Let me start with the most important part: No, Bertus did not give us any issues. It looks like Avashen and Clayton really did fix him in Ballito! (touch wood). We can still cruise down the highway at a steady 80km/h but Clayton does not push him past 70. Our average speed for this trip is 60km/h over the approximate 3500km we have covered thus far.
We found a backpackers in Coast to Coast but when we arrived it was just a normal campsite. You might wonder what is the difference, we are just camping, right? Read my post: The power of a Backpackers.
The camp was nice enough and the ablutions were clean so we did not really have anything to complain about. We arrived around 2pm and decided to catch up on some laundry, we had more dirty clothes than clean ones and this was becoming a problem. I am not really convinced by Clayton’s suggestion of wearing underwear 4 times (normal, back to front, inside out, inside out back to front) so washing clothes every 5th day is becoming essential to ensure that he does not have to resort to this.
We went to Manguzi to buy some food for lunch. Igwinya (small, sweat vetkoek that is R1 each) with NikNaks (R9) and peanut butter marie biscuits (R4.50) for dessert (for future reference this is the reason I am picking up weight on this trip!).
I managed to convince Clayton that meat is now becoming crucial to ensure my well-being. I have been experiencing serious meat withdrawal symptoms – hangry all the time even-though I just ate, no energy and salivating every time I smell a braai. Interestingly enough I am the one that is suffering more without meat. This is apparently due to me being an O blood type while he is an A-type (I use this as my trump-card when the topic of buying meat becomes an argument). We bought a piece of blade and ingredients for mushrooms sauce. I honestly did not know that blade was even a type of cut but apparently it has the texture of fillet and the taste of rump. Just in case this turns out to be a clever sales pitch by the butcher, we had Jimmy’s sauce to marinate the meat in.
Clayton managed to scavenge some wood that was discarded by previous campers and we feasted like kings that night. I went to bed happy, feeling prepared for tomorrow’s snorkeling (blade is actually very nice and definitely worth a try at almost half the price of rump or sirloin).
We were planning on driving all the way down to Kosi Bay mouth but the guy at reception informed us that we won’t even make it to the main gate. We have encountered only a few haters and disbelievers on this trip and this guy met the criteria for both (the kid in Coffee bay that said our car was terrible was still the worst). Shrugging off his negative energy we got in Bertus and drove to the beach. We got all the way to the main gate [insert smug facial expression] when the security guard pointed to the 4×4 ONLY sign. We almost convinced him with our sticker but in the end he refused us access.
Mentally preparing ourselves for the 3km walk down to the beach, we drove off in the direction of the reception to pay for our R75pp entry fee. This paying to go to the beach thing is becoming really old, really soon. As we were discussing this unfortunate turn of events, a friendly stranger came to our rescue and offered us a lift down the beach. So far the strangers that have approached us on this trip are all friendly so I am not sure what my mom was on about when I was a child.
We took off down the sandy Jeep-track leading to the beach. Clayton is of the opinion that we could have done it with Bertus but considering that we still need to cover roughly 11 000km it is probably better we did not overwork him this soon in the trip. We will leave it for Mozambique, if the proverbial hits the fan then at least we made it into a different country which is already a lot further than what everybody thought we would get.
The snorkeling was breathtaking in Kosi bay mouth. We spent hours in the water, walking upstream and just floating down towards the ocean.
We swam to the fish kraals to explore this unique way of fishing, from below. Back in the day these traps was a more sustainable way of catching fish, more so than the nets as the kraals would catch 2 -5 fish a day while the nets catch a lot more. Small fish were also able to go through the gaps in the kraal and they were positioned in such a way that it would only catch fish swimming down stream. However, the gaps are now smaller and the traps now face both directions. I could not help looking at these traps and feeling ashamed to be a human being. We really do mess up everything.
We were lucky enough to catch a lift back with the same people. Tired from swimming all day long we went to bed early. The plan, that may or may not change, is to get to Swaziland tomorrow.