Gecko 81 Adventuring to Addo Again

Saturday, 04 June 2022

The plan was to leave on Friday, spend the night with the kids in Plett and then meet our Jeffreys Bay friends, Jim and Maureen at Addo on Saturday.   We were only supposed to leave on Friday morning but everything was ready by Thursday afternoon so we hitched up the Gecko and left planning to find a caravan site at whichever place we made it to by around 4 pm and that turned out to be Dwarswegstraatoord, Groot Brak.  What a delightful place.   We had a caravan site with its own ablution.  I did not take photos but everything was pristine and comfortable.  

We went to Transkaroo for dinner and it was awesome.  They had a fire going and the menu was great.  We both chose pork belly on mash with crackling and vegetables.  It was delicious.

There’s nothing like a roaring fire to create a welcoming atmosphere
A Table with a View

An awesome sky after sunset
A really wonderful meal

We left early the next morning, stopped at 34 Degrees South in Knysna for breakfast, and arrived in Plett at 10:30 am.  Lauren, Shan and Si were of course at school and only due to get home later in the afternoon.  Allan had just completed his work for the week and once settled in he asked if I’d like to join him on a Robberg Walk.   Yes indeed.  So we left Earl who can’t manage that level of hiking to do some shopping and Allan and I did the 5km trail.

It was a perfect day for this hike which takes you along cliffs and beaches with the most magnificent views.    In places, it is very narrow, steep and slippery. The paths are uneven and rocky and you need to be able to cope with steep, uneven steps. Imagine how aghast I was to make way for a young man who was running the route! Allan was very patient with his ancient mother-in-law or perhaps grateful that he had an excuse to rest from time to time! My excuse for stopping frequently was to admire the stunning views. It took us an hour and fifteen minutes to do the trail and afterward, we treated ourselves to excellent coffees from the hut in the car park. If you are reasonably agile and have no mobility challenges this trail is well worth doing. There is also a 10km trail if you have the time and energy.

It was lovely to spend the afternoon with the rest of the family when they arrived home and in the evening we had a braai.

This morning we were up and off by 7:45.    We stopped at Windfarm just before Port Elizabeth for our breakfast break.  This is quite a new venue with a petrol station, restrooms and a few eating places.  We went to Oumeul and had coffee and croissants – mine with ham and avo and Earl’s with bacon and egg.

We always enter Addo at Colchester Gate.  There are signs up saying no caravans but we know from experience that off-road caravans are allowed through and have never ever had a problem until today.  One of the men on duty told us we had to turn around and go via Patterson.  I explained to him that off-roads were and always have been allowed to enter.  He said that this was definitely not the case. I asked him to ask the person on duty in the office.  She agreed with him and said we had to go through the main park gate.

“Please make sure,” I said.  “Show me the rules.” 

She took me to the map outside the office and pointed to where it said, “No caravans allowed.”

“But look here,” I explained, “It says, ‘4×4 caravans and trailers only’.”   She conceded the point but her colleague was still not happy.   He was afraid that they were going to be in trouble for allowing us through. I checked the park map that you receive when entering the gate and even on that it clearly states that off-road caravans are permitted to enter at Colchester Gate. Perhaps it was the first time that these two had been on duty there and were not well-versed in the rules.

We were delighted not to be turned around and enjoyed the drive to camp spotting some lovely animals along the way.

Of course, Warty was there in all his glory
Lots of red hartebeest too.
Every now and then some elephants
This one was drying off after a bath

Jim and Maureen were already set up on site C17 and we found one of our favourite sites, C25 vacant, and set up there.  We spent the afternoon in camp and had a lovely braai at our site with our friends in the evening.  The sunset was just stunning.

And this mom and baby cheekily entered the camp and walked right through Jim and Maureen’s campsite
Sunset
Dinner’s ready
This domestic kitty came looking for company. I’m sure he is an illegal immigrant

5 thoughts on “Gecko 81 Adventuring to Addo Again

  1. Anne

    We spent the day at Addo on the Saturday before your arrival: there were hundreds of elephants milling around Woodlands – Hapoor was empty – and we were fortunate to come across a Black Rhino out in the open where we could watch it for some time. Enjoy your time in that lovely place!

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  2. Mary Craig

    Oh my u off again. Hope u enjoyed your night at Plett and what lovely places u stopped at. Enjoy your trip once again bet all the animals know your caravan by now. Stay safe…

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