On Saturday I went for a long walk in Magaliesberg. Magaliesberg is a low mountain range North-West of Joburg. Lots of people from Joburg
decant decamp there at the weekends. It’s quite nice. I know that sounds really lame. There are many disadvantages of coming from North Devon. A double-sided one is that North Devon is stupidly beautiful and, well, I can’t help comparing.
One of the things about Joburg is that it isn’t set up for walking. At home in Bristol I walk to work, I work to the shop, to the pub, to the fields, into town, home from the club, wherever. Joburg looks and feels unnervingly like LA. Like LA, it’s set up for cars. The car is king. And queen. The bus system is sparse, trains are slower than busses, bikes are only for the suicidal, legs are only for operating cars. And I really REALLY miss walking. (I’m going to get fat.) Yes, I can walk around my suburb, but pointless walking is, well, pointless. And, on top of that, most people tell you it’s dangerous to walk around anyway (they’re wrong), and I do get some weird looks when I’m walking around sometimes. Twats.
So on Saturday, when I went for a walk from the Gauteng flats up to the top of the Magaliesberg mountain range I felt like I’d been let out of prison. I’d forgotten how walking quite a long way, quite fast, makes some excellent-and-free drugs pump around your brain. By the end of the walk we were cracking jokes and giggling like kids. It was fantastic and exciting.
As we were walking I kept stopping to look at (and photograph) my feet on the natural ground. The contact felt similar to that gorgeous feeling of a cold, overpriced vodka-and-lemonade on a Friday after work (something they don’t do here). Here’s what it looked like. As it’s Thursday, I guess you’ll have to wait til tomorrow to taste what it felt like.