22 January 2013

South Africa - Garden Route to Addo Elephant Park - Part 3 Storms River to Port Elizabeth


Tsitsikamma

The N2 is in good condition and the first section of the drive from Storms River is with the Tsitsikamma Mountains on your left. It's very green and forested until one reaches the farming areas - with loads of cows which sometimes escape onto the road - so take care! At milking time we saw a very long line of cows walking in single file towards the milking sheds - I have never seen that before. We branched off at Humansdorp headed towards Cape St Francis. A rather ugly lighthouse greets one and the beach, while stretching for miles, appears to have strong currents. A huge warning signboard advises one what to do if caught in a rip. Stay out of the sea rather? That gets my bet!

There was not much to excite us at Cape St Francis so we drove back towards St Francis Bay. The small harbour had a number of chokka boats moored with their night lights strung up. Another boat was loading ice from the huge ice depot - however the pipe had a hole in it so ice was spraying all over the worker! It looked like a flurry of localised snow. The houses/apartments around the harbour had numerous cracks in the walls - I don't think they would be a good buy.
The best part of St Francis Bay is the area around the waterways and canals. The homes are mostly thatched roofed and very luxurious. A recent fire burnt out a number of homes - braai's and thatch roofs don't go together on a windy day. The fire was huge and jumped the water to destroy a number of homes. Great devastation, most probably caused by a moments carelessness. The roads in this area are in a pitiful state - one has to wonder where all the rates money goes to?


St Francis - Destroyed by Fire
Jeffrey's Bay now has a very large Shopping Mall before you reach town. It's about 5 years old now, looks brand new and has all the shops you could wish for - city shopping on the outskirts of JBay! The town itself was a great disappointment - it looks tired and run down. The beach swimming is not the safest but one can walk for miles and miles. The famous surfing spot called Supertubes where all the surfing competitions are held, eluded us. There was a braai place called Supertubes with a couple of shady characters sitting around so we did not want to leave the car there to take a further look!
The best thing that we found in JBay was a cafe called Kitchen Windows located at the surfing spot of Kitchen Windows. It's laid back with a sign that says "If you are not barefoot, you're overdressed" The food was excellent - Thai Fishcakes and divine Amarula Cheese Cake. The staff were friendly and the view over the bay is lovely with a fresh breeze to cool one down. JBay redeemed itself in my eyes purely by our experience at this spot!
© Judelle Drake

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