Day 260: That’s Segway To Do It

Tues 30th April 2013

Follow my leader is easyThe Abalone Place Guest House was a gem and breakfast sat overlooking the pool with background music playing was so enjoyable, I could have stayed all day. Cynthia cooked up a great breakfast just like a Full English one in the UK. All too soon we had to head off as we were due in Storms River by 2pm for our two hour Segway tour.

Dolphin BeachCynthia recommended Jeffreys Bay so that was our first stop for morning coffee. It was a beautiful warm autumn day (hot summers day by UK standards) so we could not resist a stroll along the beach and paddle in the sea. The sand was soft between our toes and the water quite a pleasant temperature for paddling.

Over the hills and far awayThe phone app said we were short on time so all too soon we had to head on along the coastal road towards Cape Town. This stretch is the Storms River Pass built by Thomas Bain and many convicts in 1884 through the forests along a trail originally used by elephants migrating from the coastal forests to the drier region NE of Port Elizabeth.

Storm RiverBridgeThere was one more stop on our way at the modern bridge across the Storms River, built in 1959, which is a well-known landmark in the area. The sun was in the wrong direction for the best photographs, so we may have to come back tomorrow as it is only a few km out of our way. As usual, we were running late and there was no time to stop for lunch so we grabbed some fruit at the garage by the bridge. Very healthy for a change – we have eaten so well since arriving in South Africa.

This beats walking and cycling tooWe made it to Storms River Village just in time and found it was just the two of us on our Segway trip. We spent the first fifteen minutes getting used to the Segway running around the little patch of lawn at the back of the centre. It is not a natural action to ride one – leaning backwards and forwards to slow down or speed up. I had to keep remembering that if it all goes pear shaped, just lean backwards as that acts as the brake! It is all about balance and we soon picked it up and were confident enough to head off.

800 years old and rotten throughThe road was easy, but the track which sloped to one side was interesting as it was necessary to steer right to go in a straight line. The up and down hill were easy, even though there was a main road at the bottom of the first descent to negotiate. Having just got used to the odd sensation of riding on the Segway it was time to dismount to view a one thousand year old Outeniqua Yellowood tree. It still looked very healthy, unlike its counterpart which was only a mere eight hundred years old when it keeled over full of rot and left a huge gap in the landscape.

Who are you looking at? Baboon having a rest.We then headed back across the main road and down a track towards the river. In the middle of the road ahead a family of baboons sat quite happily, with a big male looking on. We stopped and watched them for a while, just playing and quite happy to let us get quite close to take photos. I am surprised the whirring of the Segways did not frighten them away.

Local kids playing rugbyAll too soon it was time to turn back as the track had turned into a stream. We had some time to spare so D, our guide, took us around town passed the old and new buildings. D also took us around the Storms River township where she and other workers in the area lived, in Government provided housing. This was much better than some of the shanty t0wns we saw as we left Jo’burg.

If only I was allowed to go fasterI was enjoying the Segway experience, but at times would have liked to have gone faster, sadly the machines had been set with a speed limiter so we had to make do with pootling around. It did not take long from our initial hesitant and jerkily moving around to confidently gliding around and smoothly changing direction.

Restaurant overlooking the pondWe had booked into a guest house just around the corner from the Segway tours and were soon settled in our large attic room with a cup of tea.  This was just as good as last nights guest house and as a bonus had a restaurant with excellent home cooking for dinner. So far the guest houses is South Africa have been much better than their UK equivalent, especially at £50 per night for B & B.

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One Response to Day 260: That’s Segway To Do It

  1. Brilliant fun way to get around!

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