Saturday 22 April 2006
Highlights: Visiting Robben Island, our guides personal stories and insight, tasty Springbok
Today marked the 2nd last day in South Africa and the first since the tour ended. I ended up going to Robben Island during the day with my new friend from Belgium Inge. The ride over was very rough and takes about 35 minutes. On the island we saw the sites of the former leper colony, the army outpost (during World War 2) and finally the normal and political prisons.
During the guided tour of the political prison we were lucky to have a guide who was jailed here for 5 years (he was sentenced to 7 years but was released just before the changes in South Africa). I was very impressed with his insights into the past and the future. He made a major point that not every white person in South Africa support the apartheid regime and that a large number of white Southern Africans went too jailed as well.
The conditions the prisoners were held in were appalling however there was no torture involved. A lot of the current constitution was discussed / created in this prison. After the tour it was a final farewell for Inge as she returned home however we will hopefully catch up again in late May. I finished the day with another dinner with the remaining tour members (Anika, Roger, Jacko, Niels, Marjia & me) and I have to say the Springbok was fantastic and I strongly recommend it.