South Africa
Morgan Bay

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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 30

      Day 30 - Morgan Bay/WildCoast

      April 14, 2022 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Last night at dinner, I overheard the rowdy EC locals talking about a ''Beach- Clean-Up", and true to their word, they were up and at it early this morning.

      We took advantage of the clear weather and ran to Kei Mouth, a 9km there and back. All along the two km long beach, then up into the forest along a single track, at first rocky and then wet, muddy and slippery. Up to the lighthouse, that in itself should have raised suspicion, but nonetheless. Ran past "Wacky Point" with 'Love where you Live" graffitied all over the walls of some makeshift lookout, lifesavers hut, security hut, gate control or whatever? Maybe a tuck shop, shabeen or even a broken down home, but there it was! I can just hear you guy's.... "9k's, sure but only at Sea level"!!! Losers!!!

      Trying to navigate through the Easter weekend, we will continue to stick it out here at Morgan's until Monday and then check out where next 🤷🏻‍♂️ Though times😂!!!

      Took an afternoon stroll in the direction of 'Double Mouth', which we decided to take a run up to, in the morning instead. Decent weather for a change so surprise, we braai'ed again.

      The little kids from over the road were a treat as we sat down to dinner. Three of them on bicycles dashing around the caravan park. William from our ‘Williams Team’ who had already been showered by Mom, was in the thick of it and way out in front. The splash pool mud puddle, directly in front of us was his favourite as he ‘Apexed’ on our corner every lap! Little William is a handful at six years old, but a delight. A kid, not dirty is not a kid! The irresistible mud bath was 30cm deep in places and 6m long. With our continuous cheering William, just got himself deeper and deeper into trouble when he gets home. His first lap was tekkie to ankle deep, but by the 10th, knee deep! After his umpteenth lap, his clean pyjamas had a black mud steek from his ‘poephol’ to the crown on the top of his head! As the sun sets, Mom has no idea what is about to arrive home😇

      A family arrived here in Morgans Caravan park, after dark! For twenty minutes we watched this happen, as they unpacked a brand new monster size tent with only car lights to help! We just couldn't stand it any longer, so we offered to help. Shame they had no idea where to even start. Karen and I (also pretty much ignorant) managed to get a roof over their heads, before calling it a day.
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    • Day 31

      Day 31 - Morgan Bay/WildCoast

      April 15, 2022 in South Africa ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

      Happy Easter🐰 to ALL 8 of our regular "Trampers"!

      Kick-off was delayed this morning by last nights accurate weather prediction of a dank and miserable start to the day which extended to right now at 20h00.... and more is still on the cards for tomorrow😖

      We were scheduled to run up to the cliffside viewpoint but looking up at it from down here earlier, looks suicidal! A scene from The Game of Thrones or The Hobbit .... so we didn't!

      What did have a ring to it, was lunch and beer at the Kei Mouth Golf Club with Ray (my High School and Army mate) and his wife Liz, who we met last week at 'White Clay'. That will have to suffice as our regular 'Friday Date Night' because, as we speak its coffee in bed already😖

      So the question needs to be asked and answered? Why does Battered Calamari taste better down here at the coast than it does Inland? Even if it is derived from the same I&J frozen packet, caught out at sea by some mangy chinese fisherman?🤷🏻‍♂️

      I suppose it's the same as Kudu Droëwors is more delicious in the Northern Transvaal, than it does in Mosselbay for example? Whatever!

      Did we need to choose the wettest Summer in living memory to embark on this journey? In April, winter pyjamas on the South Coast? To swim in Cuppachino flavoured waves in the 'Transkei' and to lay in bed all day in a 4X4 caravan? 4X4 as in 4m X 4m and then rain, rain, and more rain! In addition to which, with a 'chick' who talks incessantly from dawn to dawn, sometimes without even taking a breath?

      (Just joking🍯!!!)

      It's been many years since I last had a beer in bed🍻 The struggle, I hear, is real!!!

      Love, Peace and Light
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    • Day 28

      Day 28 - Morgan Bay/ WildCoast

      April 12, 2022 in South Africa ⋅ 🌧 21 °C

      The plan this morning (Tuesday 12 April), is to get to Morgan's Bay about 80km north up the coast from East London.

      It continued to pour all night and just before day break, it stopped for the forty minutes we needed to strike! No time for coffee, breakfast or any ambling!

      In the slushy black mud it took us less than the forty we were blessed with, and quite possibly, to get packed up before the deluge again, we were inspired!

      Packing away all the camping gear etc has. become so routine and slick! All but the sodden ground sheet, all but totally submerged in the blasted black clay. No problem after packing all away we went down and let the tide wash it out. Standing like two fishermen in the waves, we left behind clouds of mud for the sea to swirl away!

      The road all the way back to just before Mthatha was awash. For a long period we were able to hitch a ride on the back of a taxi who knew the path between the filled craters, like the back of his hand.

      Driving from the direction of Mthatha=> Idutywa=> Butterworth=> and eventually Morgan's Bay, a marked change in the landscape and architectural design of huts, houses and backyards and even the road conditions. Having arrived in the Morgan's Bay Caravan park, which is a few steps up from White Clay, but guess what?.... Beautiful lawn and.... black mud😖😖😖!!!

      It must also be said that, now after 1 month of being 'Homeless' and 'On-the-Hoof', Karen needs to be commended for numerous accolades 🥰👍🥇

      Vince calls her the "Mystic Unicorn", because she doesn't take my sh1t and she even butts back, with her evil horn! No but seriously Karen is in her element and is just loving it, at least she can remember which pole goes where and what is next. She regularly cooks up a storm in the Pressure Cooker and with all this rain has saved our bacon with many square meals which otherwise would have meant slim pickings. Together we have sorted out who does what, when, but without her it could just have been disastrous 🥰🏆

      So back here at Morgan's we arrived in the rain and have also learnt by now, there is no reason to try and sit it out and wait.... the end never comes, rain, rain, rain!

      The Morgan's Bay Caravan Park, situated right up against the lagoon, 100m from the beach. The sites have lush lawns (when not churned up) and all electricity connections. The ablutions and showers have been newly renovated and have a 5 Star rating, and then some! Full on laundry and tumble-dry facility, really all top quality and the best so far by a long shot!

      Price wise (and we knew the Easter Weekend would be costly), normal price from tonight until Thurday R240 per campsite but on Thurday to Sunday night up to R690😖😳but wherever, it will be steeper into the weekend. At the moment it is practically empty, as usual but we are told 'sold out show' over the Long Weekend! Right now we are tucked away in the caravan whilst the rain keeps teeming down outside!
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    • Day 29

      Day 29 - Morgan Bay/ WildCoast

      April 13, 2022 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      🎼"Here comes the sun,
      Here comes the sun,
      And I say "It's alright, Little Darling...."!!!🎼

      We heard from an 'Old Salted' Eastern Cape ripped apart piece of Sea Weed that, it doesn't rain on this side of the Kei River🤔 BS!!! It rained like hell last night 😖 but awoke to a brand new day, sunshine and to the screech of Fish Eagles🌞🌞🌞

      Now I can admit to not having been ahead if the game for most of my life, but we did get ahead of those KZN Storms and Floods, for which we are most grateful! Imagine us raving about our "Tramp's like us" journey, only to be seen on SABC3, eNews and even Sky, floating down the Winkelspruit into the Indian Ocean😳😳😳

      We cranked up the pace and ran a 6km and then a refreshing swim in the sea. A healthy mixture of salt water and brown river water, whips up a tasty brown foam, swept off the sea by a gentle offshore.

      The run up out of these seashore villages is crazy. Even as you run 'up' it seems the gushing water next to the road is also running upwards! Stay with me on this one, okay! In fact, true to the laws of gravity, it is flowing down, and so are you running downhill, it just doesn't feel like it😖

      So this now leads to a thought after 000's of running kilometers? If running down forward's is so easy, if one runs 'backwards- uphill' shouldn't it be equally easy?🤔🤷🏻‍♂️

      Visited 'Kei Mouth' to do some food replenishment only to find that the SPAR had burned down about six weeks ago😳

      Spent the afternoon 'beaching' and then off to the Morgan Bay Hotel for their 'Local's Special' every Wednesday evening. Delicious Lasagne was it! 👍

      Good night,
      Love, Peace & Light.

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    • Day 32

      Day 32 - Morgan Bay/Kei Mouth

      April 16, 2022 in South Africa ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      Like a CD... (Compact Disk) player of old, when we got back to camp after our extended lunch with the Keeny's yesterday, there was Little Willy around and around his circuit at top-speed💨 !!!Who was awake, up and about first this morning? Free Willy, by himself already on the other side of the river mouth!

      Took a chance on the weather earlier, to run up past the Milford Hotel to Keightley's Krantz, and onto the 'Double Mouth Nature Reserve', there and back about 8km.

      On our return to camp yesterday, my worst nightmare👹 Any campers worst! Two caravans of Trailer-trash/Sea weed, washed up several sites from us! One piece if Seaweed who just so loves his voice and a woman who also does, as well as her own cackling laugh! Clearly half deaf and Zero sound control! At 02:15 caravan doors were banging, that sounded so close I thought it was our car door, or maybe they were just banging!🤨 There after all the clanging, the do€s was sitting under his awning having a cigarette @ 02:15!!!

      Visited two Flea Markets, one at 10:00 in the morning at Morgan's and a second at 14:00 at Kei Mouth. Beer-on-Tap🍻 was high on the menu at both and so we partook! Tai Spring rolls for breakfast and Nguni Burgers for lunch. 'Delish'!!

      Went back to Ray and Liz for a 'snack' and retired back to camp😴😴😴

      Love, Peace and Light,
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    • Day 33

      Day 33 - Morgan Bay

      April 17, 2022 in South Africa ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      For a few days now since arriving, we have tried to drive the track from Morgan's to 'Double Mouth', but rain washed out play, practically every day. Today instead of a run, we drove there and visited the enormous cliffs diving right down into the water, 100m below, with monster waves crashing up all of 20m high! So awesome!

      We drove right into the Reserve and only wanted to take a 20min walk around to see the campsite. At the office the guy now sitting inside a battered and filthy 'EC Parks and Tourism' Bakkie, eating fistfuls out of a loaf of white bread, mouth full and blaring 'music' on the car radio, told Karen R45 each! The sign board at the entrance, though (scratched out), clearly advises R25.00 p/p😖!! Inflation is a Mother!!!

      This stunning scenery was totally destroyed by his attitude, not to mention the unofficial 'Yoeman of the Guard' opening/closing the gate across the road! The look this 'little shit' gave Karen in response to the R2 she gave him for so competently completing this strenuous task! How did we spoil these kids fifty years ago, by throwing suckers out of the car window, which we should never have done! Such colonial bastards, and so demeaning! Apart from the inflation from 1 sucker to R2.00 nothing has changed! Quite right, it is still demeaning to all of us, to hand out R2.00 for fuck-all!!! Never again will we be so generous, as to pay for nothing! When it was bucketing with rain a few days ago, Yoeman had vanished!😖 Such a fair-weather child😖!!!

      We lunched with Ray and Liz, a serious braai'ed NTVL Rump, a delicious salad and baby spuds, Pickled Oyster Mushrooms and a cold 'Ratatouille' The afternoon faded as we pushed the last Tipsy Tart in and down, with our thumbs!

      Thank you so much to Ria, Theunis, Liz and Ray, for showing too much generosity and compassion, to the ‘Homeless’😉👍🏻😂

      After much deliberation we will be moving out in the morning, to just a few bays down the coast, in the direction of East London. 'Yellow Sands'.

      Good night!

      Love, Peace and Light

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