Rough diving and new friendships

27. May 2018

Thanks to the Chinese who had already finished most of the new road to Ponta we had quite an easy drive there. Except the last part where we had to drive in deep sand again but compared to the day before that was kindergarten.

Diving in Ponta with Scuba Adventures on the other hand wasn’t actually that easy as we had to get past the big waves with our zodiac (motorized rubber boat) first and then deal with the current and the cold water. But on a good day the dives were beautiful. We observed a beautiful orange frog fish, a purple scorpion leave fish we had never seen before, some nudibranchs, an octopus, schools of small fish and then there was this massive potato grouper. He stayed with us for quite a while and didn’t mind getting petted. As Ax, our fellow diver told us, he was expecting food from us, as other divers had fed him boiled eggs occasionally.

When there was too much wind to dive the kite surfers were out racing up and down the beach while we tried to warm up.

Most of our evenings we spent with Ax, a Greek-Canadian IT-Network specialist and one of the funniest guys we have ever met and Xavier, a Belgium engineer and dedicated cyclist both living in Joburg. And one evening we went with these guys to a hidden beach bar to celebrate Ax’s birthday. By coincident we met Ashley our skipper and dive guide there who was also celebrating his birthday. The bar was managed by a big white South-African dedicated to his Harley and his other bikes with every cell of his body. But despite appearing that way and naming at least ten friends who were in prison or got killed he was a sweet man, who loved nature and animals and even participated in campaigns ending violence against woman in Africa.

Always with us were around 10 beach dogs that had adopted us as their part-time companions. They are living at the beach and get fed by the camp managers and the tourists. But as the locals are afraid of them and sometimes kick them, they became quite racist, being absolutely friendly to white people but barking at black people.

When we left Ponta and therefore Ax it was like leaving an old friend. It is strange how little time it takes to build up a certain kind of relationship when you meet the right people. On our way to Hluhluwe in South Africa we also met some old friends. Out of nowhere there was suddenly a group of giraffes crossing the street. That was so unexpected I forgot for a moment to drive. When checking google.maps we figured that we were actually crossing another wild life park. Later on that drive we also saw some impalas, wild beasts, water buffalos and some waterbucks.

When we arrived at the camp, the gate was closed – again. And when calling the number on the gate, we figured that there was no reception or shop or anything on the campsite but at least we got in and our luxury stand really was a luxury stand. There was a roof we could sit under, our own shower, sink and toilet, lights and two braais to choose from. As we couldn’t buy any meat or beer/wine we had a vegetarian, but still delicious dinner in a dry place while a thunderstorm went down.

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