Driving to Richards Bay

Richards Bay Travel Blog

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Roy had sent us on our way with the recommendation to contact his friends Cyrill and Jo on Lady J in Richards Bay. They could use a hand going up to Mozambique, he thought. So we got on our merry way in our rental car, a brand new Volkswagen Chico, which looks exactly like a 1980s Golf but has only a 1.4l engine making it efficient and sluggish. Ours was electric blue, fit all our baggage, would survive any number of sand tracks and stony trails and came at a reasonable price.
We were heading up to Sodwana Bay, South Africa’s foremost diving area. But first we drove to Richards Bay to talk to Cyrill and Jo. I thought we’d find a quaint marina in a sleepy little town, but far from it, Richards Bay is an enormous port serviced by a steady flow of heavy truck traffic, which together with the left side driving proved unnerving to say the least. We did survive and found the small craft harbor and we even found Lady J and her owners, whose names as it turned out were Keith and Joan, however-probably another mistake that can be attributed to my poor hearing… At any rate, they invited us aboard and we had a nice conversation. Since they were living on their boat, they had no room for any crew, but they promised to talk to and introduce us to some other skippers moored in the marina. We promised to be back in the morning.
We spent the night half an hour south at Nature’s Way backpackers’ lodge in a nature park in Mtunzini. This was a beautiful place. The owners had been building it for the last fourteen years, and it was full of arty details such as dolphin mosaics in the bathroom, glass-bottle-bottom lamps over the bar and eclectic brickwork on the patio. The owners’ toddlers were running about, there was a bunch of small black hairy pigs and a nursery for tropical plants in the back yard and trails leading to the beach and through the nature reserve starting right there. We liked it so much that we stayed an extra night.

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Richards Bay