Gardeners World

Trip Start Sep 30, 2006
Trip End Dec 24, 2008

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Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Monday, December 1, 2008

After TerraPi we traveled to Port Elizabeth for a couple of days, then went to the airport and collected something very exciting. A hire car! A VW Citi Golf. This beast of burden will be our magic carpet driving anywhere and everywhere we want, apart from the townships, before we have to hand it back at Cape Town airport and fly back to ye olde England just before Christmas. Car hire in SA is cheap, only eight pounds a day and petrol is only 45p a litre.

Our first stop is a famous stretch of South African coastline known as the Garden Route, beautiful beaches and scenery. The first town is Jeffereys bay, or J-Bay, home of one of the most famous surf breaks in the world. We pitched our tent at a hostel perched on top of a huge sand dune and someone shouted "Whales". Out at sea we spotted a whale tail splashing down and high plumes of spray coming from the others. Cruising past was a group of Southern right whale's, a common sighting in the Western cape area this time of the year. 

The next morning we walked along the beach to find out how all of the six surf spots were firing. As its summer time the surf was small and a bit rubbish, only the surf schools were splashing around in the white water. Supertubes was no where close to the size I've seen it in countless DVDs but you could see how the reef break would be worth coming back for in July when the Billabong pro comes to town.  We walked through town to the Billabong factory outlet store and picked up bags of cheap summer wear. Just what we need heading back to the wintry UK, ha.

At the hostel we talked to Cas who is Xhosa, he pointed out the white areas, the coloured areas and the black township - where he lives. As a young boy he saw his mother being beaten up by a white policeman because his uncle was a 'freedom fighter' but his mother had raised him to forgive the white people and this is what he says he tries to do. He says he's happiest living in the shanty town townships and wouldn't want to live in the white or coloured area. He believes coloureds have no culture and don't really belong anywhere, that they drift between the black South Africans and the white South Africans.

Our next stop is Plettenburg bay, another awesome bay with houses and shops perched around the hillside overlooking the bay. We rent mountain bikes and head off into the Outenigua park following a trail through pine forests, waterfalls and part of the coast. Kat manages several great impressions of Eve on long way down as she slips over on the loose gravel.

Plettenburg bay gets followed with Wilderness bay, then Nysna bay, Victoria bay and finally Mossell bay, all similar stunning bays. At Mossell we find some really cool natural pools that giant waves break over the rocks while you dive and swim in the water.
After five days we reach the end of garden route and head North to Route 62, the longest wine route in the world.

Cooper Out

Love Dan & Kat 
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