Impromptu travel is the action of travelling without a plan.
There is irony in this is because you almost need to have a general idea of what there is to do, otherwise you’ll be travelling blindly and will end up missing hidden gems that could be just around the corner. Let me tell you what I did, places I saw and areas I visited. With this I hope you can head on your journey with knowledge to make some inspired decisions.
I spent a few days travelling up the N2 from Cape Town (CT) to Port Elizabeth (PE) and I can honestly say it was one of the best trips of my life. It may be cliché, but all too often we (I) are so caught up on the destination at the expense of the journey. This trip, however, was different in that the journey was the destination.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, nature lover,family man, a student on a budget or a nomadic traveller, there is something for everyone. The N2 route from CT to PE is filled to the brim with things to do.
It’s 04:30. Our minds, buzzing with excitement, wake us up. In just an hour we will be on the road, heading on another beautiful road trip. The sunrise was akin to some sort of solar explosion, it made for a special sight. The first stop was Oumeul in Riviersonderend, famously known for its pies, for some breakfast. The food and coffee was great!
After what seemed like an instant we were back in the car, heading towards Wilderness. If there is one place outside of Cape Town I really love, this is it. This sleepy beach town, tucked away in lush woodlands, has a natural allure and an unspoilt feel about it. The beaches are golden, the trees are the deepest of greens and the waves are mesmerising. En route we stopped in Vic Bay and watched the surfers and fisherman doing their thing.
Wilderness is also a perfect spot for paragliding, I’d highly recommend you try it. If the paragliding operators aren’t there they’ll be in Sedgefield, which is just a hop, skip & a jump (or just a short drive, obviously) up the road. Give them a call before you arrive and they’ll let you know where they are launching on the day. Just next to the paragliders takeoff spot is a restaurant called the View. I can personally vouch for that name because the view is absolutely amazing, second to none.
After Sedge we headed to Plett via a relatively unknown beach called Noetzie. The reason this beach is so amazing is that it’s surrounded by castles. We arrived just before sunset and were the only 2 people on the entire beach. Watching the sun set with castles at our back was quite something & I’ll never forget it. The ride back to the N2 was also enjoyable driving through forest with majestic views everywhere you look.
Plett is home to ‘The Crags’. It’s an area that hosts plenty of different things to do, 23 activities in 30km to be exact! We went for an early morning horse ride at Hogs Hollow Horse Trails, it was really breath taking. Near the end of the trail I closed my eyes for a moment & all my other senses kicked into hyper drive. The sun was beaming on my face, the grass whooshing in the wind, the horses hooves thudding as they trod along and the birds were merrily singing away. It was quite an amazing moment and set the tone for the day.
After horse riding it was time to get the adrenaline glands flowing, a quick drive and some minor paperwork later and I was standing on the edge of a 216m bridge – ready to tackle the world’s highest commercial bridge bungy! My heart was fluttering and I had a very nervous smile on my face, 5…4…3…2…1…
The thrill of jumping off a bridge is not easy to explain, my best advice would be to try it. It’s really amazing and once you’ve jumped and are in free fall, the nervousness is replaced with utter exhilaration. The view is spectacular and you’ll be pumped for days. Be sure to pay the extra for the photos and video, it’s well worth it.
Before I knew what hit me I was onto the next adventure, standing 20m off the ground, ready to jump off a tree and zip line through the forest canopy, taking a tour at the nearby Storms River Village. There’s something surreal about being suspended from a 600 year old tree. To put that into perspective, the first sightings of the Cape of Good Hope (Cape Town) by the Europeans were still over 50 years away when the tree started growing. Zapping through the forest canopy was good fun & an adventure for everyone.
Shortly after the tour was finished we were rushing off to our last big adventure before sunset, elephant riding! Elephants are magnificent creatures and the elephant ride was a great learning experience. Just imagine feeling the elephants rock-like skin & his soft ears, listening to him trumpet and move and all the while learning some cool things.
By this time you can imagine we had built up quite an appetite and having one of my favourite towns not too far away was enough reason to hold off just a little bit longer. The drive to Jeffrey’s Bay was pleasant and before supper we spent a few minutes at the seaside, taking in the sights and sounds. The famous Supertubes surfing spot is always a good bet with wooden benches on a raised platform between the local aloe trees.
After supper we headed off to PE in a lightning storm of note, the lightning was a distance away and watching it unfold was spectacular. It was the perfect end to our trip and a great sight.
Now for a little plug, we think they deserve it: This trip was all made possible by Beame Vehicle Recovery & the awesome service they are offering. I’ve learned quite a lot about them over the last while & all I can say that if you love your car you should be checking them out. Two of my close friends have had cars stolen in the last couple years and it’s an unfortunate reality living in South Africa.