From Morgan Bay to Port Alfred

Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Palm Springs

Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Morgan bay to Port Alfred

After a couple of really bad calls on our Darling GPS's part,  We decided to name her officially with voice command. We had been calling her that but did not actually name her. For a while she had a bit of an identity crisis.   Being British an all, she was unable to pronounce her own name.  So we thought of an equivalent in English. Could be "Dum Doll" or “Thick Chic”, either would be as descriptive.  Carlos gave the command; “Dum Doll”.  A couple of kilometers further he wanted to see if she would respond to her name.  Promptly he said “Dum Chic”……….. LOL !!!!!  Needless to say, she did not respond.  As soon as we got it right,  she responded with “Dum Doll”  in the most posh Queens English. We had fun with it for kilometers.  Perhaps a case of “Small things amuses small minds”. 

The first stop was just outside Morgans Bay.  Double Mouth Campsite.  Had we known it was so close we would much rather have stayed here.  Nestled between mountains this small but very neat campsite laid at the bottom of the hill.  A secluded spot  with nature walks, access to the beach and mountains to three sides.  We will keep Double Mouth Campsite in mind for another time.

Haga Haga was next. 

Quint village with a charming hotel.  Again, as in the case of Mazeppa,  having a bit of an old school feel to it.  Neat and in good condition.  Not only a great fishing spot but also families with little children.  A “baby” tidal pool for littlies to explore. Tennis courts and lovely walks for those who like staying active on holiday. We had very welcome hot cup of coffee with waffles and then went looking for the museum.

Whilst at Hagga Hagga a trailer enthusiast wanted to know all about the Desert Wolf .  It reminded me of what Hennie Keiser said “ I don’t need to do advertising, you will do it for me”.  

Cintsa, was just a drive through.

Fourth  spot …..Yellow Sands.

 An impressive campsite.  I think there were 83 stands.  All close to the water.  With neat ablutions and pretty gardens.  One for the record to be visited a next time as it was just too close from our starting point.

Gonube (East London) was next on the list.  Gonube campsite did not look promising so we decided to go look for one of the remaining 7 listed.  Nahoon = stike two. Terribly run down.  Bonza Bay on Quinera river  = strike three, no camp site.  East London in my opinion defiantly will not see me again. The best thing about it was the sky during traffic hour . This turned out to be a complete disappointment. 

Lagoon Valley we somehow missed altogether.

Aqualea – Disaster! – there was a campsite here about 100 yrs ago! By now it was dark and we were looking forward to finding a decent spot to camp.  “siek en sat gesoek na plekke wat nie bestaan nie” Already setting up camp in the dark was not pleasant and after what we saw today – we or at least I was very skeptical.

Then Kids Beach.  Even though it was dark one could see that this held more potential. A sign indicated that one could pitch a tent on the school sports grounds.  NOOOO, now what?? Turn back. Just a couple of meters from the turnoff to Kids Beach Carlos saw a sign that read “Palm Springs”.  Here is hope……

Palm Springs.   The name sort of puts one off but we had no choice as it was dark already and we were tired and frustrated with all the duds of the day.  Surprisingly, Palm Springs, or Kayser Reserve as it is listed as on another map, is a gem.  Great setting. Unspoiled nature all round. River on two sides with a walkway to the beach.  A rather big camp with both chalets and stands. The Bird life is memorable.  We, being complete novices,  saw a Goliat Heron, Fish Eagle, Sea Gulls, Strantloopertjies etc.   

Walking along the beach we discovered the remains of what seemed to have been a small whale. No locals around to ask what the story regarding the whale was.  Sad to see.

Not much life in the rock pools along the beach. Not even crabs.  The beach did have a number of shells. Lots of little snails kept digging their way into the sand every time a wave washes over.  The fact that there was no obvious life other that the snails,  puzzled us. The river seemed to be teeming with life.   

Carlos made a lovely fire for us early already so that we could have time to sit and enjoy the sunset by the fire.  I wanted to try cooking Mung beans as they did not require soaking like other beans.  In just a  short while,  while I was taking photos of the Goliat Heron,  the Mung beans were ready – actually – over cooked and I had to make a soup in stead.  Fried some bacon crispy and added it and some garlic to the mung beans – lovely quick soup. 

When the fire was ready Carlos did some Boerewors to go with the soup.  He sampled just a piece and left it to cool a bit while we ate the soup.  The black cat kept charging past us. By the time we realized, three black cats had polished all but a 10 cm piece of boerewors!!!!  Carlos was looking forward to it.  He promptly chucked the remaining little piece into the fire – just so that the cats could not get the rest of it.  Loss for us gain for the cats of Palm Springs.

Kayser Beach. Impressive.  Everything in this area, a huge cattle and milk farm, a town, beach, library, school etc is all named after the Kaysers.

Hamberg – Keiskamma River mouth campsite.  At the turn off to Hamburg it had a sign indicating this as a German community / Artist Residence.  If this is so, they are hiding it very well. Yet another  sign read “Hand Made Coffee”.  This got our  attention. More than anything because we were both dying for a cup.  Only to discover that they only open between 8 and 10 am. It was 10h20 so coffee was out of the question. I could do with a hamburger from Hamburg right about then too.  Turns out there are no Hamburger, or artists or Coffee in Hamburg – and who knows, perhaps even no Germans.

The Keiskamma Campsite at least still exists.  It seemed to have more permanent residents then holiday makers.  The vlei had some operation going.  We are not too sure if it is fresh water Pearl farming or oyster farming.  Will have to find out. Other than that Hamburg has lovely big modern homes as well as plots and rural housing.  Looks like a nice quiet place.

Fish River Campsite  - strike #?    Another “once upon a time” site.  By now it was around 14h00.  Still no coffee and no food!!  We will have to do our own coffee in the car.  Planed to have  a picnic to stop the cravings but as soon as we got out of the car,  we hopped back into it.  There was an icy cold wind blowing.  So salty sticks and bananas had to do for now.

Great Fish River Light house.  Picture Perfect!  Once turn off we can promote for sure.  The road leading to the Light House is single lane with very pretty surrounds.  Dirt road but in good condition.  There is a Light House Guest house too.  On a nice day one could quite easily spend a while up there.  We however could not wait to get back into the car after taking the photos.  It was just to cold for us.

Most the remaining places one could visit before Port Alfred was gated or private.

At long last!  Port Alfred .  Lovely town.    Not too big, not too small.  Famous for its Marina with beautiful modern houses with the lifestyle to go with it.  We could not wait to get to  Medolino Campsite so that the tent could dry off after we packed up early  while it was soaking wet from dew.  To date, Medolino is the best caravan park  in terms of being clean, neat and organized. What they don’t have in views they certainly make up for in personal touch.  Lovely couple running it – definitely hands on.  Well done guys.

Linda and Roger came to surprise us at the camp.  Lovely to see them.  They moved to Port Alfred about a month ago.  They spoiled us with a fantastic braai with family.  Good to see them in their new surroundings.
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