Alison: Drove out of the main route to stay in magical Hogsback. The town feels like Lord of the Rings or Hogsmeade in Harry Potter with more art. Lots of old trees in the area and crafty places to check out. There's an area in the woods slowly being added to where artists live and work. Sort of like a permanent Ness Creek Music Festival. We stayed at a place called Away with the Fairies that has both a very high treehouse and a bathtub on a cliff!
Sunset from the treehouse platform. The same view is seen from the tub.
Caryn, as seen from the platform.
That night we made one of Caryn's mom's meals - baked gem squash. It was really tasty!
Oh, and pasta too.
We have been really lucky with weather here in South Africa considering it is coming on to winter here and it's really far south. Up in Hogsback it was cold, almost snowed but rained instead. The damp really keeps you cold. Luckily, our hostel was awesome - there was a fireplace in the room! Very magical to fall asleep in firelight with the crackling logs. But outside our room, well, the day I found TWO LABYRINTHS (!!!!), even with all my warm clothes on, it was too cold to walk them. Here is one, as seen through its beaded entrance:
A classical cretean style, but with some huge rocks at certain points which was very cool.
This one is a medevil style like in Chartes, France. It was huge, in an amazing spot (at the edge of a cliff), and beautiful. I loved the wide edges with the plants. These were the nicest labyrinths I have seen.
Cool room, eh?
We left Hogsback and stayed in Grahamstown at a cold weird hostel. This is not the hostel, we went to town for a scone and internet:
Then we made our way to Port Alfred to visit Caryn's friend Gillian. On the way there, you just can't miss...
The giant pinapple!
Note the door. There's a shop inside. Imagine spending all your days working the pinapple store in a giant windowless pinapple. It's filled with pinapple knick-knacks. Interestingly, Gillian grew up on a pinapple farm. Pinapples are way better here. I shall miss them. And the big one.
Port Alfred is situated, like many garden route towns, along a river that leads to the ocean.
Here you see the river in front, pier, ocean behind. This is the view from a restaurant that Gillian took us to.
Here is a cactus, but not just any cactus. The orginal cactus was given to Gillian by Fred and Annette, Caryn's parents. Whenever Gillian moved, she was sure to take an arm and re-plant the cactus. So, it's been going for many many years, and has started many of her friends's cacti as well!
We had a lovely time with Gillian.We talked about New Zealand, where her grandkids are; discussed birds, her travels, family... we went for a walk around her seniors neighbourhood and she showed us off...we went our for lunch... had tea... just generally really enjoyed each other's company. She is so sweet. I'm really glad I got to meet her.
We drove on to an area called the Crags and stayed at a hostel right beside the world's highest bungy. We did not bungy, no thank you sir.
And that's that!