On Saturday I apparently travelled from West Cape to East Cape. Ironic that I did not travel through the Cape itself. I always thought I was in the East Cape!
I woke up to a beautiful day in Knysna and went for an early morning walk to Thesen Island – apparently the resort place to be if you live in a hot and dusty Johannesburg. Many of the houses lie empty for much of the year and of course the estate on the Island is well fenced off from public consumption!
On the way back I was able to use my last breakfast coupon here at Cafe Mario’s – a very nice waterside cafe, back on the mainland of Knysna. I have managed to stop succumbing to the hot cooked breakfasts and have reverted to my muesli, fruit and yoghurt. Not sure that the muesli has any good acidophilus in it though.
Back at the hotel again, I was relieved when my car turned up exactly as ordered. The driver (owner) had driven from Grahamstown – about 5 hours drive to get to Knysna at exactly 10.30 in the morning.
It was a most interesting drive to Port Elizabeth (PE). we drove out past the Elephant Park that I went to the other day and eventually came through a series of huge gorges with great bridges running across them. At the first of these was “The longest Bungy Jump in the World”, at a place called Tsitsikamma. I was lucky enough to capture some idiot flinging himself off the bridge on the end of the long elastic band. We did wait for another, but no luck. It appeared that the nex tperson was taking a long time to “prepare”…
On to the next gorge – called Stormriver. At this gorge we walked cautiously out on a flimsy pedestrian section out to the middle of the gorge. Even my driver (who has done this lots of course) admitted to feeling a little vertiginous on this contraption, but we managed to take a couple of shots looking down towards the bottom of the gorge before the butterflies took over and we headed back to “dry” land. I also tried to get a shot of a very colourful butterfly once we were safe again… It looked a little like a Monarch Butterfly. Took a photo looking back towards the bridge before we bought lunch here, eating it in the car as we travelled onwards.
I was very lucky as my driver had been brought up in the area we drove through and entertained me with stories of the goings-on when he was a youngster. He also drove off the main road to a parallel but more interesting older road and we stopped at the bottom of the last gorge.
This was at van Staden’s bridge – also known as suicide bridge, with a death rate of about 75 people since it was built in the latter half of last century. Looking at the fall and the rocks at the bottom, one can see that result. Apparently they have tried to install cameras and have a quick response team, but people drive on to the bridge, leave their car there and …well the rest is history. such a degree of desperation. This is not calling out for help!!
Shortly afterwards, we arrived in the city of Port Elizabeth (PE). So far this city has lived up to its name of “The Windy City”, but more about that in the future after recovering from “crossing the cape”.