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Published: February 27th 2018
SA is a totally different place from Mozambique and Zimbabwe , places to stay almost everywhere, you can even get decent coffee, not everywhere but it can be had.
I left Hazyview with the aim of going to St Lucia where there’s a wetland sanctuary and let the GPS have free reins, and it worked , wow!
I took me through the nice country side, up to 1800 metres or so and the temp dropped quickly but it did not rain.
Having done the idiot ride from Francis town had taken it’s toll on my olde bones so I decided that the first place that looked decent would have me as a paying guest, Pongola had a country inn with standard and deluxe rooms so I took the deluxe, and went to the bottle shop looking for a well served beer and a bag of crisps.
I was going down towards the coast and it had gotten warm again and a cold beer is a nice reward for a hard journey being done.
The beer and the crisps were nice and the dinner was not, some really bland beef curry and the plonk was plonk and
The breakfast on the other hand was excellent, and they had a very nice fruit salad so apart from the eggs and toast I had three bowls of fruit and that really hit the spot.
St Lucia was and is warm and humid, to the extent that you can almost touch the air.
I spent the day with my neighbour drinking beer and mooching about.
The next morning I was pulled from my dreams by a clattering on the roof of my room and when I went out to investigate the were some monkeys running around looking for food, anything that’s edible should be taken inside or it’s forfeited.
I then went on a boat trip in a big , very shallow lake, the home to many hippos, about 800 or so according to the boat driver, we saw a couple of crocodiles as well.
It was nice watching the hippos and also hearing them bellow or whatever it's called.
They've got some massive teeth and a lot of people get killed very year by hippos, you can't outrun them, max speed 40km/h.
According to my neighbour some hippos have
been seen just next to the pool in the hotel.
Also a couple of leopards have been seen trotting up main street, there are no stray dogs here, they end up as cat food.
When I was about to leave it started to rain so I’ll stay one more day, of course I can do rain but if you don’t have to.
It just stopped raining and the humidity went up another notch and some monkeys are out and about again.
There’s not really much to do when it rains and you don’t have any rain gear, not that it’s cold like home but it’d take forever to get dry.
A half decent dinner later, bedtime.
I left, as the Danes would say, before the devil got his shoes on, towards the south.
My neighbour had suggested that I should stay in Margate but I wanted to press on.
Also Margate looked like any sea side resort anywhere in the world. There are many rivers or mountain ranges that have made the civil engineers put the roads where they are or maybe it’s a trail from the first Boers.
road goes inland and starts to go up into the green hills, up and down, in and out, very nice and beautiful.
Needed some petrol for the bike so I went into some little town and got some petrol and there I was hailed by a little girl, ”what’s your name?”, soon a couple of her mates turned up and strangely enough they let me take some pics.
Sometimes they run like hell when they see a camera.
The town as most African town was filthy and noisy, the rubbish tip is where you stand and of course along the highways.
Round major cities there are actually crews out cleaning the sides of the roads.
Having negotiated many ups and downs and ins and out , both left-hand and right hand I was getting tired but I knew that the end was nigh, and there’s a big sign that says; Only 133 bends before you reach Port St Johns.
And that in 20 km or so.They had some event going in PSJ trying to attract tourists and someone had painted the railings of the bridge in all the colours of the rainbow.
hotel was so so but the fried squids for dinner were delicious.
After a nice breakfast time to go on, the weather that had ,started out nice turned to Icy, well not really, rain up on the high plains and then sorted itself out again when I got down to the coast.
My deluxe South African gloves are made out of some highly absorbent leather, and then you get cold with wet fingers.
But he bike’s got heated grips, low is enough to keep your hands toasty, but toasty and wet is not so nice after a couple of hours.
The place where I had had some nice wines and very nice food in Port Alfred, the only reason for me to stop there was closed.
I walked downhill from my deluxe hotel and did not feel like walking uphill for a couple of km so I spoke to a night watchman about finding a taxi, no such things to be found in Port Alfred.
He told me to wait 5 mins and then he took me up himself..
My plan was to go to Knysna and stay the night there and then
go up to Baviaanskloef and do the canyon.
As I was having a couple of nice octopi steaks for dinner there was lightning inland, over the mountains.
The next morning I got a text saying that it was raining up in Willowmore and that it would be impossible to do the trip.
Mother Nature interferes again.
Not much to do other than to gnash my teeth and wail a bit.
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