Road to Swellendam…https://bombshellsoulsearcher.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/Garden Route-to-Mossell bay-Swellendam

Garden route drive through Mossel Bay to the stunning town of Swellendam and Barrydale- route 62.

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So i leave calm, free and openness at Surfari yesterday and head across to Swellendam. It’s a couple of hours drive from George and I managed to hop in with some guys who were heading to Cape Town, so much more of a fun trip than the bus again!

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(Map of Africa for sunset for my final night in Victoria Bay. Great company and even better views)

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The land changed again from lush to incredibly dry but always with mountains lining the horizon around us. We passed Mossel bay on the way and I was disappointed, seemed a cute fishing town but not much to look at and pretty much a complete tourist stop, i really do prefer the untouched areas and less commercial.

Service stations were the only place for coffee, we had a pit stop and filled up with fuel, over here you don’t have to get out of your car (dreamy) and you even get a screen wash… I had written in the dirt and the guy who cleaned the screen decided to leave my graffiti, humour in the middle of nowhere!

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Arriving is Swellendam it really felt like we had found a gem, stunning little town, bright white church with mountains behind it and cute restaurants. Before fidning my new “home” we went to a place called the Old Gaol for lunch, which happened to be one of the oldest buildings in town, it was a buzzy but calm place and pretty yummy food.

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Driving to Imangele guest house i reflected that 17 years ago I fled my high school as quickly as I could after a shit time! Fleeing to Australia to really have no contact with school memories again. However a positive influence and memory being my theatre studies teacher Mrs Shackley! And as luck or now we have decided fate would have it I’m about to knock on her door.

Amanda and Dave are opening their wonderful 1920″s home to me so I can stay in Swellendam and become apart of the numerous foundations and charity’s they have either set up or played/play a huge role in. I’m apprehensive and nervous but as soon as the door is open the beaming beautiful Mrs Shackley squeezes me tight and im swept into my room, wow, i was exepcting a dorm…  but no! In true theatrical style each room is themed, and I’m in the zebra room! I feel so lucky to have this huge, clean, cosy room and en suite. Rather like the little lady in the cave said to me last week…”I feel like queen if Sheba”  Quickly after we head to the vine-covered veranda for a glass of wine! I don’t think we have stopped chatting since!!!

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Next week is set to kick of my involvement with the Railton foundations Easter club! It’s packed full with activities from nature park visits to sports days! It’s going to be a wonderful way to get stuck in, explore where I can help most and  meet contacts to take this forward beyond the Easter break. My first night though is kicked off by going to the local bar, bands play there frequently and it really is the weekend hub of the town! I was going to stop drinking again once I came to SA but it’s proving rather easy to not….. oooopsie!!!!

My first full day in Swellendam we actually left and drove to Barryale- Route 62, which is a small but buzzing village on the border of the Overberg and Klein Karoo regions of the Western Cape. The drive was stunning (apart from our fuel gauge hitting super low half way across the winding mountain roads)

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We made it though and after lunch popped into an arts and education centre in a nearby township. The building a rustic shack but inside it was bustling with activity, even a computer room with about 15 kids all checking out arts ideas on pintrest. Music rooms, art rooms and more, it really was the place to be and so awesome to see everyone hanging out together rather than alone at home on their very own tablets on phones like we are so used to witnessing in the western world. So excited now ive been here to get stuck in next week, the kids are so happy and engaging, and a cheeky smile or two from them has put a serious spring in my step.

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Wilderness hike hiccup! 

Wilderness hike & canoe, Victoria bay braii at Surfari to now stay at Impangele in Swellendam, to join the Railton foundation in giving a helping had to the local township communitys.

I’ve been waking up to rolling Wilderness every morning for the last 10 days , the sun pounding in while I sit and stare at the ocean. Coming to Surfari and Vic Bay was the best thing to start this trip even though so far from the plan.


Travellers to me are the most interesting, one wants to share their stories of ups and downs, interactions and sites. We thrive off of the adventures and crave to experience them too.

The Garden Route has so much to offer, Wilderness being only a small section. We did a small hike today to a waterfall. Canoed to the start of the trail, the wind wasn’t our friend with every bend it turned to hit us head on.

The scenery was amazing with reeds blowing making a whistling song and mountains lining our route. We parked our canoe (at the wrong “beach”…. this was the start of why we should of turned back) I fell into the water trying to get out whilst being yanked into the beach and then the squishy squeaky hike began!

 The trail was awesome winding up and down and round the forest. We climbed across over rocks to the other side which then turned into broad walk, cleverly carved through the forest so ducking under the trees it had been shaped round was part of the fun. Soon into this bundles of monkeys ran in front of us to hide, then baboons started grunting, every time we moved they all moved and what seemed like more kept on joining them! Clapping and shouting we tried to carry on but they now all sat and stared… after the baboon breaking into the kitchen the previous morning we decided to turn back.

So we never did make that waterfall!!! But a good effort of a funny canoe ride, awesome trail and a pulley back across the water to our canoe! A nice adventure done!

Tomorrow I leave here to head to Swellendam, a beautiful town half way back to Cape Town. I’m heading there to help with the Railton foundation (http://www.railtonfoundation.co.za/ ) as well as other things they have a gym which is a safe space, and caters for all types of people young old and all colours. They want me to go and help with classes from boxing to yoga to general activities as well as a blog for the charity.

I arrive in two days to a big party for the community to say farewell to the summer then kick off Easter break with the kids… I’m so excited to get there and see what it brings!

For many days now I’ve wondered why I’m in South Africa, I’ve missed Hawaii so so much and be comparing and craving what I loved about it! Plus , it has been like a mini holiday which was as far from what I was expecting to happen. So hopefully this is the start of a brilliant ride and I can throw myself into this charity and hopefully pull off a few good classes for everyone! Ha!!!

Another braai last night and a stunning sunset leading to a sky of clear bright stars. Life ain’t so shabby when you take the time to look!!!

Song of this week has been, Follow the sun by Xavier Rudd!

Have a follow- https://www.facebook.com/railtonfoundation.co.za/

Plans Change!

A stunning bus ride from Gordon’s Bay to Vic Bay on the Cityliner. Uber disaster, Checkers blessing and hoping the surf awaits me along with a hot shower!

Ha! So throw me a few curves balls why don’t you universe!

Took the plunge to leave and do the work remotely instead of doing it in dust land. A few personal issues were causing tension and without the extra volunteers nothing was going to happen on the site itself. I am disappointed as my vision for the last few months has obviously been different to just sitting on a laptop.

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I booked my bus ticket, 325r which is about 20 pounds for a 6 hour trip. I worked the day out until time to uber it across to bus station which was apparently 15 minutes up the road!

The car arrived and off i went but…When Your gut says something then bloody listen, this Bru had no idea where the hell he was going ,even from the sat nav and obviously I hadn’t a clue either…. I had left 40 minutes to get there but now in the car I knew I wouldn’t make it! 1hr 21 minutes  later and a crazy expensive uber ride I was back on site. We had ended up driving in a huge misshapen circle around, the end of the journey being a corrugated community where they were bbq’ing animals brains on the side of the road, huge groups hanging around and to be honest not a nice vibe. The fact also I had used up all my mobile airtime calling the bus company made it even more of an edgy situation, all the warning and stories I had been told about safety were now ringing through my head! Another night on site! I was so angry, furious and disappointed I didn’t even know what to say. First lesson in never to fully trust an Uber when it is very new in a country.

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Kindly I got driven around (for about an hour) to a “Checkers” kind of like a post office in a supermarket, where someone was on my side and changed my ticket to this morning! With only a 10r difference! That was a result! Why did we drive not call or use the internet? Because that would be too easy for South Africa to adopt, old school way is the way here!

So back to the pod I finished all my peanut butter, re made my pod and went to bed spending the night bashing mosquitos with my trainer and surrounded by my bags that I moved in with me as the dogs were going crazy and I thought if someone gets in then seeing how the day had gone I was better to be safe than sorry!

I luckily got dropped at the bus stop and had company thankfully until I got on it correctly, and am now on it excited to see the countryside and get to my next destination Victoria Bay!

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And wow what a trip!!!!! Out of Gordon’s bay up the mountains and a beautiful country side exists behind the wall of mountains encapsulating the Cape! Im Heading to George which is east along the coast line between Gordon’s bay and Port Elizabeth. It went from windy mountain range to incredibly vast beige land that just went on and on as far as I could see. Some horses and cows along the way but more scrub land than farmed.

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Ever so often we would come across a little town, Swellendam was so pretty and a teacher from my old high school has a beautiful b&b there and is heavily involved with the children in the community which is an amazing synchronicity in what I think I’m here for, its far from the beach but the community looks lovely but behind that it is incredibly in need of role models and support for the children!

As we hit town I see the ocean for miles, finally surf, waves for days. Also again a mass of corrugated iron hut communities, then industrial buildings and then lovely homes, the contrast is insane in this country!

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The longer the journey goes on the more I become intrigued as to where this journey is actually going to take me! So many options and exciting projects around, it feels a little out of my hands as to where I will end up but I think this may be the beauty and the personal challenge of my adventure! This country has so many places and reasons one can help and make a differnce, i really hope i find the place i am ment to help!

Nearly there can’t wait to see what greets me this time! A warm shower I hope! That it did get along with the most spectacular grounds and views I could of imagined! Sometimes the decisions you don’t want to take can be the best.

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