All posts dated between November 2004 and June 2005 were imported to Keith’s Amusing Musings on January 21, 2006 from my previous travel blog. I decided to delete that blog and move all its content here which some readers may find disruptive considering Keith’s Amusing Musings did not come online until October 2005. The good news there will be only one blog, Keith’s Amusing Musings, going forward. Enjoy these older stories.
The one hour flight on South African Airways to George from Cape Town was uneventful. The flight was pretty full probably because it was a national holiday in South Africa (Day of Reconciliation). The company providing our transfer to Plettenberg Bay was waiting for us on arrival. The hour and a half drive to the hotel was very scenic. We got a chance to cover a good portion of the area called the Garden Route. Some parts reminded us of Seattle because of the rolling hills and all the greenery. Plettenberg Bay is a getaway town for South African vacationers, as well as some Europeans. Many of the people vacationing in Plettenberg Bay have second/vacation homes there. As we made our way through the town to our hotel, The Lodge On The Bay, I noticed how busy it was. This was probably because of the holiday, as well as the fact that South Africans are currently on summer holiday. Similar to the US, students are off for several weeks during the summer break and families take their vacations during this time.
We were a bit suprised when we pulled up to our hotel, The Lodge On The Bay, as it wasn’t what we expected. The Lodge is really a house right on the beach that’s been converted to a hotel. The hotel is unassuming as it blends in with the homes on the street. We checked in and within a half hour our room was avaialable. The room was really nice. There was the bedroom portion, a sitting area, huge bathroom, and the best part of all was the private patio that looked out to the Indian Ocean. The patio had two loungers and a table for eating meals.
Because we had to get up early to catch our flight, we were pretty tired. So, we ended up taking naps and relaxing during the afternoon. We had dinner reservations at a restaurant in town, so a taxi arrived to transport us. As usual, the person we met was really pleasant. Glenn, our driver, was very happy and eager to show us around Plett Bay. Instead of of just taking us straight to the restaurant, he inquired if we had some time to spare and proceeded to show us around town. Dinner was good, and afterwards Glenn came to transfer us back to the hotel.
Our second day in Plett Bay was spent relaxing at the hotel. We enjoyed a nice breakfast on our patio taking in the sun, the sound of crashing waves on the shore, and birds. It was all quite lovely until our seagull friend showed up. It’s as if he had a sensor, because as soon as we were done eating the seagull started hovering around our table looking for scraps. I wasn’t too pleased. I tried to ignore him as long as I could. Keith felt I should give him some bread, but I had a feeling that would be like inviting ants to a picnic. I threw him a piece of bread and then it was all over. Next thing I knew, he landed on the table and proceeded to peck away at the butter and muesli that was on the table. I screamed and shooed him away, meanwhile Keith was taking pictures of the whole thing…you see his priorities.
The next day we woke up and enjoyed breakfast on the patio again. I spent a bit of time reading on the patio and saw several groups of dolphins while I was out there. Afterwards, Keith made arrangements for us to go to Monkeyland. Our driver, Willie, arrived at 2 pm to take us to Monkeyland which is a rehabilitation center for primates. The monkeys and other primates in the facility have been rescued from labs, zoos and illegal ownership as pets. It’s a cordoned off piece of forest that allows the monkeys to roam around freely. The animals there have never lived in a natural setting. So, they are not fully equipped to live in the wild. They are fed fruits and vegetables in the forest because there is not enough for the 300 or so primates to eat in that plot of land, and some of them are not able to hunt on their own. I was a little creeped out by some of the monkeys swinging around me. But, it was really neat to learn about and see them. After the roughly 1 hour guided tour through the forest, we met Willie back in the reception area. He dropped us off in town, and we enjoyed a late lunch at the local Italian restaurant. We decided to walk the one mile back to The Lodge and got to enjoy the scenery a bit more. That evening we enjoyed an African braai (BRY – which is like a BBQ) at the hotel. We got a chance to try ostrich, which I didn’t particularly care for since it reminded me of a combination of liver and steak.
The final morning at the hotel we had breakfast and packed for the trip home. I was sad to be leaving South Africa. I know we’ll be back as we barely put a dent in the country.