Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tourists in Port Elizabeth

For our 2 weeks here at Port Elizabeth (PE), we had school and work on weekdays, but during the weekends, we were officially tourists. Here is what we did in PE.

We went to see the working harbour and saw really impressive ships (like that big one in the photo).

We visited Bayworld, an Oceanarium, Museum and Snake Park in one. It was kind of run down though, and we could see it had had better days. The movie Dolphin Tale 2 gave us a glimpse of the challenges all conservancy related organizations face. The Oceanarium had very few animals (some fish, seahorses, seals and penguins), and the Snake Park took 5 minutes to walk through. The Museum was very impressive though, and even bigger and better than the East London Museum!

Sad turtle.

He smiled for us. 

Penguins. They all seemed sad though. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Life at The Willows

Currently we are staying at The Willows, a beautiful and neat resort on the seaside 10km from Port Elizabeth. Our spaceship/tent setup has "upgraded", as we now sleep in the 2 little camp tents and the inside of the big tent serves as a school/work room. It is necessary as we've had rain and mist, and working with books, laptops, etc. under the canopy of the tent only would have damaged it.

The only workspace for 5 of us....

We're finishing up school and resting with our "tourist activities" now and then for change, but the general idea is that in the week my dad has to work and we have school. We've Geocached ( some more (which is treasure hunting all around the world; we found 3 just in the resort!), watched sunsets, and swam in the ocean.

Geocaching in the night!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

1820 Settlers' Country

After a day of rest (and washing) at Bellevue, we were on our way to Grahamstown via Port Alfred and Bathurst. In Port Alfred we saw the Marine with lots of sailboats anchored. It's something you don't see often in South Africa, and reminded all of us of Norway.

Bathurst, as we soon discovered, is the pineapple capital of South Africa. We didn't even know they farmed with pineapples in the area. We visited the Giant Pineapple and bought some pineapple jam.

This region is where the British Settlers arrived in the 1820's, who were often attacked by the native Xhosas and struggled trying to build farms. Places like Bathurst, Grahamstown and Salem grew as the people gave up on farming and moved to town. In Bathurst we visited 2 little churches that served as forts when the Xhosas attacked.  Both were beautiful to look at and the cemeteries had a special atmosphere.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Shipwreck Trail

From 8-12 November we hiked the Shipwreck Trail along the Sunshine Coast, starting at Port Alfred and walking mostly along the beach to the Fish River estuary. Overall it was beautiful as well as very windy.

We slept over at Bellevue Accommodation the 7th, in a very comfortable house. Packing was a mission but 11:30pm that night my parents could finally get some sleep as well. The next morning, on my dad's 44th birthday, Dave (the manager of the trail) drove us to Port Alfred beach where we set off with a strong (and rather cold) wind in our face. Since we were slackpacking, we only walked with day packs as Charlie (the slackpack manager) drove our heavy luggage and food from hut to hut. Here is the trail's website:

On dad's birthday, at the starting point.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Camping at Chintsa

It is November 2014 and we left behind Byrne Valley and drove all the way through the old Transkei for a short visit with friends in Ugie. We then took the road down leaving the mountains behind as we drove to Chintsa, a tiny holiday town near East London, South Africa.

On the way from the mountains to the sea, the view from Satan's Neck (what a name). 

It was nice to be on our own as a family again for a while, although we had to have a serious family meeting to sort out relationship issues, irritations, frustrations, communications, and attitudes. On arrival we put up tent as the only people in the campsite. As usual, it was an organization of a higher level and me and my mom were not allowed to help at all. The tent was up in a record of 1 and a half hours.

Early stages.

Halfway there...

 The rain and wind proof setup.

Our campsite, Rendezvous Caravan Park, is really neat and lovely. There is a Launderette, so we could do all our washing - a highlight in my mom's week! We also had our own private bathroom facilities, which was very nice.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Farewell and Reflection; OverThere Farm

Friday was our last day at OverThere Farm. Our first volunteering farm and first month of this adventure, it's been an experience we won't forget quickly. Here follows some of the things we hadn't mentioned in previous posts.

Our accommodation had a lot of space and we appreciated that, despite the rats that had parties on the ceiling. Thankfully one of their cats (Smuglin) decided she likes us a lot and often hunted in the room. She also liked snoozing on our bed when we weren't there...

Our rat hunter.