July 03, 2003

Mossel Bay

I arrived in Mossel Bay in the afternoon after driving along the Garden Route from Plettenberg Bay and through Knysna and the landscape was fabulous. I stopped on the way in the Goudveld forest near Knysna and did the Woodcutter trail. This is a 9km walk in the forest starting and ending at the Krisjan-se-nek picnic site which is a grassy site situated alongside a spectacular 880 year-old Outeniqua yellowood (don't hold your breath, I did not know the name of this big tree before reading the sign).

Mossel Bay is obviously not a very nice town for driving around if you are not already familiar with the city map and don't know Afrikaans.

This is one of the thing that drives me crazy in South Africa, it is worst than Belgium with French and Flamish, especially for tourists like me who don't read a single word of Afrikaans nor Dutch. I find myself trying to look at street signs (when they do exist) and in Mosselbaai, there is obviouslly part of it somewhere sometimes in Afrikaans while some others are in english..pretty easy to find your way.

This is the same on the road, it gets very confusing when you have the sign in Afrikaans 200m from the exit ramp and the time you think: 'uh ? that sounds like the name of the place in Afrikaans' you are already at the exit ramp and you read the english sign (usually located ON the ramp), so time for you to read it and you missed it, especially at night.

For some place it is pretty easy to figure out: Mossel Bay / Mosselbaai or Plettenberg Bay / Plettenbergbaai, no big deal. However 'Kaapstad' is a bit more difficult...

Yes. It is Capetown.

Luckily, when the Huguenot arrived in South Africa, French language was banned and it died quickly in less than a generation. Otherwise just imagine the mess...'Maybe' signs would be in 3 languages.

Scary....especially when you think that South Africa already has nine other official languages.

For the records, I'm staying at Park House Lodge. Avoid this place, the staff is absolutely unhelpful. Among other things she fucked up giving me the right info they were supposed to have internet (as mentionned in Coast to Coast) and....
- You have internet here, right ?
- mmm....I'm not sure, I think he has it in his office (the owner I suppose) but... and the other computer ...welll, I'm not sure but... I will find out.

Before she find out I went to an internet cafe I noticed when I was lost in Marsh Street looking for High Street or Church Street...

'Waterfall' 'Waterfall' 'Waterfall' Knysna lagoon Goudveld forest, Woodcutter trail Goudveld forest, Woodcutter trail Goudveld forest, Woodcutter trail Goudveld forest, Woodcutter trail Wilderness Rock Hyrax Wilderness Mossel Bay on the other side of the ...bay

Posted by stephane at July 3, 2003 04:20 PM