Saturday, 22 October 2011

SA/Namibia 2011 - Day 20. Port St Johns to Durban.

View 20th Sept: Port St Johns to Durban in a larger map

It was a good night's sleep. Also breakfast at the Outspan Inn was excellent. We rolled out of Port St Johns in brilliant sunshine and headed for Lusikisiki, Flagstaff and Bizana. The scenery was beautiful - rolling green hills, fertile valleys, colourful huts and shacks.

 Pondoland scene.

Many houses and huts were painted in this pale green colour.

 See what I mean?

 We stopped often to take in the views.

Entering Lusikisiki. What a great name.

 Grid lock in Lusikisiki? See Mike just ahead ....

I really wanted to stop and enjoy the town, but .....

Lusikisiki was a busy place - and charming in a chaotic kind of way. Just like all the little towns in the Transkei there were people, taxis, trucks and buses everywhere. The roadside markets were colourful and busy and very interesting. If we had not been in motorcycle gear, which was only relatively cool if one was moving at a reasonable speed, we would very much have liked to park the motorbikes and walk around enjoying the atmosphere and taking in the sights and sounds.

In fact I did have to park briefly as I spotted a Midas shop which I knew would be able to sell me synthetic engine oil for the Yamaha. The motorbike needed a top up. R99.99 later I had the required lubricant and a very kind fellow helped me get the oil into the engine. 'Thank you Danny Williams of Port St Johns.'

Lusikisiki had, in addition to a well-stocked Midas store, a very modern Sasol petrol station. Its pristine blue and white trademark colours contrasted starkly with the dusty chaos of the general area. Inside this modern facility were ATM machines too.

So, we left Lusikisiki with fuel, oil and money. The next brief stop would be Port Edward.

Pondoland lies between the Mtamvuna River and the Mtata River I believe. We passed the Pondoland border somewhere after Lusikisiki and the scenery was even better than before. Also many of the women had painted faces, resembling western face-packs, and were quite charming.

 Mike is a pharmacist. Maybe he could help out here? This is Bizana I think.

Flagstaff and Bizana were soon behind us as we continued more or less southeast towards Port Edward and KZN.

 This side Transkei. That side KwaZulu-Natal.


 Good bridge Messrs J. Brown & Hamer!

 Indian Ocean - view from bridge.

There was, again, a noticeable difference on crossing the Mtamvuna River between Transkei and KwaZulu-Natal. Everything now appeared to be more ordered and organized. The tarmac was blacker and the lines were whiter. Port Edward proved to be a very pleasant resort. Mike and I were right to take the time to ride to the beach and climb on the rocks for a while. The Indian Ocean waves crashing onto the shore and the interesting rock pools were very evocative of earlier times in our respective youths.

Photos done .... back on the motorbike........

....... but not for long. On the rocks at Port Edward.

We pushed on and, after a very pleasant lunch in Port Shepstone, made it to the lovely city of Durban at rush hour. But this was not an issue.

Refuelled at Umtentweni. Courtesy visor wash too!

We turned off the highway and navigated successfully more or less directly to the Point.

 The Spinaker. Our home for two nights!

 Durban Harbour. By the time we had settled in it was dusk.

Mike has influence, and he had organized, through his numerous connections, accommodation for us at the Spinaker which is situated right next to uShaka. The gate man was expecting us. He directed us to the parking. Our apartment was situated on the 18th floor and it was brilliant. There were three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge lounge, kitchen and balconies on each side of the building - one with views of Durban Harbour and one with views of the beach and the Indian Ocean. This was pure luxury AND there was a washing machine. We had two nights to look forward to here.

Distance Today: 374 km. 232 miles.
Trip Total: 5 794 km. 3 600 miles.

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