I chose to stay at Tekweni Backpackers, yet another party hostel, due to its proximity to restaurants along a popular street a mere block away. It thrilled me even more to find a swanky, one month old internet cafe nearby as well. I wrote off sightseeing in Durban long ago, considering the required metropolitan stopover as a way to figure out my future travel plans and catch up on blogging and photo-uploading instead.
I changed my flight date to Cairo, allowing for a few extra weeks in southern Africa. To my surprise, the cost was double what I expected. Something about $50 to change the date, and almost another $50 to reissue the ticket. Given it's an electronic ticket, the fees seemed steep, but a refund minus $100 would take too long, 5-8 weeks.
The guy at the travel desk was very helpful and patient, calling a bunch of overland tour companies on my behalf. My first, second, third, and fourth choices were all booked which was discouraging, though I was given a booklet for a budget company called Livingstone Trails. When I Google'd them, the one review which came up was a decidedly negative diatribe by an American woman. It was enough to keep me from putting down a deposit. Instead, I decided to wait until I reached Johannesburg to make a final decision.
As a throwback to watching the movie Hostel at a hostel in Christchurch, New Zealand, I happened to watch the sequel, Hostel 2, at Tekweni's in Durban. It was gross.
Another benefit of being back in an urban environment, beyond affordable, high-speed internet access, is the prevalence of good restaurants and cafes. I seized the opportunity to eat a 3-course meal at Butchery Boys, a Lonely Planet recommendation near the hostel. I savored a beef carpaccio, and was in heaven with a well-cooked chunk of Eland with mustard mash(ed potatoes). I pushed it too far by ordering dessert, the classic Cape Town Malva pudding.
Dave is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Go Backpacking and Feastio. He's been to 66 countries and lived in Colombia and Peru. Read the full story of how he became a travel blogger.
Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:
- G Adventures for small group tours.
- World Nomads for travel insurance.
- Hostelworld for booking hostels.
- Rail Europe for train passes.