto the Imfolozi river and saw crocodiles and hippos in the water. We also went down to the local beach to hang out with the monkeys there. We're hoping to see some of the coral reef tomorrow if the sun will just come out for a bit!

We still need a buyer for our house, so we are praying for this still.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Adventure here we come

We've finished our work now, and are off on our travels today! We're heading over to Franschoek and Cape Town, where we'll be collecting Nathan's brother Joel tomorrow. He's signed up to a 3 week road trip with us! On Monday we head West to the Free State...

Please keep praying for a buyer for our house. We had one offer at the asking price but it fell through.

well, we'll keep you posted on our adventure!