The Highs and Lows of Knysna

Trip Start Dec 27, 2008
Trip End Jun 27, 2009

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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Friday, January 9, 2009

The Bazbus was a short trip through George and Wilderness and it all ran smoothly. Our new hostel, Knysna Backpacker's has an amazing view from the porch overlooking the lagoon, our room is big and comfy, sorted! We strolled down the main road, I sort of wanted to see the mighty Rams vs ManU but the staff at Zanzibar opted for wrestling (they obviously prefer watching sweaty men writhe around in pants ... not a bad choice considering Derby's form!) I arrived back at the hostel in time to see the second half and we got a corking result, we beat the world champions!

Second day we looked around the shops and went on a harbour tour to see the Knysna Heads, pleasant enough but not too exciting. The second half of the day was much better and my parents should read on with an open-mind. Alex, the Italian who runs our hostel asked if we wanted to join him and his friend to go see the Rastafarian community in the nearby township. Sounds good, off we go. I wasn't sure how to act in the townships, I didn't want to seem like some prying tourist ("ooh, look at all the poor people!") Alex's friend, Elmo assured us that he knew a lot of the Rastas and we would be fine to take photos and chat to them and would be perfectly safe. The first house we arrived at was definately built by Rastas, it leaned down the hill and looked like it might lean too far quite soon. The man and his kids who lived there were nice, the kids liked having their photo taken and then looking and laughing at it so I let them take a photo of Charlotte and I, here it is .... not bad. Then, the guy tried to sell us Rasta flip-flops for R180 so we moved on.

The next place was far cooler. We were shown around 'Judah's Place' by a leader of the community, we paid R50 each. We went into his house, he was proud of his kids and introduced them to us, showing us all their trophies from school, they don't all sit around smoking weed all day, they are keen to promote community and achievement then showcase it to the local authorities. We went to their church where Charlotte had to cover her head, here he explained their religion to us but you definately need a wide mind to understand all that.

Throughout the whole trip we wondered why Elmo kept wandering off. Then it dawned on us, we had tagged along on his mission to pick up some weed (This was later confirmed). No worries though, we sat with a load of guys outside and they played Bob Marley on the guitar and got high. Alex and Elmo had a pipe. One of the Rastas was so high he started crying so we passed (however cool I would have felt afterwards). It was the best excursion yet, really authentic and unofficial, everything was "brother" this and "sister" that. Every sentence ended with "Kna wat I mean, Rastaman!"

Check the photos, the plants were huge, I know people back home who would never leave, they'd be begging to stay. Check out the guy in the yellow pipe hat, the most stoned man i've ever seen.
Cigarettes are banned, drugs aren't allowed, just pure, home-grown cannabis. Despite it not being a 'Tourist' tour, it was extremely interesting and downright cool.

The following day was spent waiting for the right wind to paraglide. It never came. At one point Charlotte was all strapped up but the canvas would get off the ground then drop down again, at least we saved R450 each (plus we weren't insured),

Knysna has its ups and downs, highs and lows, yet we remained grounded at all times.
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Where I stayed
Knysna Backpacker's
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Tony on

Took a Rasta tour with a guide called Brother Zeb a few weeks ago in Knysna.
Authentic Rasta experience and great fun. Seems like you had a good look
behind the scenes. Yes I brother! We have some photos on

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