Well, it seems this adventure is all about pushing boundaries -- literally, as we cross from place to place, and figuratively, as we try new things and dissolve old boundaries.
Today, I was on my own again as Josh went to work. My feet have been aching something terrible, no doubt from all the walking with my heavy glider pack and from wearing flip flops every minute I'm not flying.
So I decided to take my aching feet to the Chinese Healing Center and get a good old reflexology foot massage. At first, I planned to have the hotel shuttle me there and back. But when they said it would be 200 ZAR roundtrip, I decided to save the $20 USD by driving myself.
Did I mention the majority of rental cars in South Africa are sticks? And that I've never really driven one, unless you count a 30 minute lesson a week ago in a deserted suburb with no traffic lights? Gulp.
Since I knew that getting going uphill is tough for me and turning right in South Africa (this being a left side drive country) is terrifying, I used MapMyRun to find the flattest route with the fewest right turns. Luckily, my route there required no left turns and looked pretty flat online. Alas, I failed to notice how many light signals there would be or anticipate that with mid-day traffic I would get a yellow at nearly every one.
My 3/4-mile drive to the spa was not exactly relaxing, let's say. I only stalled the car twice -- both when trying to pull into the parking spot. But I also ran two yellowish-red lights to avoid stopping on a hill I would no doubt not be able to getting going from again.
Still, I MADE IT TO THE SPA without hitting anything, getting honked at or crapping my pants.
And the reward was worth it. An hour of concentrated foot massage for my tired feet. So nice. And only $30, including tip!
On the way back I managed to avoid running any lights. Yay me! I did, however, stall the car several times, get honked at, use my emergency blinkers to warn the car behind me on a hill not to get too close, accidentally shift into 4th instead of 2nd, get lost, get found, and finally arrive safe and sound back at the hotel.
Phew! Another boundary left in the dust. I am now officially able to drive a manual.