|From Oudshoorn we had to back track lightly to get onto the coastal route, where we stopped at Mossel Bay to see about Shark Diving again, as this was the last opportunity going back to the same Island we had seen before. After a bit of investigating we decided it wasn't worth it as it cost more with no refund if you saw no sharks, or even more then that if you wanted to be certain of a 50% refund if you saw nothing. Seeing as they were only seeing them 3 out of every 4 trips lately we decided against that. Anyway, we had heard we may be able to dive with them without the cages further up the coast!!
So with nothing to keep us here we carried on to Plettenberg Bay and made it just before the Tourist Info closed so had them find us some nice accommodation for 2 days. We ended up in Lavender Cottage, a nice, clean bright white unit, with the odd subtle touch of Lavender, which was very cosy and homely, even had electric blankets on the bed!! It also cost as much as a backpackers double room would have so we thought we did very well!
Next morning went out early to get Kevin a boat based whale-watching trip (Becky opted out - sea looked a bit choppy!) as early as possible as the conditions were supposed to get worse as the day went on. After a little hassle he got the last space on the first trip at 9:30am which turned out to be excellent seeing numerous Southern - Right Whales close up and a pod of 50 - 70 Bottlenose Dolphins waiting for the waves to break before jumping through them (unfortunately too quickly to be caught on camera!).
Going back to the whales, Kevin was on the expensive tour which meant the boat was allowed to get within 50m of the whales before killing the engines (well, one engine was left to idle so the whales knew where the boat was) but they could then float closer and a couple of occasions got with 5m of a group of three, which considering these animals can be the length of eight to ten elephants is quite an impressive sight! We must have spent an hour (20mins max at a time) leisurely watching them and got to see a couple hugging (can be forplay before mating!) but unfortunately none breaching this time.
We hadn't done any interneting for some time as we seem to be driving, arranging and then doing activities and then off again, so decided to spend the afternoon on it. However, to our frustration it seems everything closes at 1pm Saturday until Monday morning so we were stuck for the afternoon with nothing to do. Anyway, walking back to the car we had a massive surprise when we bumped into Jen from the overland trip left her in Cape Town 1000km away and she lives in J'berg 1500km away) who it turns out was working on a project with one of the whale watching companies here. More, or perhaps less surprisingly, she was already drunk, but she had been in the pub watching SA play Australia in the Tri-Nations (playing in Oz hence the early time of day!) which SA actually won and so they had had some drinks to celebrate. There was a big party organised for that evening to finish off the celebrations but being the old f*rts we are we watched the Sky TV we had at our accommodation instead - you'd never know it was a Saturday night...
On the Animal Planet channel they did have a very interesting documentary about a game reserve in South Africa that was close to where we were, that ended up changing our itinerary slightly, so luck we didn't go to the pub otherwise we'd have missed something very important!