Next on the itinerary was a two week road trip along the countries famous Garden Route. The routes runs from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and features the countries most magnificent coastal panoramas. We hopped on a late night flight from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth where we would be starting our adventure.
We checked in to the Tree Tops Guesthouse a cute little BB located literally across the road from the airport. On our first morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then hopped in our rental car in search for adventure. The third-largest port and fifth largest city in the country, Port Elizabeth, part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, faces east across the 60 km wide sweep of Algoa Bay.
Amy and I sat in the back seat trying not to giggle too much as my dad drove on the “British side of the road” while driving stick shift for the first time in years. Mother would spend the duration of the road trip attempting to give my father driving instructions using her plethora of maps and guide books. I took charge of the GPS which was an invaluable help but not always as accurate as we would have desired.
Our first navigational challenge on the trip was getting from our guest house to the beach. We managed rather successfully and popped out of our seats once we had arrived with a skip in our step as we ran to splash our toes in the Indian Ocean for the first time. Standing by the shore I surveyed the area and was instantly reminded of Hamilton Ontario. PE (as the locals call their fine city) is very much an industrial port city with massive cranes taking up a considerable portion of the shoreline.
We continued along the road and stopped at Humewood Beach where we took a walk to the end of the jetty. I spotted a large group of students timidly approaching the waves with their teachers. Hopping back in our car we drove westward along the coast where we stopped in Schoenmakerskop at Sacramento Restaurant for a tea break. The restaurant is named after the Portugese Galleon Sacramento, that floundered on 30 June 1647. The interior is an ode to everything nautical and even features a nick nacks from the wreck. We spotted our first few whales from the comfort of our tea cups.
Later in the evening we drove back to Humewood Beach where we enjoyed a relaxing dinner at Blue Waters Cafe. The restaurant offers up a fantastic view of the beach and jetty below. My mom and dad were thrilled to see that wines by the bottle started at 6 USD a pop (a far cry from the $30 standard in North America). Our excitement over this affordability would see my family experimenting with two or three bottles of wine at dinner for the