Sunday, August 5, 2012

South Africa: East London (part 1)

The bus ride from Mdumbi was a long one (about 4 hours). We stopped for a bathroom break at a gas station, where I purchased an absurd amount of candy and a pack of cookies (called "biscuits" in Africa). I needed to break my large bills so that when we went to barter in the market in a few days, I'd have smaller bills. Also, I wanted lots of candy.

Then we stopped for lunch at Steers, a fast food burger restaurant. I went for the classic bacon cheeseburger, but a lot of people got burgers with avocado on them (nicknamed "avo" there). Avo is big in South Africa.

Steers was attached to a little store, where I bought (you guessed it) more candy. We ate some of it on the bus and fell asleep (I slept a LOT during the entire trip. Pretty much any time I was on a bus/plane/car, I fell asleep).

Then we got to Buccaneer Backpackers. And had some technical difficulties with their driveway. We were in one of those huge fancy buses, which the backpacker owners assured Glen would fit up their driveway when he called on his cell phone. But halfway up the hill, we had tree branches poking through our open windows and scratching the sides of the buss. Not to mention, we were about two feet from rolling off the cliff that lead to a lower cliff which lead to the ocean.

We were sort of freaking out. Our driver got out of the bus to check the situation, and a leaf was stuck in the door. Glen, who was probably the only one remaining calm, casually said, "You've got a banana leaf there." Which alleviated the tension momentarily. Until our driver came back and plowed the bus up the rest of the hill. We all applauded when he put the bus in park, and Jenna (our co-leader) admitted she was sending up some prayers even though she's not religious. Glen had to call the bus company to assure them that the scratched paint and broken  taillight were not the bus driver's fault. And then the backpackers owners had to fire up the chainsaw to get the bus around the circle and out the driveway.

Our poor, poor bus.
The eight of us who had lived together in Mdumbi claimed the 8 person bungalow with an amazing view of the beach. 4 people per room meant Meg and I were with Dave and Alex, and the rest of the girls were in the other room. Our room had the best view.

Bunk beds! I got the top bunk, of course!
If you'll notice, the frame is higher on the sides, like a baby gate. So I won't roll out of bed, I guess.

We had a really cute little living room and kitchen...

Everyone else went to find the free wine some guy we'd run into earlier told us about. Meg and I stayed behind and ate candy.

Then we went to find them. And there were cute dogs!
A lot of people were playing drunk volleyball (other team gets a point, you drink from a box of wine), but the rest of us decided to go exploring and find the beach.
 Through the mini jungle...
...over a bridge...
...through some sand dunes...

We picked up seashells and watched the sun set. Then we headed back to our bungalow for some sleep. We had a big day at the game reserve to look forward to!

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