Day thirteen - Grahamstown,
15th October 2007

Up at 5am for the eight hour 700km journey to Grahamstown.

I left Kokstad at 6am and took the same scenic route as yesterday through Matatiele up to the Ongeluksnek Pass.

Then it was south skirting the Drakensberg via Mount Fletcher, Maclear, Lady Frere, Ugie and Elliot. The road then went south to Queenstown, Fort Beaufort and Grahamstown. All the towns (up to Queenstown had gone very black... it was only in Queenstown that I saw any white people... the towns ringing the Drakensberg now reverting to the old trading store type environment surrounded by large sprawling shanty towns. Just beautiful churches from days past remained.

Image right: The N2 just before you arrive at Grahamstown

It was cloudy, rainy and misty all the way but the road was much better than the Umtata option that I took last year. Vivian Haviside, who took me up the Ongeluksnek yesterday had suggested this route as the traffic would be less stressful.    

The scenery was shrouded in cloud and mist but still beautiful as you will see in the pics below. I had lunch at the UFO Bar in the Savoy Hotel at Fort Beaufort before taking the final leg to Grahamstown - at about 2.30pm.

Just after 4pm left for Rhodes University for my book launch... more below this set of photos.

 

Between Matatiele and

Mount Fletcher

Mount Fletcher today

On the road

to Maclear

Maclear today

Elliot

On the road

to Cala

Cala

On the road to

Lady Frere

On the road to

Lady Frere

Lady Frere

Lady Frere

Queenstown

Whittlesea

On the road to

Fort Beaufort

On the road to

Fort Beaufort

Fort Beaufort

Savoy Hotel

UFO Bar

On the road to

Grahamstown

The drinks and eats set out by Cory Librarian Shirley Kabwato were already laid out when I arrived. I met Shirley and we set out my slide show and chatted as the first guests arrived. Shirley had set out a small display of original Griqua materials from the library's enormous archives. There were about 40 in all including Prof Paul Maylam, Rhodes University's Professor of History, who introduced me. Paul had read my book and talked at length about the impact of forced migration on the Griqua people.

Image right: Scott with Shirley Kabwato and Prof Paul Maylam of Rhodes University

Also at the talk were several history and english lecturers and book sales went very well - even before I had got up to make my launch speech. Included in the people were Jeanne Berger who had originally put me in touch with Shirley Kabwato and Gwenda Thomas, Director of Library Services.

It was a very successful evening except there was a rival celebration going on upstairs and the African music got progressively louder as I spoke  eventually I gave up and wrapped up my speech. It was quite a humorous way to end the launch at Rhodes...

Rhodes' coverage of the launch can be seen at this link.

After the launch Ian Balchin from Fables Bookstore joined me for a glass of champagne at the Rat and Parrot Bar - a popular escape for the local residents. 

 

Rhodes University

The Griqua Marriage
Registry - Kokstad

Lucas van der
Westhuizen

The Griqua Marriage
Registry - Kokstad

Shirley Kabwato

Cory Library

building

Sign in toilet

Prof Maylam speaking

Scott launching the book

The audience

Shirley Kabwato, Gwenda Thomas
Scott and Jeanne Berger

Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour