We stopped at the Postnet in Mtubatuba to send some clothes home – after nearly a month on the road I really could not justify the 20 different T-shirts, 4 different pairs of long pants, 2 long skirts (that Clayton did not even know I owned) and 5 pairs of short skirts and pants. I could probably have sent more but you just never know when you might need that black V-neck shirt that is so totally different from the black round- neck one. Clayton on the other hand had about 15 pairs of socks and I have only seen him wear proper shoes once!
The drive to Sodwana was uneventful which we were grateful for. Our trust and faith in Bertus has not yet been fully restored so with every unusual sound or jerk, I would look at Clayton to judge the seriousness of the possible situation by his facial expression. When my quick glance last longer than usual (mostly to determine whether he is pulling a poker face or not) he is quick to reassure me that everything is still okay.
So far we have been pleasantly surprised by Bertus’ petrol consumption. Our petrol gage does not work at all – if you go around a corner it will go from somewhere around empty to almost full. When you start the car it will hover around half like it is deciding whether or not to let you in on the secret of how much petrol it still has, before randomly deciding on a level. You can literally start the car, have an empty tank, turn it off and back on again and it will be full. When we planned the trip we took a worst case scenario of 6.5km/l but we have been getting 10km/l which luckily makes the math easy to calculate how far we can drive. It is still a mystery of how big the tank is but we suspect that it is between 35 and 40 litres. Clayton has run out of petrol a couple of times before we went on the trip and it once took about 35 liters while the other time it took 38 liters before the first click. We are starting to suspect that not all petrol pumps are equal…
Sodwana unfortunately did not remind me off my apparent childhood vacations but it was still a very nice town – if you can call a shebeen, 3 restaurants, 3 pubs and a couple of lodges a town. The only thing that was annoying and rather off-putting is that you had to pay R45pp and R50 per car everyday to get to the beach. The locals have a bush-path that they take but not really knowing the area and not trusting the conflicting directions we got, we decided to pay up.
At the old age of 30-ish, Clayton and I had our very first snorkeling experience in Sodwana and it was absolutely bewitching, we could not get enough of this new world that presented itself to us. We must have look like complete amateurs, pitching up on the beach with our snorkeling gear still in the plastic holders and plastic bag we bought it in, in St Lucia the day before. We spent two days in the water, exploring every nook and cranny while dodging the fishermen on the rocks and the boats with divers or deep sea fishermen – who had a serious hate-hate relationship!
Since we were really behind schedule due to the unplanned 9 days in Ballito and extra 5 days in Chintsa, we were not planning on going to Kosi Bay. We were however persuaded by everyone at the Backpackers who told us that we had to go – especially if we want to snorkel. Not wanting to miss out, we changed our plans yet again and took the road to Kosi Bay.