We are now settled into our lodgings in Cape Town for four nights and have already had adventures here, but I have a bit of catching up to do so let me go back to last week.
After our taxing day of travel to Port Elizabeth, we awoke early to a somewhat cloudy day. Breakfast at our guesthouse was quite nice. Our bags arrived from the airport and we enjoyed the garden with its blooming bougainvillea and birds, as well as the local canine resident, a very friendly and fluffy border collie. Our first impressions of Port Elizabeth however included the high walls and scary fences that surrounded every property. This is not unusual though, it's just a fact of life in some areas.
After breakfast we went for a walk down to the waterfront a few blocks away. It was quite blustery but we identified a local grocery store and decided to return for supplies once we'd checked out.
Our first foray into a local supermarket was instructive but really, it wasn't that different from home. Like many markets in other countries, you must weigh the produce before you get to the checkout. We bought a few snacks but kept things minimal.
Our next destination was Jeffrey's Bay, a bit over an hour away by car. Michael did an excellent job acclimating to the left hand driving and the directions were quite simple. It was a fairly windy day which we noticed in the car, but we also figured this was quite normal as we saw wind farms along the way with humongous propellor windmills. When we arrived at AT The Beach in Jeffrey's Bay we were met by Glenn Bowles, the proprietor. Our studio apartment was just as described and fronted the beach directly across from one of the famous surf breaks, occupying the lowest level of their hillside house. The views were truly stupendous and with direct, private beach access, we were quite happy.
Michael and Glenn discussed the surf which was, coincidentally, quite good. This is not the season for good surf in Jeffrey's Bay but Michael was in luck. The winds had been onshore for two weeks before we got there, producing no good surfing conditions, but they had just changed. After settling in, we went in search of a surfboard for Michael to rent so he could surf. After checking a couple of local shops and grabbing a bite for lunch, we found a suitable board and went back to our shangri-la. Michael eagerly donned the spring wetsuit he had brought with him and went out to surf. It was really fun for me to be able to watch him easily from our deck, sometimes assisted by the binoculars or my camera.
The water was cold but Michael stayed out for quite a while and I enjoyed some peaceful time in our studio or on the deck. When he came back he was a popsicle and we rushed him into a hot shower for a warm up. Really the water had been colder than expected and everyone else was wearing a full wetsuit. I'm sure he garnered some points in the lineup for toughing it out in a short sleeved and short legged wetsuit, but we quickly decided that in the morning, if the surf was still good, we'd find him a full wetsuit to rent. No sense in risking hypothermia. Our first night we went out to a greek restaurant for dinner and enjoyed some fresh local calamari.
The rest of our time in Jeffrey's Bay was spent relaxing, enjoying the beach, and doing a little shopping. We dined a couple of times at a local place called Nina's which we quite liked, as well as once at a place called In Food Blu. The beach was particularly good for shelling and we found abalone shells and other pretty things. One day we saw a big jellyfish washed up and Michael identified a strange looking thing as a shark's egg.
Michael got to surf two more times and we even saw dolphins playing in the surf from our deck. All in all we felt we had lucked out with the surf conditions and really enjoyed some down time just watching the ocean.
The weather wasn't perfect while we were in Jeffrey's Bay. We had some sunshine, but quite a lot of cloudy, windy weather, and even some rain.