Published: August 17th 2012August 17th 2012
Sleep in longer than I mean to. I blame the cold. I stop in a Wimpy
for breakfast. The picture in the menu is bigger than the food itself. At least some things never change.
I follow the Tradouws Pass
; a twisting road through the mountains. Awesome views. And follow Route 62
; mountain vistas and winding roads. The road allows me a lot of time for introspection
; I’m not certain that’s a good thing. When I was in other countries just the idea of being there was enough to excite me; I don’t get that here. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen the real Africa yet or because of the weather or because I have a cold, but I think it has more to do with having seen too much of the rest of the world without anything to put it into perspective.
I try to stop getting too deep, but the only radio station that isn’t playing R&B is some ultra feminist talk show.
I look for accommodation and find Paradise Backpackers
. It’s still early and they give me a voucher for Cango Ostrich Farm
. For R35 I learn about ostriches and get
not an emu
to ride one. And for R85 I get to have Ostrich steak
and sausages for dinner ate hostel. I even get to see my sister
and talk to her; she’s disappointed my laptop doesn’t have a webcam. 658.5 km August 15
R10 muffin for breakfast. An extra 5 minutes in bed means that I’m later for the Adventure tour at the Cango Caves
so I do the standard tour (R70). The caves are almost artificial with the amount of concrete paths running through them and I’m checking my watch after 30 minutes.
I take Robinson Pass
down to Mossel Bay
. I enjoy the road there more than the town. It’s a good road and Mossel Bay has the least welcoming tourist information I’ve been to. Back onto the N2. I feel like I’m out of time. I mean, time doesn’t mean the same thing to me as it does everyone else. Compared to the locals I’m just passing through and to the holiday makers I’m almost standing still. The other backpackers all seem so young, even the ones that are older than me. I’ll waste a month seeing if I like a town or see a country in a day. And when I get home which generation do I belong to; people my age are already working on their second marriage whilst the generation below them are planning their first.
I ask about things to do and head to the Transport Museum
. I drive past it twice without finding the entrance and give up. I find a spot in the Botanical Gardens
to sit and read.
Not many hostels here so I head to Victoria Bay
. It’s not so much a town as a bunch of guest houses on the beach. It’s great. The Surfari
backpackers is advertised as a short walk to the beach; it’s not short and the return is all up hill. It’s empty and still under construction. They want R350 for a room with ensuite, I talk them down to R250. It’s the nicest place I’ve stayed in since I got to Africa. Maybe in all my travels?
I head to Wildernis
(another small town) for dinner. 894.2 km August 16th
The bed is big and comfortable and I’m really in no rush to be anywhere. Life is good.
I head back to Wildernis
to see it by daylight. A sigh for ‘Map of Africa’ catches my eye, but rather than an odd shaped rock or bizarre birthmark it turns out to be a paragliding school. How disappointing.
I need to do some miles today so I haven’t got such a rush tomorrow. I start by heading the opposite direction to Cape Town. Knysna
is the main tourist destination for the garden route (or so I’ve been told). It’s a harbour town and on a wet Thursday doesn’t do a thing for me. I stop for breakfast/lunch (a burger). The sun comes out for a few minutes and for those few minutes I can kind of see the appeal.
On the way out of Knysna I take scenic detour along the Rheenendal Ramble Route
. It’s mostly dirt roads and great scenery. I see a wild baboon
(or some other grey monkey thing). I take a wrong turn and stay on dirt roads until I get back to George 50km later. Then it’s back onto the R2 for the rest of the day. I’ve driven in every country I’ve been to, not on purpose, but the road rules can tell you about a country. Here the roads have a hard shoulder most of the time, nothing new there, but here they are used for overtaking. When you approach another car and from behind it’ll usually pull into the hard shoulder (still going at it’s original speed) and allow you to overtake. It’s all very civilized. There aren’t many cars in SA so it’s easy to tell when you’re approaching a major town/city.
I’ve pick Greyton
as my stop for the night, it’s about an hour shy of Stellenbosch. The Zebra Moon
hostel is an old school building
. Even smells like an old school building. The owners sorry he’s late meeting me and gives me a ‘flat’ for R100. I’m his only guest so maybe he just wants to keep the bigger dorm rooms clean. $483 to fly home on the 19th of September from Durban with Expidia.com 1,383.6 km August 17th
At some point I rolled over and half the duvet fell off so half of me is cold. I find the mug of tea I made for myself last night. It’s also cold. Shower pack and go, I’m in
the mood to do some miles.
I make it to Stellenbosch
around ten and go see Kasey in Student Flights. I get a voucher for the Amex currency exchange, directions to a camping store and book a flight
from Johannesburg to Durban (R484). I pick-up $1,000 USD, lunch and a sleeping bag. An expensive stop.
First stop in Cape Town
is the Ashanti Green Point Lodge
. It’s where the tour is based from. A bed in a mixed dorm is R120. I drop my luggage off, find a laundrette
and return my car. It’s a couple of km to walk back, but the weather is good. Spar shop in SA is the same as M&S in the UK.
Turns out my YHA membership entitles me to HI discount. Because I’ve already paid this means I get free beer
. This entry ends here, even though it’s only about five in the afternoon. I’ll finish the day with my next entry and the start of my Acacia Tour. 1,565.0 km
There are more photos below