Port St Johns - (T.I.A)

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

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Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting to PSJ is no mean feat.The Bazbus drops off in Mthatha, via Nelson Mandela's house. We then organised a shuttle to the hostel which should be around an hour and a half away. The shuttle showed up two hours late, but that was the least of our troubles. I have never been more aware of my whiteness as I was driving through central Mthatha. The streets were lined with hundreds of locals, a real rush hour hustle and bustle. It may have been safe enough but with my entire belongings in that car with unlockable doors (it's always no seatbelts or no locks, rarely both, never neither) I just couldn't help feel vunerable. Total gridlock, no one was paying attention to the lights.

Finally we got out of central Mthatha, the hostel can only be an hour away max, I thought. Our driver insisted on picking up hitchiker after hitchiker, as one got out, he quickly got back to full capacity a little further down the road. I think there was nine in total (two kids, one family, one guy eating a whole cake, one with a big stick and one dude who hadn't showered, ever!) It was kind of fun though, driving through the Transkei is an experience in itself, one moment you're cruising along at 70mph, the next you're weaving through cows, sheep and goats; the sheep and goats move but the cows just stand there chewing.

PSJ is at the mouth of the Mzimvubu river and is a stunning location. The town has a great African vibe, the main street has a huge speaker system pumping out reggae and r&b all day while the locals get along with it all, everyone is so friendly. Our hostel, Jungle Monkey is just what we need, a large room and a lively bar with loads of cool people to chat to. On our first night we were treated to a big fat drag queen from the USA, watching this camp heffer tell dated joke after dated joke demanded a few drinks, so we got pissed. He was hilariously bad, at the end of the set he mimed and danced to 'Vogue' by Madonna, the entire audience sat there dumbstruck and belatedly clapped at the end of it all, a very awkward moment. Blurry eyed we watched Obama enter the Whitehouse (see ya in five months, Bazzer)

Second day we went horseriding on the beach. En route to the seafront in our hostel owners pickup I had a laugh with a few local kids skipping school in the back. We took a few photos, one cheeky sod pretended to throw my camera off the side. They then sang 'We wish you a merry christmas' (?) Despite Charlotte's horse being incontinent and mine having genital warts the size of apricots, the ride was great. We were guided along a deserted beach but for a few cows who must have been lost. We caught the ferry across the river and spent the night relaxing at the hostel. By the time we checked out, the bar tab was bigger than the cost of the room, fact!

Providing you arrive alive, PSJ is an awesome stopover.
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Where I stayed
Jungle Monkey
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