Day 4 – July 17
(PAUL) Hallo, goeiemere to the Afro-Log and one and all. That was Afrikaans for, “Hello, good morning.” This is Paul and this is my first entry in the Afro-Log. As mentioned earlier, I am a new addition to the T’weeds – tested with travel to Europe and the Holy Land on my own but still untested with this group. One of my duties is to be in charge of all the still photography. (Chris is doing film – no surprise there.) I brought a 35mm one-touch an a Nikon N6006 with a 85-300mm zoom lens, enough power to look eye to eye with the fiercest lion – from 150 feet away. 13 rolls of film, plus Chris underwater camera. My other duty seems to be to “cook.” I made spaghetti out of a can last night and peanut butter sandwiches. Sam and I also drive the Jeep.
Today is the first day (as Sam said) that we actually get to do something – snorkeling. We woke up early at about 6:30am. Sam and Chris broke down the tent, packed things up on the Jeep and brushed off as much sand as they could (this was our sandiest camp site yet). I went to bathroom/shower to clean and put in my contacts – an ordeal because I can’t use their African tainted water to clean, only bottled water.
We drove to the snorkel rental hut and rented snorkels, fins, and a mask. Sam and I went back to collect 40 Rand from the campsite office, but ended up paying 35 Rand instead. Chris scoped out the beach and talked with a New Zealander (a Kiwi) who had previously snorkeled the reef. At first, we tried to snorkel at about 8:30 or 9 but we quickly found out the tide was high and it was too dangerous to snorkel. Both Chris and I got cut-up on the coral. We waited till 10:00 and then saw some beautiful tropic fish. The coral/reef was OK. The visibility was average, but the warm Indian Ocean water and sunny sky made this stop worth it.
There were many scuba divers taking boats out to 2 mile or 6 mile reef for some spectacular dives. Saw the Kiwi again – nice chap who once lived in Laguna Beach, Calif. There were many little black kids selling their handiwork. No takers among our group. We gathered that one kid offered us “protection” for our vehicle for a price. He wasn’t too intimidating so we took our chances with this young African John Gotti wanna-be.
We packed up the Jeep (we had lunch there on the beach) at around 2:00pm, returned the stuff and headed for Durban. This would be a long drive. At one of our gas stops, we had dinner (hamburgers, fries (“chips”) and Coke) at The Whistle Stop. From there, we went to Durban – a major South African city.
(CHRIS) A guy clipped our wimpy bumper when we were parked there. He escaped and our bumper is now wobbly in the back. LIC: KZN10143
(PAUL) We arrived late at night. We missed an exit but that was allright because it allowed us to scout out Chris’ church (Our Lady of the Rosary) for Sunday Mass.
We finally got to a campsite late, paid 80 Rand to a crazy man at the gate. After pitching the tent, we immediately went to bed. That crazy guy crept up to our tent, peaked in and walked away. We thought we were dead. But we woke up the next morning all intact and ready for out next adventure – the Durban beaches and boardwalk.