Friday, May 25, 2007


Kokstad is officially the coldest and most unfortunately named South African town I've been to. The small 800W heater I'm huddling next seems incapable of heating anything further than 30cm away, and burns everthing closer than that.

I'm flying home tomorrow after a week of interviewing district municipalities about water quality monitoring, and showing them a demo of the cellphone reporting system I've developed for my masters (and/or, work). The response has been very positive, particularly in rural districts where they struggle to reach many small, remote water supply schemes.

... and as if that wasn't enough grouching, the power just went out. This has happened a lot in the last week - 2 of the 6 interviews we did took place in the dark.

We've driven through some quite beautiful places, on some difficult roads - my cow avoidance skills are improving. Luckily, cows seem to have a kind of inertia about them - once they decide to head off slowly across the road, they generally keep moving in the same direction, albeit at their own pace and oblivious to passing cars.

Transkei traffic officials have a similar inertia - I swear the two who trapped me doing 77 in a 60 zone, were in exactly the same place the last time I was on this road, maybe 7 years ago.

There's snow everywhere! The oxcart maybe isn't as remarkable, although the photo was taken on the N2, which makes this one seriously brave ox.