Friday, June 25, 2010

plettenberg bay (june 19-21)

Third stop on the Garden Route: Plettenberg Bay. Although the Garden Route continues on to Port Elizabeth, this was the furthest stop we made along the route. Plettenberg Bay is about another hour and a half from Oudtshoorn, bay on the coast. Plettenberg Bay is another nice town, bigger than Oudtshoorn and very touristy, with the beach town vibe. We went on a hike in the Robberg National Park, and then went to see Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, and lastly the Knysna Elephant Park before heading back toward Hermanus. Robberg National Park was beautiful, but time constraints led us to take the shorter hiking route, about two hours round trip instead of four. The hike took us around the park, which is right on the coast. You could look down at one point and see a group of seals splashing and barking in the water. We stopped along the part of the trail that led to a beach, and I was able to stick my feet in the ocean... it was MUCH warmer than the ocean water around Cape Town.

After hiking the Robberg Nature Trail, I went to Monkeyland and Birds of Eden, two animal sanctuaries that are right next to each other, just past Plettenberg Bay. We went on a one hour tour of Monkeyland, during with the guide told us about the different types of monkeys in the sanctuary, and where they came from. The monkeys in Monkeyland are monkeys that were formerly pets or zoos, and thus are most likely unable to survive in the wild. Monkeyland is surrounded by fences, but within those limits the monkeys roam as they please.

After Monkeyland, we walked through Birds of Eden. There were a lot of beautiful birds from all over the world, but there was no guided tour so I didn't learn much about the birds.

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