With four days of an amazingly successful trip under our belts, we had the Friday off to relax in Kayamandi before we set off for the final day of our trip with the kids, Day 5. I had planned on catching up on blogging since I was and still am severely behind, but Chris had other ideas in mind. Kayamandi is a shanty township that’s surrounded by mountains, valleys, and wine vineyards. It certainly is a sight to behold!
There is a hill that sits directly behind Kayamandi that we would imagine offers spectacular views of the whole township and even parts of Stellenbosch as well. The only challenge was figuring out how to get there. Kayamandi is a gated community and the hill that overlooks the township is actually a grape vineyard that is privately owned. Mawande, Lupho, Onge, and another kid I never mentioned before named Khanyisa, came over to our house that day. Chris and I wanted to go to the top of the hill through the vineyards and decided the best way was to have Mawande and the other kids guide us to the best possible route. Mawande immediately told us it’s not possible because there were guard dogs who blocked access to the vineyards. We asked him if he could just take us to the entrance anyways and we’d figure it out from there. Mieke and Hanneke joined us for the uncertain trek to Kayamandi’s backyard. We followed Mawande outside of the township to the beginnings of one of the vineyards. As we approached, there was a family outside in a house staring at us with two guard dogs, just as Mawande told us before. We stopped at the foot of the vineyard and had everyone wait while Chris and I went up to ask them if we could have permission to go up the hill. They guy we asked only spoke Afrikaans, so he didn’t understand us clearly, but he understood enough where he motioned the guys behind him to put the dogs away. He pointed for us to go behind the house that blocked access to the vineyard and start from there. We thanked him, called for Meike, Hanneke, and the kids, and we went on our way!
We weren’t exactly sure where to go; there wasn’t a clear cut path. We saw the top of the hill so we just went with whatever direction we thought was best. At some points we had to cross through the rows of grape vines in order to get closer to where we needed. It was a great day outside today and the views even from where we were walking were incredible!
We came to a fork in the path, one way led us to one hill while another led us to a different hill. We asked Mawande which hill he thought was best. He chose the one to our right, with the electrical tower at it’s peak – so thats the one we chose! The walk took about 30 or forty minutes and once we made it to the top, there was a small tower we thought we could some good photos from. I helped Chris get up on top and handed him my camera. Chris has been steadily learning how to use my camera as our trip progresses. You could easily just point and shoot, but there are a ton of different settings, options, and techniques to know in order to get that perfect shot. He’s learning! From up top, he was able to get in some pretty great shots and from then we had a little fun with the kids.
We didn’t want to take the same long route back to Kayamandi, but from a distance we noticed there was a gap in a gate that surrounded the township that we might be able to sneak through. It looked as though there wasn’t a clear path towards the gate, so we figured we’d just make our own! We cut through the vineyards and came to a huge garden of purple lilacs that grew to almost above our heads! There definitely wasn’t a path in sight, so we had no choice but to clear a path of our own. The flowers and plants were so tall that we could barely see each other through them! Mawande, Khanyisa, and Lupho were nice enough to clear a path for the two girls so they would have an easier time marching through the lilacs. They were like little tour guides! Chris had little Onge on his shoulders, otherwise we could of easily lost him in the garden.
It took about ten minutes or so to get through the lilacs before we finally made it to a part of the township that I have never seen or been to. This part was different, as each home looked more like a house than the shanty sheds did. But as we ventured on further, it grew into the Kayamandi I was accustomed to until finally we made it home. I didn’t do anything else much that night besides play Catan with the girls and blog a little. Tomorrow, everyone would have to be over early again because Isaac would be taking us and the boys on Day 5 of their trip which would begin in Cape Town!