Trip to Howick Falls, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Tuesday,24th February,2009

My new friend Julie who I met when out walking last week came to take me to Howick Falls about 30 kilometres from here. She came in to meet Donnette and the two got on very well together. Julie asked how the book signing went and before I knew it to my delight she offered to introduce me to Wycliffe school where one of her granddaughters goes.

Julie has a nice car and is an admirably careful driver. On arrival at Howick Falls it was raining. The way to the Falls is lined with tourist stalls and shops. I took a few photos of the waterfall which is an impressive 95 meters high. The view is spectacular. I learnt later that no one goes anywhere near the Falls after dark as people have been thrown over the Falls.

As the rain made prolonged viewing of the Falls rather uncomfortable Julie and I opted to visit Howick Museum. This is a typical local museum with great emphasis on worthies of the past. Apparently electricity has been produced from the Falls since the early nineteenth century and continues to do so. Howick was also a great centre for the production of rubber. The old buildings are still standing.

There was a display of traditional medicine which was accompanied by a photograph of a herbalist of Indian ancestry. Julie knew him and said how sorry she was that she couldn’t take me to meet him because he lived in a Pietermarisburg area which is now too dangerous to visit.

The curator came out and I had an interesting conversation with her about the recording of Zulu stories and traditions. Apparently the museum is financed by the municipality and has little money.

He rain had stopped and the sun came out so we went back to the Falls to take a few more photos. After that we went and wandered around a second hand bookshop and an old building that now houses a number of antique shops.

After this we headed back to Pietermaritzburg and had a coffee before going to Wycliffe School. This is a girls boarding school founded early in the last century. The extremely attractive buildings are sited in beautiful grounds which house tennis courts and a huge swimming pool. The inside of the buildings rivals any of the girl’s boarding schools in England. Pupil’s art work of an exceptionally high quality adorned the walls.

The very polite pupils were mainly “white” with a sprinkling of “black” faces. The teachers were all very outgoing and friendly and Julie and I were handed over to the Librarian. She was immediately receptive to the idea of my doing a reading and will be in touch. Many of the girls come from outside South Africa from countries such as Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Julie is a delight. She is bright, intelligent and we have much in common. We are planning further outings.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: