Petting cheetahs on the way to Stormsrivier
Stormsrivier Travel Blog› entry 18 of 24 › view all entries
We get up at 7.45 am. I am still in the bathroom when breakfast arrives. My â€śJust a second!!â€ť is of no avail and our â€śbringer of foodâ€ť keeps on trying to knock our door down. We dress ourselves provisionally and take the tray of the ladyâ€™s hands. It tastes very good again, the yoghurt however is not cold today, which is a pity.
We have to be ready at 8.45 am, because then we leave for Stormsrivier. When everyone is seated in the bus Kees announces that yesterday he paid too little before leaving the Cold Stream restaurant. Everybody has to pay an extra 50 Rand per person, making the price of the meal a lot less â€śOKâ€ť than I initially thought.
Todayâ€™s drive is not too long, but Johan has a couple of â€śverrassingkjiesâ€ť (surprises) planned along the way.
Our first stop is a little past 10.30 am at the Daniell Cheetah Breeding Farm. In the souvenir/coffee shop Johan takes care of the coffee part, where we have to fill out a form in which we state that we will not hold the farm liable in case of being eaten by a cheetah. A ranger leads the way and first we pass a large kudu buck that loves being fed (not so) fresh bread. Then we move on to the actual reason we came here, the cheetah pens. It is very hot outside and all the cheetahs have sought refuge in the shade. Everyone who wants to, gets the opportunity to pet a cheetah.
When we are on the road again, smoke rises on the horizon. Johan has already told us about a large number of forest and talus fires (65 to be exact) that rage in the country at the moment. In spite of that it is kind of a surprise to see that a little later the banks of the road are scorched or still burning on both sides of the road. We can feel the heat radiate into the bus and some of us are somewhat afraid. I figure that our driver wants to go home to his wife after this trip as well and he probably wouldnâ€™t have taken stretch of road (there was an alternative) if he thought it to be very dangerous, so I enjoy the experience.
A little later we enter Jeffreyâ€™s Bay, a town every surfer in South Africa knows because of itâ€™s very wide waves.
We leave at 14.45 pm and at 4 pm we stop near the bridge over the Storms River. When standing in the middle of the bridge you are 130 metres above the river. Especially constructed footpaths make it possible to walk underneath the bridge to the other side, so we can enjoy the view on both sides without crossing the very busy road. Before going back to the bus I want to use the ATM, but the line in front of me moves so slow that I decide to give it up and get some money when we get to our next lodge.
We have driven for only a few minutes when Gert pulls onto a parking lot again. Here we can see an 800 year old yellow wood tree. We have to walk a wooden footpath that is about 500 metres long and then we stand face to face with the enormous tree. It is so vast that I just donâ€™t know how to capture it in a picture. When all of us have taken pictures we take the short way back to the bus.
It is just about 5 pm when we arrive at the lodge, which looks quite nice. It is one large building that has houses all the guests and also has the dining room in it. It is very homely with dark wooden furniture and warm lighting. In the back of the building is a swimming pool, but we are too busy talking to Kees, Ans, Jos and Anke to make use of it.
After dinner Annette, Barbara, Trudy and I start a game of Trivial Pursuit and after 15 minutes Johan joins team Barbara and Annette. At 11 oâ€™clock we call it a day, the game is not over yet, but we are all getting tired. We have to do some laundry and some writing, so it is ten to one when I switch off the lights.