South Africa
Great Kei

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    • Day 20

      Back to South Africa

      May 26, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      This morning, we had boiled eggs and bread for breakfast, along with the usual cereals, fruit, and spreads. We then packed up and were on the road by 7.30am. We had the return journey out of the valley along the same dirt road. It was almost 9am before we reached the tarmacked section!

      It was incredibly cold on the truck this morning. I just couldn't get warm, despite wearing several layers and covering myself with Cassie’s British Airways blanket! It remained that way all day, despite it being sunny!

      We drove to a different border to cross back into South Africa. This was a rural border post and much quieter than the one we went through the other day. We crossed without incident. Kristina helped herself to some of the free condoms that were on display everywhere on the South African side – just as a souvenir! I was amused that they were supplied by a company called ‘Condoman’ and were dispensed from a ‘condomtainer’!! 😂

      The scenery on route to our next stop was incredible! We passed through cattle country with large farms owned by rich white people. Many of the signs we passed were written only in Afrikaans, something we haven’t seen before in South Africa. We stopped to buy some lunch at a dreadful shopping mall where we had to pay to use the toilets and where the only food option was KFC!! I had two very greasy bits of chicken and the worst cup of coffee I’ve drunk in a long time! Mark had a packet of crisps and a bottle of beer!😊

      It was a very long driving day along increasingly bumpy roads. As we got closer to our destination, Cintsa on the Wild Coast just north of East London where Nelson Mandela was born, Ernest drove faster and faster in an effort to reach our campsite before it got dark. We made it just in time!
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    • Day 17

      East London

      October 4, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Besuch Lion Park und Lungi
      Nach einem reichhaltigen Frühstück, sind wir in den Lion Park gefahren. Aber auch hier hat sich sehr viel verändert. Kleine Löwen oder Cheetahs streicheln, kann man hier nicht mehr. Also haben wir uns auch nicht lange aufgehalten und sind zum Einkaufen in die neue, grosse Hemingway Mall gefahren.
      Um 15:00 Uhr haben wir uns bei Lungi getroffen um im Buy and Braai zu essen.
      Hier wird das Fleisch unten im Laden frisch gekauft und oben bekommt man es gewürzt und auf dem offen Feuer zubereitet. Serviert wird es auf einem Holzbrett, ohne Besteck. Geschmeckt hat es sehr lecker und war zudem noch sehr preiswert. 8 T-Bone Steak, ein halber Meter Bratwurst, ein Pack Toastbrot und 2 Tüten Chips für umgerechnet 13€.
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    • Day 91

      Glengariff, Wild Coast

      December 17, 2022 in South Africa ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

      Es gibt Orte, bei denen man sich gleich zu Hause fühlt. Die Glengariff Lodge ist so ein Ort. Dies liegt nicht nur an einer traumhaften Lage, gleich am Anfang der Wild Coast, sondern besonders auch an der Herzlichkeit von Toni und Gary, unsere Homeexchange Gastgeber. Wir hätten ursprünglich nur eine Nacht bleiben sollen, stattdessen wurden es drei.
      Florian genoss seine letzten Stunden auf dem Surfbrett, wir buchten eine Yogastunde am Strand und die Kinder plantschten im warmen seichten Wasser des Bulura Rivers, kurz bevor er sich in den Indischen Ozean ergiesst. Abends bekochte uns Jen mit leckerem Chili con Carne und danach gab es noch Drinks und grillierte Marshmallows. Gerne wären wir noch länger geblieben, aber unsere lange Reise neigt sich ihrem Ende zu und es sind noch 1000 km bis Johannesburg.
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    • Day 137–139

      Morgan Bay

      November 24, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ ☁️ 72 °F

      After a while in the highveld and mountains, it felt like time to get into the sea as well. Bruce has an acquaintance who very generously offered the use of his beach house in Morgan Bay, so off we went!

      Very high temperatures inland drew heavy fog in from the Indian Ocean, making for a wet and gray experience. Despite that, we enjoyed a gentle 9km (5 mile) hike with beautiful views. It was a nice change of pace to do a few hundred ft of elevation gain instead of a few thousand.

      Hike highlights include: rocky beach scattered with abalone shells, watching a nice right hand point break (sure wish that there were a surfboard I could use), and the multitude of rocky cliff views.

      As we sat on a grassy overlook, Bruce spotted first several then what must have been at least 50 dolphins swimming gracefully southward. We only saw one leap out of the water but enjoyed many glimpses of the rest. I haven't seen dolphins (porpoises?) swim so close together before. It looked as if they were literally in contact with each other for much of the time. Beautiful!

      In the afternoon we got to see a local wedding (sounded like a lot of fun) then had nice meal while Bruce tried to explain how rugby works.
      I still only sorta understand how rugby works. I can see, however, why rugby fans say: "[soccer] is a game for gentlemen, played by hooligans; rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen." Rugby seems like controlled mayhem. I can see why it is popular.

      Due to extraordinary circumstances, aforementioned high temperatures, incompetemce and corruption ZA has a serious electricity problem. The state-run energy company is using rolling blackouts to address this problem and is now in Stage Six. Not having power for 8-12 hrs in a given day is a serious bummer. They need more solar and better conservation campaigns.
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    • Day 18

      Cintsa Beach und Braai bei Lungi

      October 5, 2019 in South Africa ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

      Heute sind wir nach dem Frühstück zum Strand nach Cintsa Beach gefahren. Hier haben wir einen fast 2stündigen Spaziergang gemacht. Denn heute Nachmittag gehen wir zu Lungi zum Braai (Afrikanisches Grillfest)
      Das war, wie nicht anders zu erwarten, mehr als afrikanisch. Start um 15:00 Uhr, aber da ich meinen Lungi kenne, sind wir erst kurz vor 16:00 Uhr gekommen. Er stand auf der Leiter und hat den Kamin vom Grill kontrolliert. Als das Feuer nicht so richtig brennen wollte, meinte er, er habe wohl das falsche Holz gekauft. Das war so, denn beim Brennen drückte noch Wasser raus. Irgendwann hatten wir dann doch genügend Glut, so dass Lihle sein Sohn, mit dem Grillen begann. Rindfleisch, Hähnchenfleisch und Booreworst. Alles sehr lecker und afrikanisch verzehrt. Teller auf Anforderung, ohne Besteck und Brot.
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    • Day 86

      Chintsa - Day 2

      February 18, 2020 in South Africa ⋅ 🌧 22 °C

      I slept well but, as usual, I woke up earlier than I wanted at 6am. I got a shower and joined my fellow travellers for a nice breakfast of cinnamon buns and an omelette which we prepared ourselves. I was still feeling queasy and low in energy due to my virus, and it was overcast and raining, so I decided not to do any of the paid activities such as horse riding or quad biking. Instead, I walked down to the beach with fellow traveller, Graham. The ecology of the lagoon, large sand dunes, and beach, was varied and really beautiful. There were many types of flowers and plants on the walk down with lush forest up on the very high sand dunes. As we approached the smaller sand dunes at the end of the lagoon and before the beach, the dunes were covered in grasses and long stems of a very attractive magenta coloured bell shaped flowers. We walked out onto the beach and walked along the shore with the white foaming waves rolling in. The spray created a mist over the sea and it was very atmospheric. It was very warm despite the overcast skies and I decided that I would go for a swim. Graham walked back across the beach and returned to the campsite. As I walked out into the waves and dived under a large wave, I could feel a very strong undertow current pulling me out to sea and decided that it would be dangerous to go out any further so returned to the shore. I then spent the next couple of hours walking along the shore, paddling in the sea and picking up brightly coloured shells. This allowed me to reflect on the journey through Africa and all the life that I had seen along the way. I fell into a reverie, feeling deeply that everything is alive in nature, including the sea, rocks, mountains, trees, creatures and even the great multitudes of stars and planets above. I experienced nature as God, or the Great Spirit of native Americans, and that I am a part of that nature and everything existing plays their small role in this immense unfolding creation from the grains of sand beneath my feet, to the skipping birds running past me, to the clouds and sun beyond. God as nature is therefore not to be believed in, but to be lived and experienced imminently in the world all around us. In this sense everything is holy, precious and can be loved and cared for. I wondered if humanity could play a vital role on this planet by becoming guardians and protectors of life and nature rather than the current destroyers of it?
      I eventually returned to the hostel, chatted with my fellow travellers, had some lunch down at the poolside bar and wrote up my blog. I then returned to my dorm room to rest as the rain fell gently over the land and sea beyond the balcony window.
      We had a very tasty Indian buffet meal in the hostel's dining room in the evening and I had a nice chat with my fellow travellers where my head felt clearer than it had done since I got the virus which was a positive sign that I was finally recovering. I then got an early night ahead of an early start in the morning.
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    • Day 9

      Chinsta

      September 5, 2018 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Gestern Abend sind wir im Buccaneers Backpacker Hostel in Chinsta angekommen. Es liegt direkt am Meer und von unserem Zimmer hat man einen tollen Blick. Um 6 Uhr heute Morgen klingelte bereits unser Wecker, da wir den Sonnenaufgang beobachten wollten, danach Frühstückten wir und machten uns später mit dem Kanu auf den Weg zum Strand.🍳🌅🏖🚣🏽‍♀️ Außer uns und 2 Hunden die uns ab dem Hostel folgten war den ganzen Tag kein Mensch dort zu sehen.Read more

    • Day 14

      07.02.2017 Chintsa at the Wild Coast

      February 7, 2017 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      So, der BazBus hat mich wieder. Nach und nach entwickelt sich dieses Transportmittel zu einem zweiten Zuhause. Mittlerweile kenne ich die Fahrer und einige der Backpacker, die im gleichen Rhythmus "ab- und aufhüpfen". Allerdings werden es weniger, da ich die Garden Route (als Hauptreisestrecke) verlassen habe. Gut für meine Beinfreiheit im Bus!

      Chintsa liegt an der sog. Wild Coast. Wie der Name schon sagt, ist dieses Gebiet schlecht erschlossen und viele (der wenigen) Straßen nur mit Allrad zu bezwingen. Die einheimischen Xhosa gelten als freundlich und zeigen gerne ihre Kultur. Die berühmte Madame Tofu aus der Nähe von Chintsa ist in jedem Reiseführer erwähnt - sei es, weil sie mit ihren 95 Jahren die angeblich älteste Reiseführerin auf der Welt ist oder weil sie so gut wie kein anderer die Schnalzlaute der Xhosa-Sprache vermitteln kann. Ich hatte mich also auf urige Wanderungen und ein wenig Kultur eingestellt. Tja, wie war das noch mit dem Planen und dem Leben??

      Das Hostel in Chintsa ist wunderbar gelegen und hervorragend geführt. Von dem Ausblick unseres Zimmers konnte sich Rudi kaum trennen. Die Strände lang und oft menschenleer...

      ... ebenso menschenleer war aber scheinbar auch das Hostel, was sich daran offenbarte, dass sämtliche Touren aufgrund mangelnder Nachfrage ausfielen. Traurigerweise ist Madame Tofu zudem letztes Jahr verschieden. Und die Gegend um das Hostel ist ausnahmslos privatisiert (und mit fürstlichen Villen bebaut...): Wandern unmöglich!

      Wider Erwarten habe ich also die beiden Tage im Hostel verbracht, etwas spaziert, einmal im Indischen Ozean gebadet, die ersten beiden Nordfriesen aus St. Peter-Ording getroffen (was ein Hallo... äh, natürlich Moin!), viel gelesen und abends noch intensiver die Bar besucht. Das, was ich an Alkoholkonsum während meines Aufenthaltes bis dato eingespart hatte, konnte ich nun ausgleichen... 😉

      Zwischen all den Niederländern, Deutschen, Briten und anderen Thekenhockern fand ich aber auch einige Xhosa und kam mit ihnen ins Gespräch. Mehr hätte Madame Tofu mir wahrscheinlich auch nicht erzählen können! Gelebte Kultur - sehr spannend. Und als dem Surflehrer vor Ort bewusst wurde, wie wenig ich noch über das landestypische Essen wusste, wurde für den nächsten Abend ein 'braaing' geplant. Gestern waren deshalb vier Hostel-Gäste und einige seiner Freunde bei ihm zuhause und es gab unglaublich viel Fleisch, den berühmten 'maelie pap' (Maisbrei) und 'butternut' (eine kürbisähnliche Frucht, die mit Feta gefüllt wird).

      Solch einen Abend hätte ich mir nicht träumen lassen! Ich könnte nun einige Anekdoten aufschreiben, aber das führt sicherlich zu weit. Nur so viel: Es gibt insgesamt drei verschiedene Schnalzlaute in der Xhosa-Sprache und ich kann nun alle bilden (wenn auch nur isoliert und nicht im Wort). Und ich weiß, warum die Straßen hier - aus Sicht der Xhosa - so schlecht sind...

      In 10 Stunden werde ich in Durban sein bzw. wenn dieser Beitrag online geht, bin ich schon da. Meine Leber freut sich, dass es weiter geht... Aber sie funktioniert noch!
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    • Day 21

      A walk to Cintsa

      May 27, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      This morning, it transpired that we’d all spent a pretty miserable, cold night! However, today promised to be better with full sunshine and temperatures up to 21 degrees, so we were optimistic! We had a late breakfast of sausages, eggs, and toast. It was a free day today, so there was no rush to get things done.

      After breakfast, Mark walked up the hill to reception to get some of our washing done. When he came back, René took us on a guided walk across the beach to the town of Cintsa. She told us the walk was ten minutes tops. After 40 minutes, we reached the town! She left us there and returned to camp. The four of us went for a coffee and then bought some supplies before going back to Buccaneers. We were almost there when I realised that I’d left my jacket at the café!! Mark walked all the way back to get it for me! When he got back, we went up to the dining room for lunch with Timo and Kristina. We sat admiring the stunning view of the bay.

      After lunch, Timo went for a walk along the beach, and we stayed in the lounge area to take advantage of the free wifi. Later, we all had showers. We wanted to make sure we did so while there was still some sunshine and warmth as the showers are open to the elements!

      This evening, Ivan made spaghetti bolognaise for dinner – and we managed to eat it before the load shedding happened!!

      I spent the time after dinner catching up with my trip notes. We also got chatting to a South African tour guide, Mark, who arrived with a couple of American clients. He parked too close to Ivan’s tent for his liking – talk about invading his personal space!
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    • Day 21

      Buccaneers Campsite, Cintsa

      May 27, 2023 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

      We were staying at Buccaneers campsite, accessed down a very bumpy track, and, once through the gates, a very steep hill to get to our pitch. We had to go to reception to check in. By the time we’d walked down to where the truck was, Ernest had put our tents up for us, and Ivan had got the dinner on! We made our bed up and went to help in the kitchen.

      We had chicken cooked on the braii with rice, corn on the cob, and salad. Just as we were about to sit down for dinner, load shedding kicked in so we ate by the light of our head torches. After dinner, we stood around the fire, but there wasn’t much heat in it as the wood was damp. The temperature plummeted and we were really cold, so we decided to go to bed. What followed was probably the coldest night of my life!! I just could not stay warm! Needless to say, we didn’t have much sleep!

      Oh, and cows wander freely through the camp! One gave me quite a scare in the middle of the night! 😀
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