Saturday, January 07, 2006

A day in Hobbiton, sorry Hogsback

It was a lovely sunny day yesterday, just right for relaxing on the freshly cut lawns by the flower beds, filled with roses, nasturtiums, honeysuckle, lavendar, lillies and agapanthus, reading the Nelson Mandela book, looking out across the wooded valley to the three rounded peaks of the Amatolas, whilst birds sang in the bushes and monkeys jumped around from branch to branch.

We also went for a long-ish walk down through the very wet and slippery forest to the series of waterfalls and natural swimming pools at the bottom. The water was muddy from the rain, but provided cool refreshment from the warm muggy air under the trees, as we swam amongst the little black worms.
We had met up with a couple of young Dutch people, Stefan and Martine, who were working in Port Elizabeth on various projects (Stefan on the success or otherwise of black economic empowerment projects and Martine working in schools and an HIV/AIDS project) and spent a very pleasant afternoon with them.

Back at the lodge, after having spotted a few of the very rare Cape Parrots (only about 300 left in the world) and after dinner we got chatting to a couple of young Dutch girls, Kim and Renee who were also over to work in Port Elizabeth, again on projects, and we spent a very fun evening with them, Fred especially as he did not make it back to the room until after 4.30. He is still sleeping now. It is a very sociable backpackers place indeed. It'll be strange to be back home and not be meeting new people every day... but at least we will be back with our friends, something which we are looking forward to enormously. (Only a week to go!!!)

Today, I hope to go horseriding, possibly with one of the girls, as long as it doesn't rain (it is cloudy now). Otherwise, more time to finish off the Mandela book.

Tomorrow, back on the road, down towards the coast to either Plettenburg Bay or Knysna, subject to the weather.... if it is still misty and cool, we may try to reach Cape Town and environs.

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