Plettenberg all week. Gradually getting used to carvan life and its slow pace settling us into the holiday proper.
Dull overcast day on Saturday so we did the Knysna Elephant sanctury. Got to pet african elephants which are suprisingly wirey! A nice sentiment - as they take in orphans - but not disimilar to a UK 'safari' in its care of the elephants. Afternoon beach swim, despite the weather and pleased to find the sea exciting and warm. The sun came out and it was not long befor john felt over hot, so we left. Dinner at 'Look Out' where it RAINED. Was releived to see caravan had coped and beds all dry. To bed. Unfortuanately the rained started up and set in for a long down pour. Put had onto floor just past midnight to find my hand sinking into 2" of water! So batten down hatches (late!) and move into the caravan - move up kids!! Damp miserable night.
What a lovely morning! Still and clean. Necessity the mother of invention caused us to find a use for all the 'left over string and poles'. Stuff drying everywhere! Went to Blaukrans and watched the bungi jumpers. There is now a rip slide to half way across the bridge and I persuaded lubica and John to do this with me. 20 seconds of exhilleration! Got worked up at the start - it is a LONG way down and I am a mummy. I went first with Lubica watching at her insistance. John with kids. Despite fear I went. As i said an exhillerating experience!! Quite a beautiful walk back on the wlk way under the bridge proper. John had his turn once both of us back. As thrilled as us. Unfortunately after making me go first and watching how scared i was and I watching how scared Lubica was she proceeded to make fun of me and imply she was as cool a cucumber. Having a teenager on holiday who you HAVE to like is really trying!!! Rare smiles, no thank yous and lots of looks that imply that no matter how hard you try she's more interested in her phone! I guess I am getting a good old dose of what i put my poor south African relatives through when they took me all over in 1989 for my 2 month break there with them. I can only imagine that i was pain in the bottom from what i am currently observing - expect i was obsessed with the post! So a big SORRY to Gran & Gumps but especially to Aunty Jelly and Margie who bore the brunt of my teenage angst.
Next day : Sun!!! So to the beach and body boarding with borrowed boards. Great fun!! Then onto the Monkey sanctury and a lovely tour and lunch. A play in the lagoon followed while Tim napped. We ate in having finally sussed cooking in a caravan!
Tuesday: Knysna. Did the river boat, eventually after finding the waterfront the long way round. Another overcast and dull day. Did not recognise a thing, despite spending quite a lot of time here in 1989! Ate lunch in Kysna after spurning a british pub like place we settled on Nandos. Had chilli chicken with extra pain and suffering. Can't imagine why we all hated it, was it the main trunk road view, the garage next door OR the insanity pain causing peri peri sauce?? OUCH!! So much pain. So chasened we headed to the 'van!
Wednesday: Lubica ill, so we have the luxury of time as a family! Went to a snake ranch. Run by snake lovers who are not farming their animals, but opened to the public by popular demand. Excellent tour and learnt alot and touched and indeed held 'goldie' the albino python! Sleep in the afternoon over cast weather and dinner at the 'Rod and reel'. Found the place by being summoned to the caravan office to explain who we were etc. When we arrived the officee is shut up and the security gaurd knows all about us, is charm its self and helps fine caravan etc. i assume we pay up at end of stay. Well here we are Wednesday and i get summoned. Turns out Margie and Tim back in Cape Town are desperate to find out if we are alive or dead in ditches and our lack of communciation has scared them into phoning every known contact we have! They phone the park - who had not check us in to be told 'who, when i don't recall seeing any Claytons'. NOT what a frantic Wade wants to hear! Anyway proprietor charm its self and directed us to the 'Rod & Reel' which was fantastic!! Pooled all phone bits and bobs and bought an adaptor (suprisingly easy to get!!) and got Lubicas phone charging with a South African sim inside.
Thursday: Clear to start dull after 10am. Failed to go to 'Raptors of Edan' on account of it being closed. So despite dull weather went to 'Water world' and had an absolute ball in the water slide. Great fun and they let you go in any position and even with Tim in water wings! Rod & Reel again for dinner with Lubica recovering and joining us. Phoned Tim & Margie after the phone had stopped piping messages of 'phone us! T&M' really should have tried again with the phone sooner they have been unfairly worried for us. SORRY!!
Friday: Rained again last night - now practiced drill for such an event. To my huge relief we do not have to stay and air everything as T&M have a Caravan care service that does this for them! Phew. Packing up takes a long time but is easy. Going to miss this caravan that has become our home. Then the drive to George were we will overnight. Lovely B&B we sorted out last minute run by Brits! Real beds for one and all also walls, roof & floor! Ate huge amount of pizza, drank alot of Hunters and veged out in the 'heat' of the drizzel.
All in all we really enjoyed this week - probably because we really had work at it. Thank you to Tim & Margie Wade - you are extremely generous and lovely people! I hope you like the bottle of port awaiting you at the 'van.