|Monday 15th October - South Africa - Storms River Mouth
The main reason we stayed in Port Elizabeth for 2 nights was so that we could collect replacement wing mirrors from the Toyota dealership here. We had phoned to order them in advance and they were ready for us to pick up this morning.
Andrew went to the Toyota garage while I took the kids to The Boardwalk a very modern development of shops and restaurants with a little funfair area. The girls enjoyed the funfair rides and then went to a crche area for an hour. Andrew returned from the garage and the two of us went for a relaxing, child-free cappuccino. The girls loved the crche and were reluctant to leave I think theyll be happy to get back to nursery!
Over the last couple of days, speaking to South Africans, both black and white, the earlier crime warnings have been reiterated. Yesterday when we said that we felt a bit nervous on entering South Africa, the reaction was Well, just stay nervous. Today when we said that wed been warned many times the reaction was Yes, be warned. In a place like Port Elizabeths Boardwalk its easy to forget that you are in South Africa, but by the sound of things wed better remember.
We left Port Elizabeth at about lunchtime and drove for 1.5 hours to reach Storms River Mouth campsite in Tsitsikamma National Park. This place has been recommended time and again by people weve met, so we just had to go. Just before arriving at the park we turned onto the last page of our South Africa travel atlas we really are getting close to the end of our adventure. It was expensive to get into the park, but it is a beautiful place. Its reminiscent of Rockfield or the bothy back at Geanies (although Storms River Mouth is on a larger scale) rocky coastline, narrow, low, flat area of grass close to the shore and then steep, cliffy hillsides. The campsite is right down by the shore and is very well equipped.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent watching the waves. The waves were awesome as they crashed against the rocks and crags that jut out from this bit of coast. Its easy to become transfixed, watching wave after wave, oohing and aahing at the towers of white spray. There wasnt much conversation round the dinner table we were all wide-eyed, wave-watching.
One thing weve noticed over the last few days is how much brighter the evenings are. Malawi shares the same timezone as South Africa but it is obviously much further north and so when we were there it was dark by 5.30pm and light again by 5.30am. Here its still bright after 7pm.