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11 Jan

Garden Route Getaway

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog entry on here. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything that wasn’t of an acedemic research paper variety. But those days are over! PermenentĂ©! I’m a university graduate!

It’s a somewhat surreal feeling that I still haven’t gotten used to… I’m still finding my way after years of having timetables dictate the days’ activities. Although my minds buzzing with ideas and goals I want to take on this new year, I’ve been taking it easy – or at least trying to. My ambition and drive can be a double-edged sort when it comes to relaxing, I can’t do without the hustle! But for a few days during the festive season I dropped everything and took to the Garden Route along the southwestern coast of South Africa.

The Garden Route, so named because of its abundant lush green landscapes, stretches from from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. We stayed in George, the Garden Route’s largest city and main administrative centre, while taking day trips out to Knysna, Mossel Bay, Wilderness and Sedgefield.

Victoria Bay was first on the list of multiple beachfront spots. I must say this beach/Bay is much smaller than what I’m used to, nevertheless the space is beautifully enclosed by scenic green hilltops. The ocean forms a beautiful backdrop to the ample hiking trails and campsites in the area. It’s feels like an “unspoken secret” kind of place, only privy to the locals.

Sedgefield was another stop on our list. We visited one of the most impressive markets I’ve seen in a long while, with numerous sections housing local artisan goods, organic fruits and vegetables and a host of flavors from around the world. There were also a number of boutiques and even a space for artists to show off their creations.

While I’m no first-timer when it comes to the Garden Route, Knysna was hands down the town that blew me a way the most. The waterfront area is absolutely breathtaking with its views of the yacht-lined waters. There are a number of shops, cafĂ©s and restaurants to explore and the space feels pristine and idically quaint. Before sitting down to a delicious New Year’s Eve meal, we worked up our appetites exploring the landscape via alternative measures. Knysna Segway Tours took us on a boardway tour around the Bay. It proved to be an exciting and different way to get around and discover a new place. The exploration didn’t stop there, as after our Segway tour we headed into the heart of the township, where we were warmly greeted at Judah Square. This is where we took a tour of the biggest collective Rastafarian village in Africa.

Mossel Bay is another popular town along the Garden Route. This is where we discovered more about our collective roots as the human race. The Point of Human Origins tour allowed us to explore the original caves that our prehistoric ancestors inhabited. Needless to say they chose a good spot as the views here are absolutely breathtaking!

We also visited the Wilderness night market and explored parts of George Town . I find the wonder of the Garden Route lies not only it’s its natural beauty but also it’s spender of taking ones time to get lost and explore the hidden gems not always hi- lighted on the map.

Nicole Norman
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