Welcome to the blog site for our Elmira College travel class to South Africa. We will update this blog regularly with posts about our travels and experiences. We'll upload photos when we have the chance. Check back regularly to follow our adventures!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The most beautiful place in the world?

We are in Tsitsikamma Park, where we will be staying for the next couple of days. This park is in the middle of an indigenous forest with old-growth trees, on the side of a mountain, right along the Indian Ocean. It is so beautiful that it is hard to describe. The waves crash big and loud against the rocky shore, and the mouth of the Storms River is in the same bay, just a short walk away. The water get so deep so quickly at the shore that dolphins swim incredibly close. Whales too, although we are out of season for them.

We are staying in small and charming (and rustic!) little a-frame wood cabins near the shore. The sound of the waves is constant. We have a little outdoor kitchen for cooking, and chairs for sitting outside on the deck porches of the cabins. It's like a little village mostly just for us.

Students have had free time today to explore the walking trails and all the beautiful nature. Some walked up to the Storms River mouth and crossed the suspension bridge hanging over the river gorge. Lots of stairs on that path! Other students wanted to take the so-called 'Waterfall Path,' but began the trail a little too late. It was blocked with a sign warning people not to start after 1:30 PM for reasons of safety. It gets dark at about 6:00 PM, and there are no street lights around here. In fact, we had to walk a half-mile back to the main building from the cabins just to get the internet tonight. And it was pitch black, lit only by the stars and our flashlights.

The best part is that the weather has cleared up! While we haven't had beautiful blue skies to go with the beautiful surroundings, at least it hasn't rained. And it looks to be clear tomorrow too, for when we go forest gliding, after which some of our braver (crazier?) students plan to go bungy jumping. That should be fun to watch. From the sidelines. On solid ground...

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