south africa, part 8

March 18th 2012
Published: March 18th 2012
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We cruise Addo Park and meet with Jeff & Alison (see chapter about Sani Pass/Lesotho)

They had the same problem with Coffeebay but decided to sleep in their car.

Next time we meet like this, the deal will be a free beer for the one who spots the others. A herd of elephants, a a blackrug jackhal, ostriches, zebras, kudu’s, are spotted before we leave Addo .

Our backpackhostel beats every expectation.It is the equivalent of a private home: kitchen about 10 meters by 5m; living room of 8 by 6; patio; dormitory without guests but us; all for 228 rand (=22,80 euro) for the 2 of us. Leisure afternoon, pancakes as dinner since we got the ingredients from our French owner. We share the kitchen with 4 South African workers;

They cook ‘pap’, a salty porridge made of flour, water and milk.

For 5 days work consisting of 8 ½ hrs they earn 4000 Rand a month, this is approx 22 Rand p.h, equals 2,20 euro !

We learn they are of different cultures (SA has 12 languages !), tribes like Xhose and Sutu ; they refer to me as ‘ma’am’ (every sentence they start with: ‘yes ma’am or no ma’am’!)

while we exchange pleasantries. They like the offered pancake.

Next stop: Tsitsikamma, were we do some hiking on a suspension bridge; passing all sorts of elder tourists who complain how steep it is and an otter trail. We see lots of ‘Dassies’: curious little buggers who are obviously vegetarians. After a stiff 1 ½ hrs I am soaked and sweating like the proverbial Otter (which we can not spot) because the hiking involves climbing the rocks (without ropes or guide, so we have to search our own way like springboks…) . At the end of the trail it’s like Livingstone: we found a waterfall, so I look back awaiting Stanley….

In the hostel I meet with a German forensic therapist, so we have a lengthy discussion about our mutual work in partly English and German

Our journey continues to Plettenberg & Knysna: both having the pretense of being a ‘Saint Tropez’ of SA. Posh shops & sailboats (there is not enough space for yachts apparently…) so we look at this all from the airconned car and leave in 30 minutes or so for Wilderness.

The hostel is tucked away in the woods; 3 buildings including mainbuilding, with lots of extras like pooltable and sitting area with e huge TV set, resembling a cinema.

The nice quietness of the Northern and Eastern part comes abrupt to its end, alas. The tourists are more noisy, more the fun doing type of chasing after everly possible thing like bungee jumping (SA has the largest mountain in the world to do so). 2 Families with kids share our building; the German kids are nice and quite, unfortunately not the Dutch speaking kids who try to climb into other’s chair in order to chase away an unfortunate frog who is trapped between wall and couch.

Next morning they continue being noisy by shouting from 06.15 hrs and running around. I planned to see the sunrise with a quiet breakfast but got nearly hit by the windowshutters they opened behind my chair.

It is utterly disgusting and I’m fed up with it and avoid a renewed discussion, since in the evening before I commented on the fact they did not do the dishes and so others could not cook since they used up all pans they could get hold of.

This in contrast with the 6 Germans youngsters of 18-20 behave in an orderly way: they came in after partying at 23.30 but took of their shoes in hallway and crawled into their bunks without much noise

Fortunately we booked for Franschhoek: a town in the renowned wine area; so while typing this I can barely wait to pack our gears.


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