A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: mtn_biker

Singapore Airport

Heading home


Well. I'm on my way back home now. I finished my first leg from Jo'burg to Singapore (10 hours) and now the next stretch to Narita (6 hours). It's been a great trip. I made lots of new friends and contacts from all over the world. It was amazing how many English, Dutch and Germans I met in South Africa though. The final days in South Africa I spent with friends that I made along the way from Cape Town. Some I had bumped into on and off for almost 4 weeks. I had three special fairwell dinners with each of them and was able to say a proper goodbye. I will have special memories of South Africa and the people I met there. Looking back, I think the reason that I had such a fun time was that I took the backpackers bus and stayed at hostels. I met like-minded people who were in South Africa for the same reasons as me. It was also great because it was a well-worn route and there were so many different places to stop and visit. Often plans would be changed at the last moment on a single recommendation. I would definitely recommend anyone to go to South Africa for an exciting trip. But now, back to reality. If you're reading this, I want to thank you for taking the time to share my experiences. I hope I shone a good light on South Africa and the many things there are to see and do. All my best to you all.

Posted by mtn_biker 17:00 Archived in Singapore Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Long time no hear. Sorry.

Durban, on the final stretch.

sunny 21 °C

Wow! What a long stretch without an entry. My apologies. I've been so busy and when I haven't been busy, there hasn't been a WORKING computer anywhere nearby. The last I wrote, I was in Coffee Bay, complaining about the young wipper snapper college kids in Port Elizabeth keeping me awake. After there though, things got SO exciting. I went to Cinsa, a really small holiday village to a hostel called Buckaneers. It took up a whole side of a mountain with about 10 small buildings for accomodation and bars and eating halls. It was such a great time. I traveled there with a German couple that I had been bumping into all the way from Cape Town. They were travelling with surf boards all along the coast. I only spent two nights there, but was so busy the whole time canoeing, walking on the beach, and so much partying. The next day we went to Coffee Bay where my last entry was. That was the first real taste of African culture. The hostel, the Coffee Shack, was 60 km South of the main road and surrounded by traditional Transkei round homes painted a light green except for the back side. This side always faces the wind and sun so it absorbs the heat. I went in one where a couple hippy girls were living. Really really interesting. We were listening to African songs by some of the locals and with some of the musicians, we were singing contemporary songs with them. It was a really good time. The hostel was also a lot of fun. The owner was a world surfing champion ten years back and gave a group of us free lessons. He was very good. After that we headed off (me, Reanie and her boyfriend from Holland and two Argentinian girls; Paz and Maria) to Port St. John to hang out there for two days. It was a little bit of a let down as it was so quiet there. It is the winter after all, but we were able to go for a hike to a place down the face of a wall to see the "Blow Hole". It's a formation in the rocks that takes the waves and sends them through a hole that looks like a whale blowing water out its blow hole. It was a great hike. We also were taken to the top of a flat-topped mountain to an air strip to watch the sunset. It was amazing to watch the misty ranges of South African mountains turn from bathed in yellow to orange. It was a truly special place. After Port St. John we had some bus troubles and finally arrived in Durban at 2;30 in the morning. I was expecting to hate Durban as I heard so many stories about the high crime and the high probability of being mugged, but it's not that bad (so far). We are having a lot of fun. I bumped into a friend on the street that I have said a proper goodbye to a total of 4 times now. Every time we think we will not see each other again, presto. There he is again. Daniel is probably the most talented musician I've ever met. He's truly gifted and always plays and sings at each hostel he goes (and sometimes on the bus too). It's great fun. Tonight we are all going out (my Dutch and Argentinian friends) to celebrate our 7th and final day of travelling together. It's sad, but we are all better off for having met each other. I'm still having the time of my life.

Posted by mtn_biker 10:53 Archived in South Africa Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Coffee Bay

sunny 10 °C

It's been a long absence, but I finally am making an entry in my Travel Blog. I finally left Jeffreys Bay and made my way to Port Elizabeth. When I arrived at my hostel I was greeted by dozens of drunk partying college students in town for a tri-varsity tournament. I'd like to say that it was a fun and rock'n time, but it was not. I went to bed around 11:30 and was pleased that all the students had gone out to the bars. BUT, at 4:00 they came back. Cell phones, lights on and full on conversations was not really appreciated at that time of the morning, but I took it in stride because it's a hostel and that sometimes happens. Soon afterwords, they all crashed in their beds and even on the floor and fell asleep. Immediately, the power snoring started up and that was it for me. I went to the TV room to wait it out and when I went back to my room, another guy had jumped into my bed with his feet on my pillow. Oh what fun. I ended up watching TV until morning as a result. The next day I went on a Safari to a private game reserve. It was really great. We saw so many animals. Oh, it's dinner time. I will continue later.

Posted by mtn_biker 09:53 Archived in South Africa Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

STILL at Jeffrey's Bay

sunny 20 °C

Here I am. Still in paradise! I'm finding it so hard to leave this place as it's so relaxing and beautiful. Moreover, the people here are so nice! I've been having a blast. Two days ago, I took surfing lessons. It was great. Not at all easy, but it was a load of fun. I actually managed to stand up 3 or 4 times. I enjoyed it so much that I was looking into buying a board and wetsuit yesterday to take back to Japan. The place where I live in Japan has really good surfing, so it would be a great sport to take up. Boards are so cheap here! Even to buy a new board would cost you under $300 (US), but they have so many used boards. I still haven't decided completely whether or not I will get one. I am planning to go out surfing again this afternoon with some of my German friends. One of them is just learning too, so we can surf together. As for Leaving Jeffreys Bay; I have booked the bus for tomorrow night to take me to Port Elizabeth (PE). I also have booked a safari for Saturday to take me into one of the game reserves there. I'm looking forward to it. Having a great time.

Posted by mtn_biker 04:20 Archived in South Africa Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Jeffreys Bay

Surfing capital of South Africa

overcast 15 °C

Yesterday I arrived at Jeffreys Bay close to Port Elizabeth. It's a fantastic place about 10-12 hours East from Cape Town. It's an incredibly popular place amongst surfers in South Africa and from around the world. The weather has been cooperating too. We've had nice weather the whole time except for two rainy nights in Cape Town. During the day the temperature is always in the high teens or low twenties, but at night things cool off considerably. I'm staying in a hostel called Island Vibe today. It's definitely the nicest place I've stayed at so far. It almost looks Hawaiian in style, probably for the surfers. What a place! I'm about an hour from the higheset bungi in the world (216 meters). We passed it last night and looked over the edge. Holy crap! It's SO high! You'd have to be nuts to jump! I don't think that I will do it. I may try my hand at surfing though. It's a tad bit safer, although it's not uncommon for surfers to spot sharks in these waters. But it is uncommon for there to be attacks. Today I will walk around and check out the town, and perhaps tomorrow, weather permitting I will give it a shot. I think that I will hang out here for a couple of days and enjoy the scenery before I leave the "Garden Route". After I leave this area, the terrain and people change quite a bit. I plan to TRY to go to Lesotho (a small mountainous enclave in the center of South Africa) and Swaziland if time (and money) permits. That's all for today.

Posted by mtn_biker 01:21 Archived in South Africa Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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