Windy Eastern Cape and Tsitsikamma National Park of South Africa

The warning was that this place is definitely beautiful but windy and the Tsitsikamma National Park on the Eastern Cape of South Africa most definitely lived up to its reputation.

Our Intrepid tour group arrived early Monday afternoon when the sun was warm and bright but the winds were cool from this rocky coastline with spectacular sea and landscape views. Tsitsikamma is a section of what’s called the Garden Route National Park and basically means, “the place of much water.

We set up camp and our tents, with rods nailed to the ground to keep the tents from blowing away and within a safe distance of the rocky shore line. But not so far away that we couldn’t still hear the power of the waves as they crashed along the formidable rock formations…with time to spare before dinner. While many of my tour mates chose to explore, I chose to stay warm and charge up the electronics inside the laundry room while also getting some writing done. Call it the glamorous world of a travel writer.

I did try to socialize with my camping/travel mates Monday night after dinner, but it was just so cold that I had to really bundle up in my tent. A long with wind, it also rained that night so my after midnight bathroom run was quite exciting. Call this more camping thrills.

While our Intrepid tour group and guide were off Tuesday morning trekking to greater heights and feats, Nick (my Intrepid tour mate) and I had a much more laid back adventure of our own…the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park. The walk was well worth the magnificent views with various lookout points and places to have a seat and rest along the way while enjoying the vistas of the turquoise ocean.

Here’s our two night stay at Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. Next stop is our one night stay at Kleinplaas in Oudtshoorn, the Western Cape of South Africa and our visit to the Cango Caves which have been known to man since the early Stone Ages more than two million and a half years ago.

A girl and her tent at the Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. It was cool and sunny when we arrived at our camp site. And, yes, that’s my tent. Sleeping with the wind hitting my tent while it rained Monday night and the sound of the waves hitting the rocks made for a very thrilling night of sleep. (Oct. 15, 2018)

A higher up view of the chalets around the corner from our camp ground at the Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. (Oct. 16, 2018)

This is actually the laundry room at Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa and I was busy writing Monday night on my trusty iPad with descent T-Mobile cellular service and keyboard while trying to stay warm and get not only my electronics charged, but several of my Intrepid tour mates electronics as well. Thanks Angela for taking this photo of me in my very unnatural writing habitat.

Monday night sunset at Tsitsikamma National Park. Thanks Ray, an Intrepid tour mate, for sharing this gorgeous photo. (Oct. 15, 2018)

While the majority of our Intrepid tour group, along with our guide Meshack, were climbing daring feats to enjoy this waterfall at Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa……(Oct. 16, 2018)

……while Nick and I (my Intrepid tour mate) made our trek to the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. Here we are on the suspension bridge which thankfully didn’t sway too much. (Oct. 16, 2018)

But before Nick and I got to the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa, we enjoyed these views. (Oct. 16, 2018)

A little beach cove before walking the planks and numerous stairs to the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. (Oct. 16, 2018)

Getting to the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa is a bit of a walk up along planked walkways and stairs going up and going down. (Oct. 16, 2018)

Views of the planked stairs and walkways leading to the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. (Oct. 16, 2018)

Stopping to get in a photo of me and the views on the way to the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. Lots of stairs and lots of gorgeous views. (Oct. 16, 2018)

A view of the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa as it hangs over the red-brown waters of the Storms River Mouth before flowing out towards the Indian Ocean. And a second, smaller suspension bridge, sectioned off in two parts, that took us back to a pathway with much less steps for the return journey. (Oct. 16, 2018)

Roped, planked walkways and steps leading to the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. (Oct. 16, 2018)

The Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa as it hangs over the red-brown waters of the Storms River Mouth before flowing out towards the Indian Ocean. (Oct. 16, 2018)

Me trying to get just one good selfie while standing on the slightly swaying Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. (Oct. 16, 2018)

Views of the deep river gorges leading down to the Indian Ocean which can be seen from the slightly swaying Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. (Oct. 16, 2018)

Views of the deep river gorges leading down to the Indian Ocean which can be seen from the slightly swaying Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. (Oct. 16, 2018)

After crossing over the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa there’s a path that leads to this area called the Lookout Viewpoint. (Oct. 16, 2018)

A closer look at the Lookout Viewpoint on the other side of the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. The man sitting on the rock was there contemplating his own rock formation or collection. (Oct. 16, 2018)

An even closer view of the rock formations or sculptures at the Lookout Viewpoint at the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. (Oct. 16, 2018)

And, this is the way to lunch after Nick and I explored the Storms River Suspension Bridge within Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. We sat under the canopy of the Cattle Baron’s restaurant had a delicious meal and chilled out before heading back to our camp site for a relaxing rest. (Oct. 16, 2018)

The sun’s going down at our campsite at the Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa and Meshack has made another wonderful campsite dinner for our group. (Oct. 16, 2018)

Here we are chowing down on Meshack’s campsite dinner at Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. From left: Ian, Angela, Kate, Ray and Praveeta. (Oct. 16, 2018)

And, here we are, after dinner at our campsite at Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa enjoying our alcoholic beverages. In my case, I’ve discovered a number of new alcoholic drinks on this trip, a Vodka tonic, the Savanna premium dry cider and now Amarula, a cream liqueur from South Africa. It is made with sugar, cream and the fruit of the African marula tree while said to be the U.S. version of Bailey’s. From left, Meshack, Ian, Helen, Praveeta (holding two bottles of Amarula, one of which is mine) me and Ray. (Oct. 16, 2018)

 

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