Backpacking the Garden Route (part 2)

Our next stop was Storms River, situated in the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park. On arrival to our third hostel, Dijembe, we dropped our bags off, and hopped back on to the bus to be taken to jump the highest bungee jump in the world!

20140926_103246Personally I have never had a bungee jump on my bucket list or on my mind at all, I’m more attracted to skydiving, however the opportunity was there to say ‘I have jumped the highest bungee jump in the world’ and I felt I would regret it if I didn’t give it a go. For just £50 I experienced the most unreal feeling. You first do the bridge walk to get to the centre of the bridge, which alone was petrifying. Watching each person jump off the ledge that over looked the fantastic view of Storms River and the forest my fears of jumping just suddenly disappeared. Taking the dive into mid-air was crazy, to free fall for a few seconds is the most insane feeling, like I was almost falling to my death to then be saved by a bit of rope tied to my ankles. As I hung at the bottom I felt so peaceful, weird to say that considering I just jumped off a bridge! The adrenalin rush was fantastic and I would definitely consider doing it again if the opportunity arose. However I don’t think I’ll ever find a bungee jump that will beat the price and the experience of Storms River.

Bloukrans Bridge bungee
Bloukrans Bridge bungee
Before the jump
Before the jump

After the jump we made our way back to the hostel. If anyone ever visits Storms River I would recommend staying at Dijembe 100% if you are up for a night full of great food, drinking, drumming, and awesome people. The afternoon we went into the village, which was so tiny it only supplied a tiny grocery store with an empty ATM, and two small cafes. One cafe, where we went for lunch, served the best and only pizza in town, where our pizzas were prepared and cooked in front of us by a guy we later met at the hostel. The surroundings of the village reminded me of home; forests, hills, sheep, cows and greenery everywhere. I miss it all so much. When I read mums blog posts with the illustrations and pictures of home I long to be back so much, but I know I shouldn’t wish my time away. Not that I am not having an incredible experience, I just feel so attached to home still. I have realised since living in Cape Town I know England is somewhere I love and would be happy to live there.

Back to our trip; Dijembe is a crazy hostel, its like it got stuck in the 60s and never changed. Hippy but in a cool way. The people are so chilled, probably from smoking too much green to be honest, but you can tell they love life. The place is filled with odds and ends, a bit dirty, but you can live with it. A pet goat roams around the house and on the roof, a horse that comes into the bar and lovely dogs that sit by the fire with you. When we visited it was so cold, and the house weirdly has little protection from the wind, with a kitchen outside covered by some corrugated metal. The place also had a fire pit, hammocks, fresh water jacuzzi, fresh water fountains you drink from, a welcome shot and pancake breakfast included! The evening a braii was cooked for all the guests, we all sat around the fire listening to some totally mad and non sensical stories from the locals and drumming and didgeridoo lessons were taught. One thing is that if you want an early night you won’t get it at Dijembe, with shots and drumming going on till midnight. It was hard to move on from the place, I would recommend staying here for a few days so you can make the most of the hostel and the beautiful place of Storms River. I personally would have love to have gone canoeing or tubing down the river.

Dijembe hostel
Dijembe hostel

Knysna was our last stop where we arrived to horrible rainy cold weather. We stayed at another Island Vibe hostel, but this one seemed a lot different to our previous nights. The staff were unfriendly and unwelcoming, with no breakfast included, rubbish wi-fi, dirty beds and bathrooms, and no vibe whatsoever of an evening. We didn’t even meet any other backpackers. At this point with the bad weather and the beginning of a cold we felt our trip had come to an end and wanted to get back to Cape Town. Knysna is recommended as a beautiful place, however we were unable to see or do anything because of the rain. I spent most of the time sat in the restaurant, Cafe Mario’s, a little italian that served amazing food.

The next morning we got up for breakfast at Cafe Mario’s again and then on to our nine-hour journey back to Cape Town. The Garden Route is a fantastic trip with so many things to see and do, however I felt we were so restricted with time, making sure we caught the Baz Bus each day, leaving us little time to do any activities outside the hostels.

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