The southern coast of South Africa, roughly between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay, is known as the Garden Route. For quite some time, Kathy and I talked about seeing it for ourselves. One long weekend in October, we did just that. We drove to Knysna, stopping in Graaff-Reinet, where we had lunch at a lovely cafe called Polka.
In Knysna, we stayed at the Inyathi Guest Lodge. Though located in town, it still had a lush, almost tropical feel.
The weather was a bit overcast when we arrived, but the harbor on which Knysna is situated was still lovely.
Our first full day on the Garden Route, we visited Mossel Bay, where we visited the Bartholomeu Dias Maritime Museum - named after the Portuguese explorer who landed there more than 500 years ago. On the grounds, we saw this whale skull. Huge!
We visited the aquarium.
And this replica of Dias' caravel that made the original voyage. The replica had actually been sailed down from Portugal to celebrate the 500 year anniversary of Dias' arrival.
The ship was cool, but shockingly small. I cannot imagine sailing it that far on the open sea.
In movies, the captain's quarters are always grand, with plenty of room. Not so on this caravel.
Still, it was an awesome sight, and I enjoyed wandering around on board, exploring the details and admiring the work that went into building it - and imagining the work that must have gone into sailing it.
As we sat in the outdoor waiting area, we heard something up on the roof. Turns out the metal roof was a warm resting place for a howler monkey and some of its pals.
The black howler monkey decided to give us a closer look, and gnaw a bit on an eave.
During the formal tour, we saw squirrel monkeys.
And capuchin monkeys.
I call this one "Two Monkeys".
Ironically, we also got our best view of ring-tailed lemurs there. We had seen many lemurs in Madagascar, but not this most famous type.
They are cute.
And then together.
The trail we followed was more of an extended boardwalk, winding up and down the rocks and through the trees.
This was my favorite part of the trail! (Yes, that is me on that bridge.)
Of course, the still images are fairly telling, too.
Especially when they feature my beautiful wife!
After returning from the trail, we found a tranquil spot to grab a couple of cool drinks.
And some dassies on the lawn to watch as we drank them.
I can say with some confidence, that if the opportunity arises, we will return to Tsitsikamma. In fact, we have talked about how cool it would be to stay there, in the park, as they do have some lodging on site.