The bus ride to Storms River, a small village within the Tsitsikamma National Park, lead us over the Bloukrans Bridge that is home to the world’s highest bungy jump (from a bridge, 216 meters). We zipped over it, so I was only able to get a quick glimpse of the gorge, not enough to fully appreciate the height. Still crediting myself with two Canyon Swings (from 107 meters) in Queenstown last December, I had already decided to pass on the bungy jump.
Within Storms River, the views are dominated by Tsitsikamma Mountain, which I’d guess to be around 1,000 meters high. I settled into the fairly empty Tube ‘n Axe backpackers and booked a horseback riding trip in the forest for the following day. The bungy jump was the dominant activity of the area, so I heard several fresh accounts, reinforcing my decision not to face a ridiculously scary experience again just for the fun of it.
My horses name was Gracie. She took good care of me, following the lead horse (Bullet) ridden by the guide, Morpheus. The owner of all the horses was riding Rambo right behind us. It took an hour for me to feel some sense of comfort as I hadn’t ridden in 20 years. We did some trotting which is a real ball-buster of an experience as you bounce up and down. When I was younger, I remember the one time I got up to canter, and how it felt smoother (and certainly faster) than trotting. Horseback riding is a popular activity all along the South African coast, so I made a mental note to try it on the beach where even beginners can get up to a gallop.
After the ride, I hired a mountain bike for the short trip to an 800-year old Yellowwood Tree (the national tree of South Africa). Sure enough, it was a big tree. Not too exciting. Before I returned the bike, I stopped at a B&B for a selection of local cheeses and a hot stone massage. I had to make up for the nightmarish experience the last time I tried one in Luang Prabang, Laos. The day was wrapped up with a one and a half hour sunset Baz bus ride to a world-renowned surfing mecca, Jeffrey’s Bay.