Final destinations

Trip Start Jan 03, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Wilderness Beach house
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Monday, October 31, 2011

I arrived Storms River at some point.  It was all a blur.  It took a full day to arrive in Pt. Elizabeth via the Baz bus.  I arrived just in time to check-in to my 'supposed' reserved room at the hostel, however to find out I had no reservation.  Not sure how that happened but my response these days is 'it's Africa.'  That sums it up well.  It worked out of course...
I stayed in the same clothes that night for sleeping.  There was no need to change as I would be awake again in 6 hours for another bus ride.  I was picked up and taken to Storms River...a higly talked about beautiful place along the coast known for bungee jumping.  No need for this girl to throw herself off a bridge.  I'm quite happy with my life these days...
Tube N Axe.  Odd name for a hostel but that's where I stayed for 3 nights.  It was quiet when I arrived.  A few employees chatting at the counter and a guy looking intensley at his hiking book.  Hmm,  I needed a hiking partner for the day...
I put Blue down next to the bottom bunk in my dorm.  I like the bottom beds.  Although can be annoying to listen to someone move around on the top all night, snore, spasm, kick, yell...sometimes.  Ok.  Rarely this happens.
I went out to the dining area with my papers and Ipod with intentions to check email, sort through more papers and strike up a conversation with the hiker guy.  I wasn't in the mood to spend the day alone; that day I wanted a friend.  After being with people all week in my beloved St. Johns, I was thirsty for conversation.
Within an hour I was off for a hike.  Kilian, the guy from the hostel and his friend Florian (who had rented a car!) took me along for the day to do a few beautiful hikes.  Wow.  It was pretty stunning. The first hike was along the coast where we had a perfect view of the sea the whole time.  We took a quick break to have a cold South African beer and eat (me of course).  Kilian from Switzerland and Florian from Germany...nice guys.  I continued to practice my German that just never seems to improve.
We were able to make it to the top of the mountain just before sunset.  We crossed a suspended bridge which was quite fun to jump on, over the rocks, through a "foresty" area if thats a word and reached the top.  I was impressed.  It was a great day.
Laundry.  I was in dire need of doing it.  It's never fun to wake up to dirty laundry piles but it was time.  Too cheap to spend the 6 dollars to have it done for me, I hand-washed while the woman who could have done it for me, watched me.  Nice woman.  I just wondered what she thought as I struggled through multiple buckets of water, spilling it on myself and the floor, hanging my clothes not so perfectly, dropping laundry outside, mopping up the floor...was it really worth it Shana?
I joined the boys again for the day.  We went hiking through a forest to find a tree 1000 some years old.  It was huge.  Indeed it was huge; although I had a hard time looking at it too long.  It was amazing to see how long some people could stare at this tree.  Me, 3 minutes max.  These days I'm quite interested in trees but that day, I wanted adventure.  I found someone else having adventure...
We turned up at the Bungee Jumping place where I was shocked at the crazy people there who would do such a thing.  I believe it was the worlds highest jump, but I might be off on that one.  What a sight.  I watched one, two, three people jump with not one ounce of "I want to do that" feeling.  I was perfectly happy sitting in the lodge watching from a distance people jump off a bridge with a rope around their ankles.  No thank you.
We stopped at one of the smallest markets I've ever been to so I could make myself something to eat that evening.  Tuna, bread, tomatoes, cheese.  Sounds nice doesn't it?  I enjoyed my sandwich that night on a leather sofa at the hostel.  This had to be a first.  Who puts new leather sofas in a hostel???  All I needed was a flatscreen in front of me, a good American movie and I was set.
Freddie, one of the guys who works at the hostel took the boys and I for a township tour.  It wasn't far from where we were staying and the idea of going with a small group of 3 was much more appealing than the busloads that sometimes go.  I drove with Freddie in his truck with some of the loudest music ever...but when I think about it, the music was great African beats!
First stop was the liquor store in the township where Freddie wanted to take us.  A nice woman was working behind the bars that seperated us from her.  We had a drink outside, met some of the locals, had a few laughs of course and left for our walk around...
Freddie knew everyone.  I of course being me, asked if we could "please go inside one of the houses!"  We did.  We were able to meet one of his friends who was in the process of dying her hair but allowed us to come inside her home.  Small, simple, bedroom and bathroom.  We looked at pictures of her family, made some inquiries, admired her garden which was rare to see in a township and with a hug we left.
We met James, a friend of Freddie's who owns a small market in the township who was such a sweet young guy...happy to have customers, a woman who owns a B&B in the township (was interesting to hear her story), children, chickens, and so on...
Another good day had come to an end.  I left the follwing morning to head to Wilderness where I would meet Lilian.  We had planned back when we were at the orphanage together to do the Garden Route (an area along the southern coast of South Africa), and had finally set a date to see one another.
I arrived at the Beach House first.  This hostel had been recommended to me by many and surely the view was the reason why.  We couldn't have asked for a better view.  The ocean was right there in front of us...stunning.  I was in awe.  Lilian and I enjoyed the view over the course of a few days, wow.
The first evening we met with Annette, the girl I met on the Baz Bus weeks prior...funny how that works out.  She was a Physiotherapist who quit her job months ago to travel and "figure out what she wants to do."  Isn't that the case for so many of us?  We enjoyed many conversations with Annette over coffee, dinners and a view of the sea.  I can't forget to mention the adorable puppy we met.  We stole the puppy.  I stole the puppy.  I asked the owner if we could first take him to the beach with us.  Then it was to the market.  Then upstairs with me...on my bed, in the porch...  He ended up riding in the back of a truck with us one day...a little bit of "safe" hitch-hiking for 3 km to get Lilian to the correct bus stop.  Don't worry.  It was all safe mother...and Amy!  I forgot to tell the owner about that little event along the way...  I actually met a great woman who brought me, us (the dog) back to my hostel.  She had traveled 2 years oversees and was very encouraging...  A good random meeting...
Lilian and I made it to the Cango Caves.  A long story which I don't have the time to write about...another time.  It involves our driver for the day, racism, unprofessionalism, personal issues and more.  Another time.  But I have to say the caves were great.  That is until I felt like vomiting at the end of the tour.  I think it was the feeling of's been happening to me more and more lately...
And then Ostrich riding.  Something I will never do again.  I had heard about this Ostrich riding for months, seen videos of friends doing it, heard stories and on and on.  I wanted my turn.  
I got my turn.  The whole process of it was nuts.  Watching the two men capture the ostrich, blindfold him more or less, bring him to the "mounting area" for me to hop on...grab the wings, sit back, hold on and take off...
I lasted maybe 8 seconds which...when your on a 2 legged bird (as opposed to 4??) it's extremely hard to stay on.  It wasn't a horse...I had to remind myself.  It ended with me of course falling off.  It all happened so fast it was hard to comprehend.  But I did it.  I rode an ostrich.  Never again.  Poor thing.  I wanted to apologize to it...under my breath I did.  Selfish humans wanting to ride animals not meant to be ridden.
My stay in Wilderness had come to an end.  I was able to see friend, mentor, confidant...I have come to find Lilian one of my closest friends...

Quote of the day: The wonder of living is held within the beauty of silience, the glory of sunlight...the sweetness of earth, and the love that lies at the very root of all things.

My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Kaitlyn on

So you will free dive with sharks, but bungee jumping is crazy? Hmmm:)

Diane on

Oh my...I can't believe you rode an ostrich. You are getting out of control. This blog made me laugh, and once again I am in awe of the people that you meet that lead to amazing opportunities. Way to to girlfriend!

Danita on

So what are traditional weapons? I would agree with the other comment about bungee jumping being crazy but you swam with sharks. Esto no es logico!

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