Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Arrived in the city of Durban!

We'll squeeze two days into one post here, simply because most of it was taken up with driving! We left Wild Lubanzi backpackers lodge on the morning of the 4th, and arrived in the tropical port city of Durban on the afternoon of the 5th.

Here's how it all happened...

We woke up to sunshine for the first time in quite a few days.

A beautiful morning.

We would have preferred to stay and do another hike on such a nice day. But if we were to stay on schedule for our upcoming ten day visit to the country of Lesotho, then we had to move on. Besides, it was still over 500 kms (300 miles) to the city of Durban and that would be too long of a day for us. 

So off we went. We paid our bill at Wild Lubanzi. Two nights including one dinner, a few bar drinks, and shuttle transportation to the car park came to R970 ($102). Not bad, but we have a hard time recommending the place despite the great scenery. Wouldn't take much effort on their part to change our opinion, but the animal issues we mentioned in previous posts take away from all the positives.

It was all paved roads from the car park, and in good condition.

Lots of people carry stuff on their heads. 

A new school.

Lots of nice scenery along the way.

The city of Mthatha

Storm clouds in the north.

At one point in the drive, we were only about 80 kms (50 miles) from the Lesotho border. In the pic above, these are the foothills to the mountains of Lesotho. We saw a storm coming, but our route turned us south and we avoided it.

Lots of pine trees.

Not the greatest picture, but we went through one section where there were miles upon miles of pine tree plantations and logging and sawmill operations. Didn't think we would see this in South Africa. 

We stopped for the night just outside of Port Edward. We had no plans on where to stay, and found an empty room at backpacker/B&B type of place called Kuboboyi River Lodge. A little pricey for what we got, at R450 ($47.25) for the night. We had gone there because we saw advertised R300 ($31.50) for a double room but they said they had plumbing problems in those rooms. We took the more expensive one because we simply didn't feel like wasting time driving around. Only an average place, and they charge extra for wi-fi. We have our own cellular internet, so we didn't need to pay. Oh, and despite having cooking facilities for backpackers, they also have a strange policy where you have to pay R30 ($3.15) per person extra if you want to bring your own beer and wine. I balked at that, and she didn't charge us. Yes, we drank our own beer and wine!

Slept fine though, and set off for Durban the next morning.

Good roads in South Africa. 

Made it into Durban just before noon on Friday the 5th and drove straight to the Happy Hippo. Can't wait to tell you about this place right in the center of Durban and a short walk to the beach. Durban is an interesting city, and we now wish we had more time here! How is it that a four month stay in Southern Africa isn't enough??!!

Durban is a busy bustling place!

Durban, South Africa. A mixture of Las Vegas, Miami, and New Delhi!

On the 4th, we drove from (A) Wild Lubanzi to (B) Port Edward, a distance of 400 kms (248 miles).
On the 5th, we drove from (B) Port Edward to (C) Durban, a distance of 165 kms (103 miles).




36 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I had it all ready and forgot to include it. It's there now though!

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  2. Just reading http://everything-everywhere.com/2014/02/06/now-time-visit-south-africa-bwt-mention-im-running-photography-tour-may/

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    1. Thanks for that, if we had known we would have tried to get together with Gary.

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  3. More interesting travel days. One of those pictures along the coast make me think of what Ireland may look like. Too bad the prices increase near the city. And Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes Randy! We've never been to Ireland, but yes, I can see the similarities to other pictures we've seen. Today, coming through the countryside north of Durban, we thought we were in the UK!

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  4. Well now, Happy Birthday!
    Special plans? Birthday cake? Birthday beer?

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    1. No special plans, just another day. Staying at a fancy schmancy hostel though...even splurged on a nice room at R500 ($52.50) for the night! We're living the high life now!

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  5. Another wonderful post, and both South Africa and Namibia should thank you for promoting them to your readers. Thanks to you and Ruth I've changed my mind about this part of the world. It's now on my to-do list!

    TLCIntlHousesitters

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    1. Thanks Dianne. Namibia did thank us by paying for our airfare! You're right, South Africa should thank us too! We're so glad that we did this trip in order to show people that it's so easy to do.

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  6. Happy birthday, Kevin! We are lovin the beach towns!
    B&C in PA

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    1. Thanks Connie and Barry! No more beaches for a couple of weeks though...we're headed for the mountains!

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  7. Sounds like the perfect place to celebrate your special day. Enjoy!

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    1. It would have been, but we left there this morning! Still, were at a very pretty spot about 30 kms from the border of Lesotho!

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  8. Happy birthday from us here in cold Langley BC. SA looks wonderful, someday we must gonthere.

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    1. Thank you Peter for Kevin's birthday wishes. Sorry for our late response, we are still trying to get caught up on these older comments from our time with very limited internet access.

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  9. Happy Birthday. It's amazing that I had such wrong ideas of what South Africa actually looked like. I would never have thought about all those pine trees. On to more adventures.

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    1. Thank you Jim and Sandie, and don't worry you aren't the only ones to have wrong ideas of what South Africa is like, it is surprising us each and every day.

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  10. Happy Birthday Kevin. I am enjoying so much your African tour. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you Renate for Kevin's birthday wishes, sorry we are late responding but we are still trying to catch up on all these older comments from when we had a lack of internet.

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  11. Happy Birthday Kevin, I hope you have a great day. I am enjoying South Africa and Namibia through your posts, it doesn't look easy enough for me to go there in person.

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    1. Thank you for Kevin's birthday wishes, better late than never!

      Glad you are enjoying the posts, it's really not that difficult to do as long as you do some careful planning beforehand and even then we play it by ear part of the time, we don't want things too planned out.

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  12. Sounds like Kuboboyi River Lodge heard your accents and decided to bleed you for a bit more money! So glad you are having such a wonderful trip.

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    1. I'm not sure what it was but it was the second place that we weren't all that thrilled about in all our three plus months of travel in Namibia and South Africa so I guess we are doing pretty well all things considered.

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  13. I never pictured South Africa like that at all! Great place for sure.
    You are certainly having an awesome adventure!
    Happy birthday!!!!!

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    1. Thank you for Kevin's birthday wishes, wish we could have gotten them out earlier but with the lack of internet we are still trying to catch up on all the older comments.

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  14. We have tour ZA and i can't believe you are giving up on Durban for Lesotho. durban has lots to see and it is a great city.

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    1. Totally agree with you. We didn't allow enough time for Durban, so we'll have to return some day!

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  15. would never have guessed S Africa had that many pines trees, again learned something new today. What is the primary industry to support such a large city as Durban. Always amazed me how they could balance and carry such large loads on their heads. Used to be they would put a book on your head to get you to stand tall and walk strait. I couldnt keep a book on my head would never do what these women do :-). Happy Birthday. This will be one that you will always remember where you were.

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    1. Thank you for Kevin's birthday wishes, wish we could have gotten them out earlier but with the lack of internet we are still trying to catch up on all the older comments.

      Durban actually has lots of industry to support the city. Some of the industries include sugar refining, shipbuilding and repairing, petroleum refining, fishing, a Toyota automobile assembly plant are those are just a few of the major ones.

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  16. ps also loved the header photo very Moroccan look

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  17. Happy Birthday Kevin, a little late but guess it was a good one. Tony and Helen x

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    1. Thanks for Kevin's birthday wishes, Tony and Helen, and don't worry about being late as we are really late with our replies. Still trying to get caught up on all these older comments. He did have a good one!

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