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Knysna, South Africa--- On the Garden Route

View from top of The Heads
Staying in Knysna (pronounced nice-na) for 2 nights allowed a little slow down for us.  With a small one-bedroom apartment overlooking the Bay, we had a fabulous view of the estuary and the rocky inlet, said to be one of the most dangerous inlets in the world.  A drive and hike around The Heads provided spectacular views from the sandstone cliffs.  After watching boats maneuvering the inlet, we were happy to be on solid ground.

The waterfront/marina offers many shops, restaurants and water-oriented tours.  Alan enjoyed a “best-ever” pizza and beer, and I was even able to order a gluten-free version.  Oysters and calamari, which are both big in this area, were enjoyed the following day. 

Departing Knysna, we stopped at Birds of Eden, located near Plettenberg Bay.  As the world’s largest aviary, with 5-acres under a 165-foot high screen dome, we decided this would be a chance to see some of the South African birds we had missed in the wild.  Heavy vegetation and multi-level boardwalks allow visitors to rise up into the trees to see the birds and we saw dozens of gorgeous varieties.

Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s highest bridge for bungee jumping at 709 feet above the River, was our next stop.
Bungee jumping at the Bloukrans Bridge
We had no desire to join in the activity, but from a restaurant and other viewing platforms we could watch the jumpers and hear their screams as they plummeted.  A camera at the jump point provided a televised view so we could watch the final movements before the jump.  

Stopping at Storm River Bridge, considered the end of the Garden route, I took walk over the bridge (as Alan watched from the side).  Then, we drove on to our stopping point for the day, Jeffery Bay.  Arriving after dark and departing in heavy early morning fog, we were never able to see the surfing beaches the area is noted for.  But, we were able to enjoy our final South African calamari and fish dinners.  Here they referred to calamari as “white gold”, and we have been spoiled; calamari has never been as tender and flavorful.

Departing the following morning from Port Elizabeth, we flew on to Cape Town and then to Dubai for a new adventure. 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Beach at The Heads 
Knysna turaco
Up in the trees at the aviary
South African White Spoonbill
Overlook at The Heads in Kenyans
Grey crowned crane




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