Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
Prev / Eastward Ho! / South Africa Next

The beach south of Knysna (which is on a lagoon fifteen minutes slightly inland) has the widest surf I've ever seen. The waves crash onto the shallow underwater beach a tremendous distance out to sea, then again closer in, and eventually again on the beach proper. All this tumult creates huge waves of thick foam, waist deep, that piles along the coast. Plus, to our peril and delight, the deceptive width of the beach fools people into thinking they are safe from the waves, luring victims to enclosed areas from which they cannot escape being sloshed with the foamy water despite a shriek and run.

The hostel in which I stay at Knysna is really one of the best I've found so far. A front building, really just a converted house, has several private rooms and a public kitchen and lounging area. The back yard has a constantly-blazing fire pit, hip bar full of guests and friends, pool, and pool table. Up to the left in the picture you see windows of our dorm floor, which has bunk-beds for perhaps twenty. The place has a great vibe and lots of fun people, and it's been a great stay.
Our stay in Knysna is serendipitiously coincident with the Pink Lorrie festival -- a national gay festival with parades and parties to spare. We decide one night to head to Al's Dance Club, a thumping place with multiple dance floors and two giant tents: the Jungle Canopy for "the boys" and the Herim's Den "for the girls". We stick mostly on the dance floors with the 70's-80's music on one, and hard-house techno on the other (the picture is of the hard-house room). Incidentally, while I was sitting in the upper-right corner of the picture on the second-floor cool-down area, notebook #15 was stolen. Sigh... a moment of silence for my lost friend.
A group of us from the Overlanders' Backpackers (apparently "hostels" are called "backpackers" here) jump in a pickup truck and head to the beach, but not until I get my McChicken Combo Meal, Super-Sized.
Hugging the southern edge of South Africa is a long highway, constructed in the 80's, with huge bridges over the coast's many gorges. One of these, named Bloukrans Bridge, is exceptionally tall. Likewise, the gorge is exceptionally deep. Thus, the forest floor is a staggering two-hundred and sixteen meters from the bridge deck. Given this depth, people with almost-suicidal tendencies often use this to enjoy their favorite activity: jumping from bridges without dying. That's right, the world's largest bungie jump can be found right here. Seeing as how I was in the neighborhood, and have never tried it before, I decided to give it a shot.

Copyright 2017 - David Barrett -