Breakfast was very relaxed and enjoyable, and while enjoying the smell of fresh coffee permeating the room I could not help but wish for more days like this one. Everyone was excited with anticipation for the days ride, the sights, sounds and experiences of South Africa! I had to pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming, that is how perfect the morning and breakfast was!
As everyone was getting ready for the ride I spoke to one of the employee’s Fidiny, who desperately wanted his photo taken so it could go up on the internet. He asked for my card, and then told me he wanted to have the motorcycles in the picture with him, I was only too happy to oblige and despite all of the motorcycles being parked under an awning, I did my best to get a good shot of him. As I was taking his picture I reflected on how something so simple, a digital image, meant so much to someone. It would have been great to spend time to set up a proper shoot for Fidiny, but the flurry of activity as everyone was getting ready reminded that time waits for no one. Fidiny this shot is for you as promised, may you live your dreams!
As we drove off, Fidiny waved excitedly and I could not help but wonder what was in store for this enthusiastic young man. As I watched the scenery combined with shanty towns go by at highway speeds I was grateful for the opportunities that I have had in my life, and for the sequence of events that put me in South Africa with such an amazing group of people.
Our next stop had deep meaning for Johann (Moto Motivo) our guide who wanted to stop and have his photograph taken at the location of his childhood farm in the area just east of Geroge, on highway 2. I could tell that being there meant a great deal to Johann, and it was so nice to take some photos for him, and while he shared memories from his childhood with us. Everyone made sure there was no pressure for us to leave so Johann could take as much time as he needed in the area. As I looked through the lens I could see Johan as a child briefly come through in his eyes, and I wondered if he knew as a child that he would be visiting South Africa many years later to show other adventure seekers his beautiful country. I can understand why Neale had chosen to have Johann to put together an amazing journey for us, words simply cannot adequately describe what Johann did for us all on this trip.
Johann then took us to nearby Old George Knysna Road, a hilly, narrow and windy road that runs down to the Kaaimansrivier Bridge. The river had a reddish tinge to it, and flowed over a small weir a few meters away from the bridge. I took a few pictures, enjoying the time to stretch and experience the river side close up! We had a long ride, so our time was limited there and after a group photo we were off towards the coastal highway!
We took a short detour along Waterside Road North of Wilderness Beach, to an area just outside of Ebb and Flow North Wilderness Park. The bridge to the park is shared by cars and a railway line, even though we did not see any trains it was clear that the route is used regularly by both train and regular road traffic! Everyone was hungry so we set out in search of food!
Fortunately for us hungry souls a short ride took us to the Jopol Bistro just outside Sedgefield, a perfect location for a relaxed meal while enjoying a view of the nearby hills. The deck furniture was made from vine like trees which gave each piece a unique and beautiful look. Everyone enjoyed the hardy meal, and you could tell the relaxed atmosphere was having an effect upon us all. I forced myself to get up and explore the area, and I found a milepost with distances to cities from all around the world, and Anthony pointed out the miles to New York City near his home! Neale and Bob were lounging on a couch having a good laugh at the photos on my waterproof camera from our journey to seal island yesterday! I could not help myself, laughing at how much fun yesterday’s “big wave” was, and how perfect Neale’s timing was: “looks like its getting calm out there”, SPLASH!
Bob eventually had a little nap, so it was time to move on before he started snoring! The conversation quickly turned into who was actually going to jump off the Bloukrans Bungee Jump, the world’s highest commercial bungee jump! Anthony was clearly all in, and I was waffling, but I wanted to shoot Anthony’s jump, and if there was time then I would jump myself.
A short 100 kilometer ride put us all face to face with the choice of jumping or not! Anthony was over to the booking counter in a flash, and within minutes being prepared for the jump off the bridge 216 meters above the Bloukrans River. He showed no fear at all!!! I used my Canon 400mm f2.9 IS USM Lens and Canon 7D camera body to capture his decent on a rubber band. What surprised me is he dove straight out like superman, and I thought this is going to be incredible as the camera shutter clicked away, and then whoosh he was plummeting out of view with me trying to catch his fall with the camera! I did not expect him to fall at the rate he did, it was quite something see the rate of decent was incredible!
When Anthony returned from the jump he was chock full of adrenaline, excitedly telling everyone about the free fall and the bouncing stop! His excitement was contagious so I went over to see about jumping myself but I had missed my chance as they were not doing any further jumps for the day. I was disappointed, and I felt like I had missed another unique opportunity! I wanted to challenge myself, but there was still that nagging fact that I would have a rubber band preventing me from certain death! So I will definitely be doing the bungee jump the next time I come back to South Africa!
It was only a short drive to our home for the night, the Hotel Tsitsikamna Village Inn, Storms River! We all had small cabins, with nice sized rooms, with wonderful courtyard, pool area and restaurant. We unloaded the support truck and everyone met beside the pool for an evening Braai, which is a South African BBQ! What a way to end another incredible day!!!!