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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

A right ol’ mix of two days - Days 363 - 364

I couldn't think of a good title for the last two days - many different things happened . It was a right ol' mix of two days. What would you call it?

THE major event of Day 363 was that Tim had his beard shaved off and how just has a moustache. Our friends on Facebook went made, likes, comments...mostly cheeky. He looks at least 10 years younger now!

but that’s not all that happened. We did have a bit of a chillax day, catching up on writing and emails, walking down to East Head Café for lunch (our favourite foodie place around here), and then we popped in to see Peggy, who took us to the township the other day. She does so much for the local people we wanted to support her.

I had been thinking about all that she does and how to support the township further. It would have been great to run some entrepreneurial workshops, but that’s not going to happen at the moment. We’re on the move again tomorrow. However, I suddenly had a lightbulb moment and wanted to share this with Peggy. When we were in South Korea, we visited Gamcheon (Day 246) which used to be a slum area until 10 years ago. Two village art projects were launched by local artist and residents, transforming the place, improving the housing conditions and painting murals to renovate the town. The area has become a great example of urban rejuvenation, a role model to transform other slum areas around the world. If it can happen in South Korea (and we have read of a place in Mumbai, India as well), then what about Knysna in South Africa?

Peggy’s face looked so inspired, especially when she saw the fish collage that the school children had made. I could see her creative brain ticking away. I also told her about crowdfunding, and we had a look at a few offerings online. If you have ever done any crowdfunding or can give Peggy advice, please do.

Day 364 – off for another trek. We drove east today, sadly seeing more trees that have been damaged by the recent fires. On the way, we stopped off at Bloukrans Bridge where one of the world's highest commercial bridge bungee jumps is located. It is 216m above the Bloukrans River. No, we didn’t do it. I really don’t see the point. I’d rather do a skydive than a bungee…a lot of money and it only lasts seconds. Watching though was fun.

Next stop, Storm River Village. The leaflet about the place is written very well, describing the history, when herds of elephants roamed the land living in harmony with the San tribe, both migrating as the seasons dictated. After centuries like this, it all changed in the mid-1800s. Woodcutters started raping the forests. Luckily the area was proclaimed as a National Park, saving the trees and then a new era with tourists arrived. Ahem, I think that means us. Mind you, we are #grownuptravellers rather than tourists!

We do usually find great cafes, but got it a bit wrong today. After having a rather insipid coffee, we then came across Bitou Bistro, which looked lovely. What a shame. It also had a tourist information office AND an Art Gallery. The weird thing is that as we were walking there, I was contemplating that we haven’t looked at much art recently. Viola! I really liked the artwork of the owner, Johan Brink. On his art website, it says that “He loves the unfussiness of the South African landscape” and this shows in some of his watercolours, which are quite simple in a beautiful way.

We didn’t have too much time here as we had already booked for a short cruise back in Knysna. The lovely lady at the tourist hut recommended the Goesa Nature Walk, a short trail through the indigenous forest, our favourite. Let’s hope there are no snakes about today.

Our walk was lovely, very tranquil with White Pear, Ironwood and Yellowwood trees, lots of ferns and a stream running through. We stopped on a bridge and listened to the frogs having choral practice, or that’s what it sounded like. Suddenly I spotted a flash of red. It was a Knysna Loerie bird. At last! We have heard them enough times with their distinctive kow-kow-kow. We stopped and zoomed our camera lens on it as it landed high in a tree. We could see the beautiful green feathers that gradually turn blue further down its body, and its rounded crest on its head tipped with white. What a treat!

Time was ticking, we sped back to Kynsna, stopping for a quick picnic overlooking the sea on the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay where we met and chatted to a couple from near the Kruger Park. They also have been travelling for a year, however, focusing just in Africa. The guy had a weird contraption which he was using to find prawn-like creatures to use for fishing bait. We chatted, putting the world to rights and then needed to go; otherwise we’d miss our trip.

We nearly did miss our cruise, the last people on the boat. Phew! Just ten people could sit on the top of the sun-deck, and we were lucky to get a seat up there, enjoying the wind in our hair…and moustache! It was a pleasant trip, into the Knysna Heads between the two cliffs and where the Indian Ocean meets the River and Estuary. Our skipper called Big Boy commentated on the way. As we passed the Thesen Island, he informed us that this name originated from a Norwegian family called Thesen, who was travelling to New Zealand. Their ship ran into difficulty, and they ended up here, loved it so much, they stayed and started a timber trading company.

Big Boy also shared that when Knysna was a port, large ships would sail between the Heads, trying to avoid the rocks in the powerful rolling waves, Sadly 49 ships weren’t successful and are still at the bottom of the sea. Glad to say we didn’t join them.

We got chatting with a pleasant man from Sarat, India. He was intrigued about our travels and asked what we had learnt. What an interesting question! I quickly reflected – we have gained so much in the last year, about life, about ourselves and each other, people, culture, politics, nature, birds, trees, geology…and the list goes on. This life really is enriching. We feel very blessed and grateful and highly recommend it to all.

And the day didn’t finish here. After our dinner, we went to the top of the Heads to see the sunset. What a spectacular view. And here we met two delightful Argentinian ladies who both work for Nivea. I am sure that they cake their faces with the moisturiser, they both had beautiful skin and looked much younger than they were. We really do meet such lovely people on our travels, and they shared a few places for us to visit in Argentina next year. But we haven’t planned Cape Town yet…one day at a time!

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