Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Port Elizabeth - 'The Friendly?' City

Port Elizabeth - The 'Friendly' City

Can't say I really like Port Elizabeth. I have been staying here at Lungile backpackers which is ok but nothing special. I'm in a 4 bed mixed dorm with 2 German Girls and a Japanese Guy. The 2 'bunk' beds are actually 4 normal beds stacked on top of each other. I am on the bottom with one of the german girls on top of me -( there I go again - stop it now! ). The bed above me has some nice graffiti on its underside and one large stainmark which some previous person has helpfully pointed out in pen by saying "that is pee!". Thanks.

Port Elizabeth itself is just a large port with nothing much to see. Where I am staying is the more upperclass area. It has a nice seafront and lots of tacky hotels and restaurants. There is even a rather touristy casino and leisure complex with lots of cafes and gift shops - but because its off season there is nobody around. Also near the hostel is an Oceanarium which looks really rundown even from the outside. They have dolphin displays daily but there is no way on earth that I am going into the place. Its bad enough that they should have creatures like dolphins in captivity but what makes it worse is that this whole coastline has dolphins aplenty swimming in their natural habitat.

As for other activities. It does offer quite alot in the way of things but every single thing can be done better at other places. We (Claudia and I) did try to book onto an Eco-cruise to see penquins/dolphins etc but they were charging way too much money. For these next two weeks I am going to have to look after my money closely and decide carefully what excursions I want to do or I will never get to South America!

By the way my Jinx seems to have followed me to Port Elizabeth because the two German girls found out yesterday that its not as 'friendly' as it says. They have the same South Africa lonely planet book as me which states that Port Elizabeth's Sea front is 'one of the safest in the country' . What a pity the guy that robbed them at knifepoint, in broad daylight, yesterday didn't know that! They told me that he took a handbag which had everything both of them had: Credit cards, money, cameras and photos of their 2 month journey in Africa so far.

They have 2000 rand left to last them for 6 weeks and are currently trying to get money wired to them from Germany. I was very sympathetic to their plight but all I can really think is:

What the hell possessed you to carry all your stuff in one handbag! I have since distributed all my things from my small rucksack to various parts of my anatomy (Some things are chaffing!)

Tomorrow its on to Plettenberg and hopefully some sea Kayaking amongst whales!

Cute zebra from Kareiga - just before it was ripped to shreds by a lion - only joking!!!!

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