A wonderful refuge

Ms D. Mitra had gone to meet her daughter at Johannesburg, South Africa. She shares her experience of the beautiful surrounding, the fascinating scenario of the Great Escarpment and her son-in-law’s friend’s thrilling escape from the natives of Drakensberg.
When I went to Johannesburg, I came to know that it was a place mainly known for its gold mines and as the birth place of Nelson Mandela. It has a mixed culture, with both the white and the coloured people staying there.
A strange thing came to my notice, hardly anyone was found walking on the streets. Either they drove or availed public conveyance which were easily available, like the bus, metro, etc. Unlike other European countries no one was seen taking a stroll or walking down the roads. The main attraction there was the Mandela House which has been transformed into a museum and the Apartheid Museum which significantly describes the history, the struggle and the independence of South Africa. Apart from these the wildlife reserve and the animal safaris are fabulous. I had a great time visiting those with my granddaughter.
I also visited Cape town, a coastal city with stunning natural landscapes, harbors and beaches. The waterfront is amazing and so are the National Botanical Gardens. The boulder beach is exceptional and the nature serene. One can spend days and hours over there especially with family.
Another place of visit and a mountainous terrain was Drakensberg. The inhabitants of that region are mostly tribal people.
Once my son-in-law’s friend was going by car to play cricket at a distant place. The 6 lane roads there are perfect for a drive. While waiting at the signal, suddenly a person sprang up from nowhere and demanded money. He had a pistol in his hand aimed at my son-in-law’s friend. Just as the pistol was shot, the signal had turned green and the car moved ahead. Luckily the bullet whizzed past my son-in-law’s friend, and went through the glass pane, smashing it. It was a near getaway. I was horrified hearing this account.
Later I came to know that the tribes were very poor and attacked people on the highway, to make money. When travelers stopped at the traffic signals they were robbed. Mostly the Asians were targets as they carried cash and wore jewelry.
Though I heard this encounter, I had a fantastic time visiting the different places of South Africa. They were simply wonderful and have created memories to cherish for a lifetime.

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