Miscommunication and a lack of a cellular phoning device, left Noel and I sitting around the lounge of a backpackers hostel at midnight, in a dodgy area of Durban, waiting for our friend, Freddie, to pick us up. Of course we didn’t really know it was dodgy until Freddie picked us up the next morning and told us. The mugging that we witnessed off the balcony should have tipped us off, but we’d just gotten off a 15 hour bus ride (and rode 16 hours the day before)… we weren’t thinking right. Noel kept saying, “they’re just friends, don’t worry, they’re just friends”… Two friends don’t typically go up to another friend, push him around and take his backpack though. Moments later an extremely drunken woman staggered past followed shortly by a guy on crutches, but I guess those targets were too easy so we didn’t witness any more mugging action. However we did get to hang out with some beastly looking cockroaches. What fun!…
Durban was going to be a challenge it seemed, bad luck after bad luck kept befalling Freddie, Noel and I. Including but not limited to: keys locked in cars, electricity going out, not being able to check into our hotel, and spare wheels confiscated at the petrol station. All that behind us, we finally found ourselves relaxing on the hot sandy beautiful beach, splashing around the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean. We tired of the water and got out just in time for a shark to be sighted and all the swimmers to be pulled out. Finally some good luck, in the form of NOT being eaten by a shark. Yay!
Freddie, being somewhat of a nature enthusiast decided to take us for a walk through the nearby sand forest. You would not believe the beauty and wonders hidden away in there. I wanted my camera so badly! (although I did manage to take one very vivid mental photograph of the wooden path leading from above the shallow waters into the dark of the forest beyond, I hope to always keep that photograph in my mind). Clothes would have been a nice addition to the camera, since we were still in our swimmers, which made us a walking buffet for the mozzies. (I got 22 bites in less than an hour…) all worth it though. We followed the sound of the ocean, the trees thinning a bit on the way, until there it was roaring before us, with forest behind us and thunderstorm above us. An amazing combination. Awesome, just awesome. It looked like our bad luck was indeed behind us.
Freddie informed us that his dad had hooked us up with a 2 room apartment at the Royal Palm… um … WOW! so we did what any other adult would do: play the ‘coolest jump onto the bed’ contest, put the fancy robes on, and take some family portraits, duh.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time for much else in Durban since the next morning we packed up and left for Freddie’s family’s bush house…. oh yeah. We thought the Royal Palm was nice……………… The bush house, well, it’s just off the scale. Just you wait, the stories from the bush… yebo! yes! baie lekker!