Tuesday, June 22
Wilderness - Knysna
We stop off at beautiful Wilderness for the Bafana Bafana match versus France. The town nestles next to a long stretch of pristine beach and is surrounded by old growth forests. It is the kind of place where you expect to find the dying breed of old school hippies living and, sure enough, the majority of those in the pub watching the match look like they've spent several weeks partying with the band 'the Doors'.
South Africa have France completely on the ropes but Mphela misses a guilt edged chance to put them 3-0 up in the second half - a third goal that would very likely have seen them through to the next stage. As it turns out it is a very respectable 2-1 victory over the French...but our hosts are going home!
Rather than treating their exit as a tragedy the general consensus is that South Africa have made the nation proud and, most importantly, united many South Africans in the process. It has been an absolute pleasure to witness this happen during our time here.
Home for the night is Knysna, another hour down the road.
Bed for the night is a spot on the floor of a theme park hotel, which has imitation ostrich eggs and African masks but no door on the toilet. Strange.
Tuesday, June 22
Hermanus - Knysna
I reckon the breakfast at the Potting Shed B&B alone is probably worth 200 Rand each.
It sets us up nicely for the majestic views that await us on Hermanus harbour front.
Unfortunately, prime whale-watching season does not begin for a few more weeks so we are not going to spot any of the ten or so whales that are currently resident in the watery neighbourhood. In October they often get 150 whales here at one time.
This obvious disappointment aside, we are compensated by one of the most fantastic coastal views I have seen anywhere in the world. I would liken it to an other-worldly scene from Avatar mixed with the highly imaginative artisitc skills of a New Age painter. The sea roars; the fjord-like mountains are wrapped in fairytale mist; the heart is lifted while the imagination begins to build castles in the sky. Hermanus is a magical place.
We could sit here in silent admiration all day; staring out at this wonder of nature, but we have several hundred kilometres of travel ahead of us if we are going to make it to Port Elizabeth in time for the decisive England match. The way it's going I'll even end up resenting the England team for stealing an afternoon spent in Hermanus from me.