Friday, 17 April 2009

Road Trip - Part 4

Thursday 19th March - Buffalo Bay to Stormsrivier

With only 120km of road to travel we knew that we had plenty of time to explore the various places of interest en-route and still get to our destination nice and early. Happily normal weather conditions had returned and it was time for the sun tan lotion again!

First port of call was Noetzie, a secluded bay guarded by 5 private castles, all of which are private residences. The 15km drive along the dirt road and the walk down 100 or so steps through the forest was well worthwhile to see this interesting spectacle, though the oldest castle only dates from 1932! For some reason we don’t have any photos of our own but have linked to this one from t’Internet.

We walked back up the steps (slightly more laborious) to the car and headed back along the dirt road to the highway. On either side of us we could see the properties on the highly exclusive Pezula Private Estate. The houses, well mansions really, looked amazing. If we ever win the lottery, well if we ever win it twice, we might be able to afford to visit for a few days! Apparently this is the most exclusive estate in South Africa and the level of security that was visible seemed to back this up. How the other half live eh!

We got back onto the highway and headed towards nearby Plettenburg Bay, not to visit the town itself (another upmarket summer playground for the wealthy) but for Elaine to spend some of her birthday money at the art and craft shops there. Two hours later and with new bangles and accessories onboard we continued our journey to Stormsrivier.

Very soon we entered the Tsitsikamma National Park and a new Province, Eastern Cape. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty within which we would find Stormsrivier Village.

Very soon after the toll booth we crossed over the Bloukrans Bridge, home of the world’s highest bungy jump. Despite my temptation (ahem) to jump 216m off a perfectly good bridge we drove on, quite quickly!

After admiring the scenery for a short while longer and negotiating the now traditional South African roadworks we arrived at Stormsrivier Bridge, a sort of base camp for exploring the local area. We had a walk over the bridge (Jon’s legs were shaking) and decided to find the route to visit the ‘big tree’ nearby. Unfortunately we were informed by the information desk that the ‘big tree’ was inaccessible due to the roadworks taking place, just typical!

We had something to eat and decided to make our way to Stormsrivier Village (the only place with accommodation in the national park) and check in to the Dijembe Backpackers Lodge. After our experience at Buffalo Bay we checked into a double room with a nice comfortable bed!

We spent the afternoon and early evening exploring the local area before returning to the backpackers for an evening sitting round the fire and talking with the other residents! A day of bits and pieces and lots of stunning nature, positioning us nicely for our next destination - Addo and the Addo Elephant National Park.

No comments: