Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hiking in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Driving Day

Yesterday was a driving day. Hard to believe that we've been in South Africa for almost four weeks. When we look at the map though, we really don't seem like we've made much progress! And so we needed to do some driving.

Because of Ruth's accident with her hand on Sunday, we never made it down to Port Elizabeth's beach area. We wanted to have a quick look though.

First, we said goodbye to Leizel and family. Thanks for hosting us and looking after us so well!

Leizel, Kai, Niamh, and Ruth. Kurt had already left for work.

Then we drove down to the Port Elizabeth beach area and went for a walk.

The main beach, looking back towards downtown.

Nice little natural wading pool for the kiddies!

We wandered around for 45  minutes or so, then we hit the road. First stop was to get some fuel. I've been putting in R400 ($42.40) at a time. That gets us around 30 litres (8 gallons) of gasoline. The car we have is pretty good on gas providing we don't drive over 100 km/h (62 mph), so we don't. Problem is, the main highways have a speed limit of 120 km/h (74 mph), so we're typically the slowest ones on the road!

We stopped in Port Alfred for lunch. We usually find a grocery store and buy some corn cakes, some sliced meat, some cheddar cheese, and some lettuce and carrots to munch on and then find ourselves somewhere to have a picnic.

Having lunch in Port Alfred.

Scenery along the way.

Kids getting off school.

Cattle crossing!

We had made arrangements with Guy, our couchsurfing host in East London, to phone him as we were entering the city. He said he would then give us directions to his work where we could meet him. We pulled into a gas station just past the airport and used our cell phone to give him a call.

I don't know how long our cell phone is going to keep working with the $2.00 or so credit that we put on it, but so far it's still working!

Turned out that Guy's work was only a minute away from where we had stopped. He's in sales at a big car battery manufacturer. I would have loved to tour the plant. They supply batteries to several new car manufacturers. There's a Mercedes plant here in East London, and a big VW factory in Port Elizabeth.

Guy came out of work and he said we could follow him through the city. He lives in a little seaside community on the other side of the city.

Following Guy through the rush hour traffic...he's the one on the motorcycle!

We got acquainted and Guy cooked up a roast chicken for us. Delicious dinner, and we stayed up talking about travel and couchsurfing.

A storm came through right around sunset. It made the sky look like it was on fire!

Fiery sunset!

Yesterday's drive, 314 kms (195 miles).

Here's where we are right now.


  1. I am loving your travels through South Africa. The picnic looks like something we have done many times. Carry a lunch and find a bench somewhere. Glad the hand is on the mend. How much do you save with the couch surfing accommodations versus a hotel room?

    1. Couchsurfing is essentially free Randy. Though we often cook a meal or take our hosts out for a meal in thanks.

    2. You guys are meeting such wonderful people! Wow. Four weeks already?

      Karen and Steve
      (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

    3. Karen this is the reason we use couchsurfing so much, we meet the most amazing people along the way!

  2. Another good day you had meeting your new couch surfer host and a great meal.
    Awesome sunset photo.

    1. It was a super day with a beautiful ending!

  3. Glad that Ruth's hand hasn't slowed you down. Couch surfing is quite the idea, it sure works out well for you. :c)

    1. Nope it didn't slow us down at all, mind you a driving day is a pretty easy day for me.

      We love couchsurfing, it's a great way to meet local people, get a better understanding of the area and what is worth seeing or doing. Often they know of places that are secret little gems that must of the tour books don't even know about.

  4. Your couch surfing families are such a great idea - getting to know locals - what a great idea instead of just staying in motels/hotels, etc! Love your blog!!!

    1. Yep, for us couchsurfing is our kind of thing. We have to admit that every once in a while it is nice to stay in a motel/hotel for a night or two just to have some time just to ourselves but when we do we always comment that it doesn't feel the same, we miss that interaction we get with couchsurfing.

  5. Shelagh and I love to picnic, we have done so all over the EU. We even had a nice bite like that in Avignon, France.

    1. We find when we picnic not only is it cheaper but we can stop whenever or wherever we want because we almost always have the food with us in the car. Glad to see that you both enjoy it too!


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