I have been having lots of fun travelling up the coast of South Africa on the Baz Bus (hop on/hop off tourist bus that collects you from the hostels) with my brother Sam.
I am now in Durban collecting my visa for India as this is where I will be heading to on 4th Dec.
The bus has been a great way of getting around and also meeting lots of other people who are either holidaying, working or having a year out like me.
We started off in Cape Town and then went to a little coastal town, Mossel Bay, where we stayed in an old train on the beach that is now used as a hostel and restaraunt.
We then came up to Plettenberg Bay, which is a slightly more lively town and Sam did a sky dive there. I went sea kayaking and saw dolphins. It was a bit choppy that day and some of the other guys capsized - I managed to stay in...just.
We went on to a cool little hostel called Tube and Axe which is a rustic hut type place in the Tsitsikamma National Park. A few of us there did the worlds highest bungee (215m) from Bloukrans Bridge into the gulley below. That was pretty scary and had an eight second free fall (doubling the one I did from Victoria Falls Bridge). My legs were shaking so much that when the men let go of me to jump off and I bent my legs, they sort of crumpled and I just fell off the bridge. It was not pretty, but I was pleased I did it. However, the speed you fall at prevents you from really having any memories of the first part other than the sensation of wind blowing in your face and ears. I mainly remembered when I came up after the first bounce (apparently the bounce is higher than Vic Falls bungee!) Anyway, it was a bit mad but good fun all the same!
We also did a zip line tour through all the gulleys and that was quite good fun and far less scary than the bungee.
After leaving Storms River, we went to Jeffreys Bay which is one of the best places in the world for surfing and has its own 'supertubes' area where the best waves and best surfers go. I thought I would get in the spirit and had a couple of surf lessons. I managed to stand up for a few seconds and this felt like quite an achievement as surfing is far harder than it looks!
I had to skip up to Durban to put in my application for my visa, before doubling back to a resort called Cinsta. Cinsta has a great beach and nice surrounding countryside which I had planned to explore but got sidetracked by the bar and so spent some time recovering from hangovers. Sam decided to take it a step further and spent every night playing drinking games which he seemed to enjoy until he jumped into the swimming pool with his Ipod in his pocket! He's still hoping it may recover, although I have less faith than him that it will.
This area is where the Xosa people live and is fascinating hearing how they speak with all the various clicking sounds they make when they talk.
After leaving there, we headed to a really lovely little area called Coffee Bay which has a pretty little beach, but with really nice green countryside, hills and cliffs all along that makes it look very dramatic. I decided to be a bit more active there and had more surf lessons and did a five hour hike to a place called Hole in the Wall, which is basically a rock formation similar to Durdle Door in Dorset. We had planned to jump through it, but the waves were crashing through against the side of the rocks and so we decided against it.
I had to return again to Durban to collect my visa and had a couple of days there. I was not overly enthralled with Durban, but spent some time around the museums and markets there.
After Durban I came to the wonderfully named Wilderness, which is a tiny little town on the coast. It looks a bit like the English countryside here as it is all green and has lots of forests. I had a great day horseriding and was a lovely way to see the area. I also went kloofing/canyoning which was amazing as it basically involved climbing across rocks, walking through waterfalls, sliding down rapids and jumping off high rocks into deep water below.
Speaking of great names like Wilderness, I passed a village called Collywobbles on the way here!
Anyway, I will soon be off to India and will do some updating when I get there.