Day 21 & 22 - Phinda Game reserve – Umlanga (Durban)
Day 21 gave us a fairly late start time at 11.45.
All teams that were spread over the three Phinda Game reserve lodges were gathered at the North Gate of the reserve.
It was actually quite a long drive from our parking spot in the bush to the North gate and the gravel track was pretty corrugated by the Jeeps using it.
After our start we got to a tarmac road quite quickly and thereafter there was an off road time trial planned after about 45 km. When we came to the start of this fairly rough off road section we we were told by the rally marshals that the test was cancelled because the was too much traffic on the route. Good!
Within about twenty kilometres we were back on tarmac for most of our way to for our meeting with the ocean.
Lunch TC was planned at a very English style country club called Mtunzini Country Club. When we parked our car and walked towards the club building we suddenly spotted the Indian Ocean in the distance. A wonderful view.
Lunch and drinks were available but Grace and I decided just to have a coke and drive on towards our hotel near Durban.
The road was very nice but busy with Sunday traffic and in some places the country roads we passed through were lined with sugar cane. The scenery is very nice and very green and again in most cases the roads are in good condition.
By about 4pm we reached the coastal road to Durban and not long after our turn off to a place called Umlanga, which is just north of Durban.
Our hotel for the night and the next night is called the Oyster Box Hotel.
It’s a very tastefully renovated Colonial style hotel right on the beach. Our room overlooks the ocean and the contrast between our bush lodge in Phinda Game reserve and this hotel is fantastic to experience. All within a days driving.
This is my style of hotel not too opulent but everything is there and very pleasant staff.
Please look up The Oysterbox hotel in Internet.
Day 22 rest day
We skipped breakfast and enjoyed a coffee on our room when suddenly a baboon appeared on our first floor balcony.
Apparently there are quite a lot of them around and they can get into your room to find food. After all our time in the bush we did not expect to find them here by the sea but they tell us that they are quite common around here. We quickly shut the balcony doors and he disappeared again.
I spend the morning finding a place to wash the car and I found a good place with pressure cleaners that could take away the red clay from the car. Then a quick petrol refill and a general check up of the car for our next sessions tomorrow.
The afternoon was spend catching up with mails and a swim in the hotel pool.
Tomorrow we start the last section of the rally and there will be no more rest days until we arrive in Cape town.
Mick and Grace