The Wild Coast
We woke this morning to some enormous African thunder cracking above the enormous farmhouse we were staying in. The rain was drumming down steadily so we decided to give Addo elephant park a miss and press on to our next destination. We’ve seen a lot of game this holiday already! First we had to negotiate 7km of sticky dirt road. Would have been fine in a 4WD but our Mercedes Vito slipped and slid around. We made it.
The rain continued all day and the N2, which has been splendidly wide since Cape Town, pinched out, and at times descended into some fairly perilous road works. The countryside is still gorgeous though – a mixture of karoo, Transkei and sweeping coastal views. We arrived at Kei River Mouth where we’re staying in the mid-afternoon.
Kei Mouth is on the appropriately named “Wild Coast”. Between East London and Durban, some 500km to the north, a lot of the Indian Ocean coast is untouched. Kei Mouth is a sleepy beachside village with typical booming breakers rolling into a rock-strewn beach. Beautiful. We’re staying in a rondavel (round building) complete with a loft near a thatch roof. The boys couldn’t agree on who would get to sleep up there, so they’re all there.
Dinner tonight was an experience. We went to the local Country Club and they seemed rather surprised to get an order. Our order of a few schnitzels, a steak, burger and toasted sandwich took more than an hour to arrive! It was worth the wait though – the food was magnificent.
It seems South Africa isn’t a tourist destination of choice for many people, though it’s hard to work out why. We haven’t encountered anything that gives it a reputation for being dangerous. We have taken precautions but they haven’t been onerous – making sure everything is well locked and keeping wallet and passport close have worked so far.
And the exchange rate is great. We get 8.5 Rand for each Aussie dollar and it goes an enormously long way. Here’s a bit of a rundown on the sort of value we’re getting:
Cape Town – a sit-down dinner for seven of us at a Steak House (Spur) costs $80 for all of us.
A loaf of bread costs $1 tops.
Knysna – A four-star three bedroom unit with continental breakfast costs $130 for six people to stay.
10 samosas cost us R20 – $2.50.
The enormous 4-bedroom farmhouse we were in last night cost $90 for six of us.
Knysna – a sit-down meal for six of us of fish and chips costs $35.
Lunch yesterday we bought a delicious takeaway home-made curry and rice for $2.50 each.
Dinner tonight – $40 for six of us to eat.
Tonight’s unit – $75 for two bedrooms and a loft.
The boys would like you to know they can get a 600ml Fanta Grape for less than $1.
South Africa is a stunning country and very affordable to visit. Keep it in mind. 😉
P.S. Sorry about the lack of photos. We have very basic internet on the road.
P.P.S. Tomorrow we drive through the Transkei to get to my cousins at Port Shepstone, KwaZulu Natal. If we make good time we hope to spend some time at the Nelson Mandela Museum.