Monday, 6 January 2014

Day 19: The final drive home and everyones trip conclusions *Transkei Road Trip*

Monday Blues. Double whammy! Not only was it Monday, it was also the last day of our amazing holiday. We were basking a bit in the sun about us not being one of the people going back to work on this Monday, as majority of South Africans were back at work on this day.

We packed the car for the final time and jumped in to take on the long drive home. Jandre drove the whole day, which took about 9 hours. We stopped off for snacks, coffee and toilet breaks. It was pouring down with rain and the roads were quite busy. 

At around 16:00 we arrived at Jandre's house and unpacked. We said our goodbyes and off we were back to normal life.

I asked everyone what their feedback was regarding the holiday and only Jolize came back to me. Here's what she said:

"Definitely one of my best holidays in recent years. You somehow forget how rural parts of our country are, and this was a great reminder. Dramatic coastlines, pristine beaches, friendly locals, amazing seafood, hot weather and rolling green hills. What more can you ask for on a holiday. Oh, good company of course! What an awesome crew we had, with everyone contributing in their own very important way. We lost on the trip sunglasses, camping chairs and a blow up mattress, but never our tempers or sense of humour. Our biggest concern / worry each day was what we should eat. Bliss!
Our Christmas day hike to waterfall bluff and picnic by the rock pools. 
Words of advice:              
Intersperse camping with a stay at B&B or backpackers. Quite intense to have to break down and set up camp in one day after a 3-4hr drive.

Avoid any beaches or towns on New Year’s day – the locals decent in their 1000’s.

Stock up on food and booze in any of the bigger towns – the Spazza shops in the small towns really have a poor selection unless you don’t mind pap and uhmm.. pap"

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Day 18: J-Bay shop till you drop, seafood dinner *Transkei Road Trip*

So some of you might know that J-Bay is the hub of surfing brand factory shops. This makes Natalie very happy. So up early as we had some serious shopping to do!

We started off at Ripcurl, but didn't find anything there. Next stop was RVCA. Here I bought a hoody and camo shorts. Then we went to Billabong. I was in shoppers heaven here. First I helped Jandre looking for boardshorts, shorts and shirts. Then it was over to me and I found t-shirts and bikinis. Jolize bought a hoody and Nico didn't find anything. They went to sit at a restaurant at the beach and had piƱa coladas. We met up again and then went back to the hut for a tuna salad lunch. Jolize and Nick grabbed their beach stuff. I wanted to go back to some shops as there was a few shops I didn't manage to get to. So Jandre pickled along with me whilst the other two were working on their tans on the beach. 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Day 17: Hogsback to J-Bay *Transkei Road Trip*

Sadly we were packing up again today and heading to J-Bay. This was the last time we had to pack up, as we were staying in one of Jolize's moms huts and there was no need for tent world anymore. Whoooohooo! After spending 14 days camping, we were quite gatvol as you could imagine!

Jennifer and Shani stayed in one of the cottages at Hogsback for the night, so we all decided to go for a breakfast. Jandre and I really wanted to see the Starways pottery and decided to go there while the rest of the party go and have breakkie. So off we went, found the turn off and travelled on the dirt road till we got to the entrance. There was no one around, we just walked about and found this sign:

Friday, 3 January 2014

Day 16: Hogsback trail run in the woods, swim and braai *Transkei Road Trip*

Up early and ready to explore the woods. We got ready, ate breakfast and off we went to start the hike to the big tree. The tree was 38 meters high and over 800 years old. Then we headed back, but half way up, Jandre and I decided that we still felt like maybe running to the Madonna Waterfall. So we turned around. We ran most of the way and only stopped for water a few times. The shade of the trees were a god sent. Arriving at the waterfall was very rewarding. It was beautiful and the cold water revitalising. We chilled here for a while and then ran back. We took a wrong turn and then ended up on the tar road with the sun beating down on us. By this time we weren't running anymore. I just couldn't, I was exhausted. 

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Day 15: Coffee Bay to Hogsback...on the road again *Transkei Road Trip*

Fresh as a daisy. That's how we felt on this fine morning. We had some yogurt and mango for breakkie and then started packing up. By 9am we were done and on the road again. 

It wasn't long before we were starving again as the fruit and yogurt didn't keep us full for long. Steers seemed to be our hero this holiday. Once again it was the only decent place we could find to get food from in some small town. 280 kms and 4 hours later we arrived at Hogsback at about 4pm. The little town reminds you of Knysna and we were camping at a place called 'Away with the Fairies'. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Day 14: Christmas bed under the Gazebo with a sea view *Transkei Road Trip*

Hello 2014. Headache. Heat. Thirst. Hungover. 

It was impossible to get any sleep in the tents. There was no trees which meant no shade. So we tossed and turned trying to get a bit of shut eye. We felt like rotisserie chickens, just turning from your back, onto your hip, then your tummy and then your other hip. Repeat. Open tent for fresh air to come in. Swarms of flies attacking you. Sigh. Do the rotisserie chicken dance again. Sweat dripping from your face. Not a nice way to wake up on the first day of 2014, but it was totally worth it as we had such a great NYE party. 

So by 9:00 we couldn't take it anymore and decided to move the mattresses to under the little bit of shade under the gazebo. It was lovely to lie there and let the breeze just blow over you. The flies were still under attack though. We had sessions of covering our bodies in peaceful sleep and tabard to try and keep the flies away. At 11:00 Jolize and Nico joined us and put their mattress next to our mattresses. We had a lovely big Christmas bed under the gazebo in the shade. We just read and ate our left over chops and braai broodjies, drifting off to the dream world every so often.

I went to buy some mussels and Jandre and I cleaned them. Then Nico and Jolize made the mussel pot and we ate it with buttered fire toasted bread. Delicious. We were tired and crept into bed.