The Itinerary

The Itinerary

Friday, April 17, 2015

April 14, Addo Elephant National Park to Knysna

Tuesday, April 14 Day 71 - Addo Elephant National Park to Knysna

Our drive today will be over 350km with the first part going slowly as we plan to head out the south gate of Addo Elephant National Park instead of going out the main gate and around the park. One never knows what they will see or miss if they do not look!

Our repair crew is back and Dick asks them not to block our steps until we get loaded and gone and they say they will work on the steps next to us first. We finish off our supply of eggs and other breakfast food as this will be the last morning we cook for ourselves in Africa. We pack up, load up, return the key and check out and are gone by 9:30AM spotting a little bushbuck on the wrong side of the gate.

With Carolyn navigating where she wants to go we head, sort of, south, but first we check on the elephant area up by the north fence line, but no one is home again this morning. Finally get into new territory but not before stopping at an overlook at the higest point in the park where you can get out of your car as long as you understand and accept the danger of lions in the area! The view is worth the risk and there is another couple stopped so we figure our chances are at least 50/50 if the lions are hungry! We also see that many of the elephants are in the trees that surround this high point. We can see their backs as they move through the trees, but they are hidden from view on the roads below.

The drive south into new areas of the park, for us, is not very productive this morning but we see some beautiful scenery in addition to a few elephants, warthogs, ostrich, zebra, a cape buffalo, a large herd of red hartebeest, a few large bornrda few kudu, eland, several dung beetles  seversl birdsand numerous beautiful flowers in bloom. There are a number of unusual wildflowers, at least to us, and the park is very colorful. At the south gate we confirm we are leaving for good and are bid a safe journey by the guard on duty.

Once on the main highway, we proceed around Port Elizabeth and head generally west along the coast. The weather has definitely changed as it is much cooler and we run in and out of rain showers most of the way along the coast. By the time we get to the Storms River and its impressive bridge, it is raining steadily and we pass on the drive down to the river mouth. We stop for a picnic lunch break in Jeffrey's Bay between rain showers an admire the retaining wall long the highway a little further on.

The drive goes smoothly until we hit some serious construction delays in two stages that hold us up about 30 minutes. Once through that mess we are almost to Knysna. We fing that this is pronounces "Nisna" or Nisner" depending on who is saying it. Our GPS is spot on today and we find the Knysna Belle Guest House with no trouble. We have a very nice ground floor room with twin beds, a nice bath, so-so internet access and a covered porch in front with comfortable seating overlooking the bay.

Our hostess recommends an Italian style restaurant for dinner and while Carolyn gets us organized, Dick makes a run out to "The Heads" area to be sure of its location. He finds Senza with no trouble and at 5:30PM they are already serving dinner. We head for dinner about 6:00PM and are seated inside (way to cool and windy for outside) with a view out to the opening to the sea between "The Heads."
Dinner is very good. Dick has Osso Bucco and Carolyn has chicken dish. We share a bottle of very good South Africa red wine and a bowl of ice cream for dessert. During our meal, we enjoy a conversation with the restaurant manager. They are expecting a two hour "Load Shedding" power outage at 8:00PM and when we leave a few minutes before then the restaurant is ablaze with candles. Sure enough, all the lights for miles go out as we are driving back to our lodgings. Very Dark!!!

An automatic emergency light has come on in our room so we only have to use the cell phone light to get the key in the door. We are both in bed before 10PM, when the power is supposed to come back on. Dick wakes up about 10:20PM to a brightly lit room but that does not last long as he turns off lights and heads back to bed. All is quite by 10:30PM.


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