Taking a Suzuki Swift around South Africa - Part 2
Spending a night driving from Cape L’Agulhas through some beautiful bendy roads, surviving on copious amounts of coffee, with the pleasure of arriving in Knysna – it’s still dark and cold, the sun is about to rise, so we spend our time driving through the town finding a spot to watch the new daybreak!
After a beautiful sunrise and some early-morning coffee, we arrive at our home for the next week only to find out that driving into town at night wasn’t only a great idea, but also the safer choice, as only minutes later the sirens could be heard from the police trying to control a protest on the road we traveled down hardly a few minutes earlier.
Not letting this influence our decision of staying the week, we unpack, set up and get going; taking a strategic drive away from the protestors, we end up driving to Leisure Island where we spend some time exploring the island community.
A week in Knysna
After a great week in Knysna, we decide to pack up late afternoon, get our luggage and equipment tied up and secure; we plan our next trip from Knysna towards Uniondale, with a quick coffee-break in Plettenberg Bay, not wanting to run into any unforeseen situations, we are on our way to Plettenberg Bay at 00:00.
We took a “wrong-turn” onto a dodgy road, and ended up having to turn around and depart through the very well-known dangerous Phantom Pass Road… so let us set the scene first; we are driving up the opaque pass, the gravel path at our sight fades as it leads into the darkness of the woods, it’s around 1 AM and there is no-one around, no distinct light as far as our eyes can see, it’s gloomy, the last sign of life we saw was around 20km’s ago!
With Squeaky packed to the brim, driving up the pass at 15km/h in complete darkness and silence we feel alone, we feel small, our eyes are wide open so we don’t miss any vehicles or animals that might come into our way unexpectedly. Halfway up the pass we stop and embrace the magical views around us, the fresh air, the vastness, the shimmering stars (unfortunately, due to it being so dark, we are unable to capture this beauty, however, we do suggest experiencing the Phantom Pass gravel road at night).
Anyway, back to us driving into Uniondale after a 260 km journey, this small, eerie town is worldly renowned due to ancient tales of The Ghost of Uniondale.
Showing you a little of what we saw
Daily Breeze newspaper article, Dated Friday, April 11, 1980, reads as follows: “The motorcycle ghost of the Karoo Desert has struck again. The ghost said to be a woman who died in a motorcycle accident more than 10 years ago near Uniondale, badly frightened Andre Coetzee, 20, who was breezing along the highway on Good Friday. ‘I was riding near the Baramdas turnoff (the site of the fatal accident a decade ago) when I felt my hair stand on end inside my crash helmet and someone or something put its arms around my waist from behind. Something was sitting on my bike…’ the shaken Coetzee said.”
We decide to stop for fuel, coffee, and a quick something-to-nibble before heading into Uniondale just before Witching Hour, we are ready to go hunt for this ghost that is so well known, we drive in and out of town on every road, approaching Baramdas turnoff from every direction, needless to say, with no action taking place, around 3:30 AM we start heading out with another 300 km’s to go until we observe the sunrise in Jeffrey’s Bay!
After spending some time on taking the road less traveled, we end up driving into J’Bay, into this little holiday town, what a beautiful sight indeed. After watching a magnificent glowing sunrise, we still had some traveling to do as our next bucket list destination was another 400 km’s away.
We set off in a North Easterly direction towards the stop that is still a highpoint for all three of us (yes, this iincludes Squeaky who climbed those hills next to the bigger cars like a pro, showing us over and over that even though she’s super tiny and fully-loaded, she can still do it!)