Walking With Cheetahs 2011 travel blog

Today we head off to a place we have no clue how to pronounce so we dubbed it TS - Tsitsikama National Park. But we thought we'd make a detour via Jeffery's Bay, home of some of the biggest waves and one of the pro surfing sites.

Today was over cast, raining and cold.. in other words miserable. We found the Billabong head quarters, they virtually own the whole street! On one side is the shop on the other is the factory outlet and next door was a new building being built to house an even bigger factory outlet.. way to go Billabong!

Karen purchased a bag from the Billabong outlet so we decided to head off to good ol' Macca's for morning tea and to repack our growing luggage. The moment we entered the restaurant we were greeted with a 'Hello Ladies' and a beaming smile... have you ever had a greeting like that in an Australian McDonalds??? After ordering our meal we were asked to take a seat. Over there they bring your meal to you and then collect the tray from you as you leave.. what service... and from Macca's!! we were impressed.

We then made our way back onto the N2 toward our next destination. This part of the Garden Route is just like the north west coast of America. It was all pine trees along the road. Once we entered the park it was almost like a rainforest. This park is set on the edge of the coast that is extremely rocky with massive waves crashing over submerged rocks. We went for a bit of a hike along the trails that branched off from the restaurant and gift shop. We ended up following the one that took you to the Suspension Bridge over Storm River Mouth. We had no intention of crossing, already been on one bridge thank you very much, but I just wanted to see it. Now and then you would get a clearing that overlooked the coast, the views were amazing. We then got to a fork in the path. To the left was to the suspension bridge, to the right were steep steps leading down to who knows where. We walked all this way to find out the suspension bridge was out and the path leading to it was blocked off. Our only options were take the stairs leading down to the bottom or turn around and go back.. being the adventurous type we naturally... turned back!

We couldn't stay much longer as we needed to find our accommodation so we headed back out of the park. You can stay overnight in this park either camping or staying in log cabins. Either way your view is the ragged coast line with huge waves crashing over rocks - amazing! We also saw a few water spouts in the distance - a couple of whales making their way along the coast.

We headed off back on the N2 when suddenly we saw a sign saying Storm Water Bridge, again on the other side of the intersection so it's slam your brakes, hold on and make the turn. This bridge was noted on Debra's touristy map so figured it must mean something but when we turned off the highway we ended up flying into a service station!! What the?? It was tucked away behind the huge pine tree forest so we didn't see it. We go 'where's the bridge'?? There was an information centre and a restaurant also. Debra always gravitates to information centres so we stretched our legs and wandered over. Still thinking this is odd, why put a tourist sign on the side of the freeway saying bridge but there's no bridge? Debra then saw a little path that made it's way between the information centre and a store and heard voices. She decides to follow. From behind the stores and out of the clearing she found the Bridge. It's actually the N2. The bridge crosses over a deep gorge, it was quite impressive. Had we not stopped there we would not have realised we were crossing Storm River Mouth.

Just up the road was our accommodation. I wish we had more than one night at this place. It was beautiful. The only thing we would complain about would be it was set too close to the freeway. It was all log cabins set out in this park with a forrest for a back drop. No other work can describe it except beautiful. You can go hiking in the forrest at your leisure, which we did for a little bit as we were pressed for time. It was so peaceful and quiet until a truck goes hurtling past but you soon learn to turn off to that distraction. To walk along the edge of a forrest, overlooking mountains was very tranquil. I would definitely put this place on my list of destinations to visit.

The next morning we had to get up early, pack and then check out in order to go for a little hike before leaving. Debra had already ventured off to the start of the walking trails to get some photos of the sun coming up over the mountains. We stopped to look at what photos Debra had taken already when she looked down at the ground and saw the biggest bloody snail you would ever have seen. His home was so big it had extensions AND a sun room!!! not your average round shaped shell. Debra got Karen to put her hand down beside it to get a gauge on its size.. it was virtually the length of Karen's hand. Their bugs are big over here!!

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