A change in tone the last couple of days. Instead of being in vast open areas searching for animals or walking through the forest, we’ve moved inland and into the Little Karoo.
We made our way to Oudtshoorn via Knysna. From Knysna Heads there are fantastic views of the local area. We stopped in Kynsna town for a bit and to be honest it didn’t leave much of an impression. It was your typical pic mans playground of expensive houses and expensive boats and felt nothing like the South Africa we’ve visited so far. But it was at least an opportunity to stretch my legs during the long journey and there were a couple of interesting art shops to browse.
We also stopped off for a rest at Wilderness. A very small village with a huge beach. Here I kicked off my shoes, buried my feet in the sand and had sushi whilst watching the waves roll in. A nice moment of tranquility.
The next day we visited the Cango Caves. A cave network unlike any others I’ve been in. They are dry caves, so there is none of the dampness I’ve come to expect. There is also a constant temperature throughout so there was also none of the chill of others I’ve been to. However, as there is no known exit, the oxygen levels drop the further you go in. It didn’t leave me short of breath, but I certainly found it noticeable. There are two routes, a ’normal’ route and an ‘adventure route. Even if I’d have had any strange impulse to do the adventure route, a quick glance at the handy size guide for the crevices would have put paid to the notion. However, according to a story our guide told this hasn’t prevented many people who had zero chance of getting through some of the gaps from trying.
In the afternoon we visited an Ostrich Farm which made for some interesting close-ups of the birds, and an unusual massage for me!
Surprisingly the highlights of the last two days have been mealtimes with the owners of our guesthouse – House Housemartin. Val and Theresa have travelled a lot themselves and wanted to create a unique little place where people feel welcome I’d say they’ve surpassed that. On the first night we ate at their house. Brilliant and rich food, with plenty to go around. We each told stories and shared memories of things like our Christmas traditions, places we’ve been or simply how life has changed as we’ve aged. Talking about smartphones being this all-in-one device had Val breaking out bakelite records and playing them on a hand cranked gramophone.
I’ll remember our time with them with fondness.