After we left Storms River we had about six days left on our Bazbus ticket. Six days and three places left that we wanted to check out. It was going to be a triple jump attempt to Cape Town. Treating a city like a fast food drive-through wasn’t exactly how we like to “experience” new places. Up to this point we have tried our best to spend four or five days every where we go. But as a wise man once said, “It is what it is.”
Here at aroundtheworldtripping, we try to capture our experiences and convey them in a manner that really allows you, the reader, to envision yourself sitting at the bar stool right there next to us. We want you to feel the way we felt, picture what we saw, and understand what we learned. With that in mind, I will proceed to quickly summarize our six-day blur of the last part of the Garden Route. To fully grasp the hop, skip, and jump we made through the three cities, I suggest simply skimming over the rest of the post. Try and grab a couple of key words, maybe look at a picture or two, and then mush it all together in one part of your brain. That way it almost feels like we didn’t visit three different cities at all. But rather one, singular, amazing place that was rudely interrupted by two-hour bus rides to different neighborhoods.
Pletteburg Bay was the first stop on our mad dash to Cape Town. To describe it as a beautiful oil painting brought to life is an understatement. It’s no surprise the breath-taking views that are achieved from the cliffs lining the ocean are saturated with million dollar homes and summer vacation rentals. The main part of town runs along a single main street and is lined with cafes, restaurants, and a bar called Flashbacks that has Black Label on tap (Um, so we heard). When we weren’t out jogging around in the morning and trying to avoid stray dogs, we were sitting on the freezing beaches and imagining what life would be like in the 18 room mansion on the beach. Our admiration for mans best friend continued with our hostels dog Sarah. She would play fetch until your arm fell off and nothing was out of the realm of possible to play fetch with. A ball, stick, leaf, anything. We also had a chance to have an in-depth conversation with a couple of colored people. (Wow, wow, wow, Bret. What’s up with the 50’s style derogatory comment?) Relax crackers, it is how people of mixed race refer to themselves in South Africa. The women of the group was straight forward, blunt, and very conversational. It was refreshing to hear a different perspective on South African history and politics.
Knysna plummeted us into the Seattle-esk whether we had been trying so hard to avoid this entire trip. Minus a day or two in Columbia and a small three-day stint in Brazil, we had avoided the rain for most of our trip and had never been confined to our living quarters because of the wet shit that falls from the sky. Knysna’s icy cold rain combined with high winds had us sitting inside for over half of our time there. We did have a couple of hours to explore on our first day and when we heard they actually had a micro-brew in Knysna. It instantly became number one on our to-do list. Unfortunately it was an Ale house and that was pretty much all they served up. Several variations of the simple brew with little difference between the 3 oz shots of beer. I wept as visions of Mannys danced through my mind, dreaming about making it back to Seattle in time for the International Beer Festival.
Mossel Bay was the last stop on our way south. Known for its whale watching and outdoor activities, we found our way to their famous Seal Island. The hour-long boat ride to observe the rock sanctuary for the playful animals proved to be one of the biggest rip offs I have ever experienced. Twenty minutes out to the rock, three minutes to half circle around it, and then we were headed back to the dock to switch out with the next batch of suckers. Luckliy we were on the right side of the boat and were closest to the seals. The guests on the outside of the boat weren’t allowed to stand up and spent the entire time (three minutes) trying to swing and pivot their body to catch a glimpse between the gaps of those with the view.
We spent quite a bit of time down at the water front observing the whales. We were fortunate enough to catch several glimpses of them lifting their tales out of the water.