JOURNEYS & REFLECTIONS
South Africa Educational Study Program


Tsisikamma National Park
June 10, 2007

This morning we awoke early in Tsisikamma National Park.  We slept in great cabins overlooking the beach and a beautiful inlet on the Indian Ocean.   Prior to breakfast we enjoyed an hour long hike that led us to the Stormsriver Mouth Suspension Bridge.  The bridge was first built in 1969, repaired in 1996 and rebuilt in 2006.  The bridge had a great view and it was a wonderful reward after a short but vigorous hike.  Upon our return we had a quick breakfast and loaded the bus for our drive to Stormsriver Canopy Tours.  We were quickly greeted as soon as we unloaded the bus by several canopy guides which briefed us on the rules and regulations of our upcoming expedition.  We were broken up into four groups and then properly outfitted in harnesses, helmets, and gloves—all the necessary items for a safe and happy adventure.  On our tour we encountered ten different slides or “zip lines” over which each of us traveled.  Each of the lines varied in speed, incline and length.  Not only did we enjoy the scenery, but we were also educated in the ecology of the local forest by some of the best guides in the business.  After finishing the slides we had another brief hike back to where we began the canopy tour and we were then served lunch. After a morning full of excitement we, again, boarded the bus for a long afternoon of traveling.  

In the midst of our travel from Tsisikamma to Oudtshoorn we stopped at a large flea market right outside of Knysna where we all bartered and bargained for the best prices for gifts to bring home and mementos to cherish.  Our day was not over yet—we still had many hours of traveling until we reached our final destination of Kleinplaas in Oudtshoorn.   Once we reached Kleinplaas, we found our way to our various apartments/rooms and waited as the adults (teachers, Rina, Karen, Mary, Jan, Cammie and Teresa) prepared a wonderful home cooked meal for us.  The meal included pasta with marinara or pesto sauce, an assortment of salads, and garlic toast.  Many of us students agreed that this was one of the best meals we had eaten on the entire trip.  

We all went to bed at a reasonable hour as we prepared for another fun filled day.  Tomorrow we will visit an ostrich farm and then travel on “our last long drive” which will land us in Cape Town—our final destination until we fly out on Thursday.