Lunching in one of the waterfront restaurants, our eyes bulged as the platters arrived. For me, a massive succulent half chicken butterflied open, accompanied by a large serve of pumpkin, zucchini, beans and a cup of rice filled a plate nearly 40 centimetres square. A serve of mushrooms overflowed a 30cm diameter bowl. Bob’s chicken schnitzel, chips and vegies was almost as gargantuan. Not only large, but scrumptious, a doggy bag containing half of the mushrooms and three quarters of the chicken journeyed home with us. Tea that night, the two of us were still unable to finish off that meal!!!
The stories we heard: crocs, white pointers and bull sharks were said to enter the harbour and marina. Hippos and crocs live within the nearby waterways, and a lioness has espied wandering upon a beach situated just north of here.
A trip in the taxi that arvo: massive white eagle regally resting upon the highest tip of a tree branch and monkeys (Bob also sighted them in the marina the morning prior) wandering upon the grasslands. A wild place still, is Africa!
A story we heard last night sent a feeling of fear through one.
About two weeks before we left for Richards Bay, our departure was put off because of an intense low, which was the equivalent of a mini cyclone, heading across the bottom of South Africa.
With 70 knot winds and waves at the 50 and 60 foot mark, the port was shut: the authorities can’t take the chance of having ships breaking up at the entrance of the harbour.
In those conditions imagine a 30ft double ender with a single hander on board. That small craft was caught in wild monster seas where when one looked up, all that could be seen was the white water of the waves overhead. He thought it was the end….. After two hours of battling and no abating of the storm, he called for help and a tug was sent to tow his boat safely into port. The boat is now for sale, if anyone is interested!
Having heard that story, sheer relief that we were now in port, coursed through us as that latest predicted low passed through last night. Whilst a northerly blew, malevolent stormy skies built during the last hours of the afternoon. Against thundering black clouds and orange sky on the horizon, brilliant lightning strikes, accompanied by claps of booming thunder, lit the skies as vibrant as daylight. With a click of the fingers, the wind turned from north to south west and spewed forth with a gust from 10 to 35 knots. Thirty five knots in a protected haven, forty plus outside.
Morning, as suddenly as it arrived the storm passed; clear blue skies of a new day greeted us.
Our South African Adventure had commenced.