Friday, 5 December 2008

Back in the RSA

After reentering South Africa we went to Nelspruit to have our gearbox repaired. Something they did in about 5 hours, something to Dodo's of Mozambique failed to do in 5 days. We also had a leaf spring repaired, which turned out to be broken in two (that explained the thumping noise when hitting potholes I suppose...).

Hereafter we went back into vacation mode and headed for Kruger National Park. We are running a bit short on time, so we only had 3 days and 2 nights in the park. Even if this was a bit short, we saw 4 of the big 5 (Leopards were a no show), and especially had some great white rhino and buffalo sightings. We spent the nights in Balule and Satara, the first of which was great compared to the Disneyland like camps of the Kruger (they are very nice, but extremely big and well equipped, compared to what we've been used to).

After leaving the park we headed back to Nelspruit to have our Visa extended (South Africa
being the first country to give us any hassle at all on this front, not really what we expected), and there after straight to Watervall Boven. This is a rock climbing mecca, and as our guest, Simon, is an enthusiastic climber this was a must. We all had a very enjoyable day there, with climbs to challenge us all!

Rushing on to the Drakensberg we spent a few days in the Royal Natal national park, where we hiked and enjoyed life at the great campsite at Mahai. We also managed to put a traditional Danish Christmas party together, complete with Herring, Meatballs, Ris ala mande, Home baked rye bread and Aebleflaesk. To complement this Simon had brought a bottle of Danish Schnaps. After a full day of hiking the night ended with us drinking Jameson and Pernille falling asleep (and by the way if she ever mentions Winnie in a drunken rant, it is OF COURSE Mandela she's talking about....).

Leaving the beautiful Drakensberg region we drove through Lesotho to the top of the infamous Sani Pass, where we spent the night at the backpackers which is by the highest pub in Africa. This place is fantastic. The landscape is some of the best we've seen, and the pub have their own Ale, brewed in Nottingham. We had another interesting night at the bar, and the next morning we did a quadbike ride on the mountain.

Driving back into South Africa, down the very rough road of the Sani Pass, we went back to the coast. The next two days we spent in uMkomaas and Shelly Beach, diving the world famous Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. Aliwal was great for the reef formations and quite a few raggedtoothed sharks. Protea is just fantastic for sharks. We saw Tigersharks, Hammerheads, Blacktipped, Zambezis (Bullsharks), Guitarsharks and Duskies, all in all well over a hundred!

From here on we went on to our final destination in the company of Simon, the Transkei/Wildcoast. We stayed a couple of days in Coffee Bay at the Coffee Shack. This is a very nice place, where we relaxed, did a bit of hiking and just had a few drinks and so on. Hereafter we dropped Simon off in East London, where he jumped on a Johannesburg bound bus. We continued to Grahamstown where we spent the night in South Africas oldest jail, which has been transformed to a hostel. You simply get an old cell for a room, something which brought a few unpleasent thoughts to Pernilles mind.

Currently we are in Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route, from where we drive on today. We have to be in Cape Town in 5 days time and want to go to the Winelands and do a Great White cage dive before, so we are a bit busy.

Thanks for all the comments, and we look forward to seing most of you quite soon back in Denmark.


muttimarie said...

Hi there, so good to hear news from you. Happy not to be diving with you but would really like to join you for som visits at the wine caves. Great photoes as well. We are looking forward to have you back for X-mas. mutti/marie

muttimarie said...

Kære børn, jeg bryder mig ikke meget om "White Cage Diving", som jeg først havde læst som "Cave", men som Niels Chr. belærte mig om ved familie julefrokosten.-(