One of the most important parts of the year after some intense racing during the season, a HOLIDAY!
I spent a week exploring the islands of Caribbean, near the British Virgin Islands where my brother lives. It was out of season the there was not too much of a good vibe or waves during this week however I relaxed, snorkelled, enjoyed the sun and crystal clear sea for almost 5 days. This time flew by and it was almost time to return home via New York. I stayed in a hostel near Brooklyn and then explored the city of Manhattan until almost midnight! The shops were all open until 10 pm and Times Square had a wonderful atmosphere all I needed was some company to enjoy it with. The next two days were spent on Emirates flights as I returned via Dubai, it surely was a long trip.
Next phase of my holiday was to fly to Port Elisabeth and meet up with my boyfriend for his birthday and help second for him in the great Fish River Canoe Marathon. It was a fun long weekend as usual with many familiar faces everywhere. The seconding part was quite nerve recking as I never knew if I was going to get to the seconding spot on time or not. Day 2 turned out to be nail biting as I had instructions to give splits of the Gap between Andy and Hank at every bridge. I kept giving him slower splits by about 10 seconds so this seconding job was getting super tough I just wanted to lie and say he had caught up time! However at the last portage he really did catch up by 30 seconds so there was no need to lie and I got even more excited when Andy and Hank came over Cradock weir on each others tails. The end sprint went to Hank McGregor with Andy Birkett on his wave, wow what a race. Lots of fun to second and be involved in.
Phase 3 of the holiday, the real exploring holiday along the garden route of Southern Africa
We drove from Cradock to George to visit my family and to start planning which towns we would stay over the night and where we would hike.
We hoped to go surfing in Mosselbay however decided that the water was too cold and the wind was too strong so we explored the point and walked up to the caves and around the point for a short way. The most exciting accommodation planned was a night in a Tree House, this was booked and planned for a long time we just had to find a date. We arrived to a small wooden structure with a tented kitchen and bedroom but the rest was open plan. The bath was very romantic with tress on one side the tent on the other and a roof which allowed us to still bath under the stars. The was a little balcony to see the sunset and sunrise over rolling hills and trees. The toilet was not so modern as it had a pump action and a fire to burn the debris. The next day we went hiking around this area, all the way down to a river with lots of round rocks to sit on and have a picnic. We relaxed there for a while and swam in the cool water, then had the hike up the hill again, which was challenging but beautiful.
Our next stop was a must to visit as many coffee shops as possible in the knysna and Plettenberg bay area, our favourite had to be Ille de Pain in Knysna. We stopped at many curio shops along the way and enjoyed having no time limit. We spent the evening at the Rocky Road Backpackers outside PlettenburgBay. We slept in a tented chalet which was awesome when it started to rain that evening as the rain drops were great to hear but it did keep us awake for a little. A hike in the Tsitsikamma was a must even though the weather turned out to be be changing. This turned out to be a very popular hiking spot for many people and we enjoyed crossing over the suspension bridge of 77m. The hike to the top was cut short when the clouds decided to open up so we turned around, however we had pretty much summited the hill next the bridge, luckily it was a short shower and we could have a little picnic on a rocky bed next to the sea. the stones were making amazing noises knocking against each other as the sea hit the pebbly shore. The next stop for us was Jeffreys Bay, I have only surfed at super tubes once in my life so the idea was to try stay as close to the beach as possible and wake up to a walk on the beach as the sun rises. We did exactly this however weren’t blessed with many waves as the wind was howling already. We squeezed in a quick surf however it was challenging with the currents pulling us along away from the break. We could still say we surfed super tubes! The rest of the day was spent looking at the factory shops and exploring the small town before heading to Port Elisabeth to spent the night with friends.
The last part of our trip took us via Dordrecht to visit a friend of mine from University so we got to be farmers for a day!