The good thing about travelling this way is ...

Trip Start Jun 03, 2001
Trip End ??? ??, 2002

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Pereguin Backpackers

Flag of South Africa  ,
Thursday, June 14, 2001

The good thing about travelling this way is that after moving on to a new town and you find it not to your liking, you can easily move the next day and find somewhere new. This was the case with Mossel Bay. Prior to leaving for Mossel Bay, I had visited a few more museums and took a day trip to the Cape of Good Hope castle, which as well as housing a military museum it has the oldest wine shop in South Africa. The next day I took a day trip to the Cape peninsula including a hike to the Cape of Good Hope, the most SW point in Africa. The 360% view at the top where the two oceans meet was breathtaking. It was also the site of four Japanese tourists climbing over the wall and balancing on a 6" rock thousands of feet up just to get a better photo? Stranger still was the story we were told at Boulders Bay which is the home for 3000 penguins, we were able to walk among them and take as many photo's as we could they were fantastic especially the baby ones. We used up the usual jokes about the wrappers and pick-up a pick-up a person etc... and then made our way to lunch where the guide informed us of a Japanese lady who had been fined
20.000R for taking 6 penguin eggs in trying to leave with them in her bag? Astounding!
So Mossel Bay was the next stop and two of us stayed together and we met up with Alex on the Bas-bus. This was a bit of an anti-climax as we had been told of a good few games and a lively driver who would give a commentary on some of the most exquisite scenery on the Garden Route, sadly no he was silent and we ended up putting the Beatles on the Stereo to get everyone talking. We then struggled to find a decent restaurant in Mossel Bay as it was a ghost town. We made a decision to leave quickly and head for Knysna together. That left the evening to get totally plastered, we did this in an Irish Bar where the bartender, who was so camp it made Julian Clarey look like Sly Stallone, did everything but vault the bar and ask Alex to marry him. We had a laugh and left the next day for Knysna where we struck lucky with Pereguin Backpackers where we booked a township tour and a canoe trip straight away. The Township tour was amazing and simply the best thing I have done in SA so far. We were led to a Rasta town where Zebb told us all about the town and what they did and how his only mode of income was selling the stronger plants in his garden if you get my drift. The police seem to have an unwritten agreement with these people and they have created a great community in the hills above Knysna, which incidentally is the most valuable real estate land in Knysna. His kids were cool and kept greeting us with closed fist style greetings and repeating "cool runnings". Their smiles when we gave them some sweets, has made my whole trip worthwhile. We were then treated to a display of local dancing by some kids who were practising when we arrived. The rest of the kids posed for photos like catwalk models and I can't wait to see the results of the shots I got. They chased our van until we waved and then cheered. Next we met Selina who is the local Sangoma, or healing woman. She lives in this three-room shack and operates from her surgery at the side of the living area. She collects herbs according to her dreams and constructs potions to heal all sorts of physical and emotional problems brought to her from all over SA. She was also suffering from arthritis in her back and she was in pain as she spent 30 minutes explaining her work to us. Her Grand Kids were waiting for us outside and they were two twins called Faith and Hope, and two more beautiful kids you could never wish to meet! They ran around singing as song about the white people and how good it was we were there and we were told by Selina that Faith had said how much she loves going to church and singing to God! You could tell that they were indeed the faith and hope of their grandmother literally! This has moved into pole position as the best place in SA that I have seen so far, and I wonder how this place can get any better!
The scenery did get better the next day on our canoe trip down the Knysna River. We had hoped for sightings of baboons, monkeys, and river snakes but all we got where a few beautiful birds and bizarrely a dead octopus!
I now have a confession to make as I was warned that two weeks is not enough time to get from Cape Town to Jo'berg. I declined to listen to Kath from STA on that point and now face leaving lovely Knysna and heading to Port Elizabeth before facing a tight schedule to get to Jo'berg for the 24th, but I am enjoying every minute and will keep you in formed along the way! Andy
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