Welcome to Part Two of our adventure along the Garden Route in South Africa! If you missed Part One, you can catch up here. If you’re too busy to read both, here are the basics: the route extends over 300 km from Witsand in the Western Cape and extends all the way to Storms River in the Eastern Cape. We were driving west to east with plans to pet sit for a month – but more on that later…
Following on from last week, before visiting Knysna, we decided to sneak in a quick safari.
Gondwana Game Reserve
We spent two nights at Gondwana, we wanted to find a safari along the Garden Route (because there was no way we could afford/have enough time to get up to Kruger) and settled on Gondwana. You can read all about the experience here and check out some of our game photos!
Plett was without a doubt my favourite place along the Garden Route. We stayed in Plett for a month pet sitting two beautiful ridgebacks. If you’re thinking about travelling for a long period of time and are a little concerned about financing it (and you love pets), I highly recommend pet sitting.
Moo and I absolutely loved Plett and really immersed ourselves in the community as best we could. While we were in town, other than hanging out with the dogs, these were a few places we enjoyed while we were here:
Le Fournil Bakery – without a doubt the most delicious almond croissant you’ll ever have in your life. Get your bread and/or breakfast here!
Pure Cafe – decent coffee, healthy meals and hipster AF.
Newstead wine estate – located in the Crags, just out of town. They recently won gold at the Michelangelo awards for their bubbles. They use Pinot Noir grapes, therefore I adored it. We were a little wine-d out by this point, but thankfully were able to sneak in a tasting after finally getting through our huge supply from Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
Fat Fish – here you’ll find the best, ethically sourced catch of the day. Fat Fish is a sustainably business focused on promoting the removal of single-use plastics within the community and keeping our oceans clean. You need a reservation, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Natures Way Farm Stall and Natures Valley – we would often pass the dairy cows on their way to be milked or out to pasture. We would often nip in to buy their fresh eggs, homemade quiches or fresh coffee on the way home from a run or splash on the beach. Natures Valley itself is quiet, spacious and surrounded by nature…as the name suggests.
The walk around Robberg Nature Reserve was absolutely stunning. So good in fact, we did it twice! The first time we did the five km loop and the second time, we came back for the whole nine km loop. We saw a LOT of seal colonies, some raging surf and spectacular coastal views.
Our favourite beach to walk along was Wreck beach with the long stretch, shell paved sand and shallow waters.
As an avid surfer (a self proclaimed: gurfer) I was beaming on arrival at JBay. You’ll remember this was where Mick Fanning (the pro Australian surfer) punched a great white shark mid-competition, but that wasn’t going to stop me from catching a wave on the world famous break.
Thankfully for me, the surf wasn’t too hectic during our stay, I had the chance to surf at Tubes and the Point. I even got to surf with dolphins! (I’d be lying if I said the fin didn’t scare the sh*t out of me).
The vibe in JBay during September is very chill. It reminded me a lot of Kirra near Snapper Rocks in the Gold Coast, Australia. I can’t imagine how busy it gets during the WSL tour season, but it seemed like there were a lot of cafes and restaurants to help with the excess of fans.
In terms of food, we constantly found ourselves coming back to Nina’s Real Food, mostly for convenience and sustenus.
We never made it to Port Elizabeth to complete the FULL Garden Route, but I’m okay with that. I guess we’ll just have to come back one day!
My favourite South African words:
- Howzit – How are you doing?
- Lekker – Good, delicious, Nice
- Robots – Traffic lights
- Shame – That sucks, sorry to hear, how cute is that dog
- Now, Just Now, Now Now – various degrees of telling someone when something will happen – none of them reflect the word: immediately
- Bakkie (Bucky) – Pick up truck, ute
Sadly, this is my last post on South Africa. It truly was a fascinating country, one I’ll need a few months to decompress and mull over. This last post has brought you right up to speed with our current travels, as we embark on a two month stint throughout Brazil.
Check into the blog next week to read all about São Paulo and how we ‘accidentally’ flew there in business class !
Until then xo