Travelling around South Africa
Continued from Cape Town
The Garden Route
My next stretch of travel was along the famous "Garden Route" and I had planned to self drive the route and then on up to Port Elizabeth in a self drive hire car. Which brings us nicely to our next great tip. Tip 0354 Get the Baz Bus.
My time at the children's hospital in Cape Town had been worthwhile and chatting with friends I had made there brought to my attention another way of taking on the Garden Route. A Hop-On Hop-Off Door-to-Door backpackers bus service.
The Baz Bus was a great solution and alternative to my plans. Not only was it a lot more affordable and Tip 0355 flexible but it gave me time to watch the scenery as we went along and had the additional benefit of meeting like minded travellers along the way.
I had organised accommodation along the way for here, Knysna and Storms River.
This rugged stretch of coastline opens up into a magnificent harbour town and bay with surf breaks to the right and walks a plenty. Safe man made water pools and views out over the Indian Ocean towards the long left western side of home Australia lost by thousands of kilometres of distance and the curvature of the earth.
Short trips to Seal Island can be taken and early morning sunrise is a must. I only staying here for two nights and a trip to Oudtshoorn was too hard to resist with a walk around the Cango Caves, Ostrich farm and Zoo.
Securing a personal driver/tour guide for the day rather than an organised excursion was far better for my circumstances and I wasn't disappointed. I thoroughly recommend doing this mini trip from Mossel Bay.
If you have more time or are travelling peak season of course it would be more affordable to get a group together and share the costs.
This not so sleepy town is a gem along the route and a definite stop off for at least a day or so.
Knysna is spectacular from the estuary right up to the heads each side of the warm water lagoon that spills out into the Indian ocean. Walks up to the top are more than worth it and the views are amazing.
There is something for everyone here with Golf courses a plenty, home to Mitchell's Brewery, wildlife on the lowlands and in the town and around the harbour, shops and cuisine that makes your mouth water as you gaze in at the many restaurants around. Again a not so sleepy town, rich in history and colour.
I spent three days here and loved every moment.
My next stop I was more than looking forward to as this was my third adrenaline hit Bungee Jump the Bloukrans Bridge. I would pre book this adrenaline jump to avoid disappointment but not too early as sometimes weather can affect if you jump or not.
The Baz Bus took me to the door of my accommodation "Dijembe" at "Storms River." This amazing bohemian style Backpackers hostel with all the charm in the world and as you walk into the reception area, you are hit with an ambience of calm and tranquillity as the sound of lounge music takes you somewhere dreamy.
I must say this place was a steal of a price and bang in the middle of great walks and local to my impending jump. I had already mellowed within a minute of arriving and my nerves had all but gone for the next days thrill. I was in the zone to chill and eat freshly baked bread and a beer.
The following morning was the day I had my heart beating out of my chest and could not wait to be picked up from my accommodation for a thrill of a lifetime.
Face Adrenaline the company that runs the world's highest 216 metre bungee jump, is a very professional outfit and make you feel at ease from the get go.
When you arrive at the largest bridge in Africa the view is breathtaking and you can view the jumpers in the distance both outside and on the screens inside reception which all leads to a heart wrenching build up of anticipation as you get ready for what's to be possibly the last thing you ever do! Ha ha but seriously Face Adrenaline have been running this successful bungee jump since 1997 and safety is there main priority.
I won't ruin it for you all by going into great detail but all I can say is that it is all worth every second and you will not go away feeling disappointed in the least.
If you have a body harness for your camera, take it with you. When I went you were allowed to wear one and we all know how good a video of oneself is to put up on social media.
Another tip is to bite the bullet and buy the professional video also. You get far better shots than you can ever take in the heat of the moment. It's worth every penny.
A weird feeling of calm takes over after it's all done and again the look on fellow travellers faces as you head off back to your accommodation is priceless.
Storms River has many tours to go on whilst in the area and walks for days can be booked. I stayed an extra day to walk about locally and take in the views and meet the local village people and wished I could stay a day or two more but I was on a mission and Port Elizabeth beckoned so off I set again on the Baz Bus.
My route was planned and off I set, excited with my new mode of travel which will take me not only along the Garden Route but also to my third adrenaline hit midpoint Bloukrans Bridge.
With many places to stop off I was spoilt for choice but was really time restricted and wanted to experience the Garden Route.
So without detouring, my first port of call was at the beginning being Mossel Bay. The beginning of the Garden Route runs from here in the Western Cape along the coast north east to Storms river in the Eastern Cape.
I could go on for ages about the surrounding areas of Mossel Bay but we must get onto the next stop being Knysna.
The road along the Garden Route is so picturesque as it cuts through the terrain and you get glimpses of the ocean as the bus works its way steadily east up and down the countryside and I'm sure I would have enjoyed adding another week on this section to really take in all it has to offer but time was my enemy and I would recommend allowing more time than I had here.