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Back from the Wilderness: First thoughts

Got back last night from a lovely few days in the garden route which has changed quite dramatically since I was last there. The landscape is even more beautiful than I remember it and when you hit the coast on the N2 near Mossel bay, the vegetation changes into lush rainforesty thickets on the hillsides. The George numberplate prefix CAW, is rumoured to stand for Cold And Wet, getting in the region of 700mm of rainfall a year, added to the heaps of mist that roll in from the sea.

We were pretty lucky with the weather though and it was only overcast for a morning before burning off to a strangely crisp 30C (90F ish), this is due to the cool air coming off the sea even though you are standing under a searing sun. Makes getting dressed in the morning interesting.

The Kaaimans river pass is undergoing major construction to prevent it sliding into the sea, like we saw last year , speed restrictions as well as highly efficient speed camera’s are in place! The famous house below the section that is slowly sliding is now up for sale at a whopping R8.7M ($1.2M). Imagine you too could own this truly unique subterranean fixer-upper.
The amount of development starting before Mossel Bay and continuing into Wilderness and beyond, is phenomenal. Holiday homes and “condo’s” and shopping complexes are in various stages of construction and it begs the question: Where are all these “new” residents coming from? The area is transforming fast, but it seems the residents have their finger on the pulse regarding preserving the environment and aesthetics of the area. A recent Golf course estate was successfully blocked by residents and petitioners, letting developers know that this isn’t gold rush country.

The garden route is a popular getaway for South Africans and a famous passage for tourists and sightseers, moving up and down the coast. As a destination it is quite a distance to travel just for a weekend getaway (5-6 hours), so is better suited for longer stays if you are coming for Cape Town or further. A bit later I will post about the accommodation and my spectacular fish!