Ah, Plettenberg Bay. I've heard a fair amount about this small town, and it's truly an oceanside wonder of the Garden Route. The town has the most charming layout: the entire place (or at least the bit that I've seen) looks like a beachside holiday resort. The shops, restaurants and malls are huddled together in open-air complexes alongside a cobbled main road and a set of winding paths that take you right down to the shoreline.
The bay itself is almost eye-bleedingly pretty, especially if you have a gander at it from Plet's lookout point. I really wish that my entry-level camera (combined with my entry-level photography) could truly express the prettiness of the place.
I was told that I could walk about safely at night, so I did. Of course, I stripped myself of anything remotely valuable first (haha, I'm not THAT gullible, fiendish crime syndicates!), but it was really nice to freely hit the streets and check out the night-time shoreline. The building in the picture above looks absolutely amazing when lit up at dusk: an eerie night beacon standing out against an endless expanse of black ocean. I'd strongly recommend seeing this for yourself if you ever happen to be in the bay area.
My accomodation while in Plet was the Nothando Backpackers. It's R120 a night: unfortunately, none of the other Baz-endorsed hostels in Plet were any cheaper.
Something that backpacking lodges need to realise: I. Do. Not. Want. Luxury. Accomodation. Please give me something cheap and crappy. I've been eating noodles and baked beans for the past week because of the nightly levies and it's not about to get any better.
I'm strongly considering investing in a tent at the first possible opportunity. A tent and a sleeping bag. And probably some anti-mozzie stuff, too. They'll all pay for themselves within a week or two, I reckon. Having your own tent is the difference between paying something awful like R120 a night for “luxury dorms” (slightly nicer beds, I guess?) and fifty bucks to camp on the lawn just outside while still getting access to all of the lodge's facilities.
The above is what I spent my night on. Yeah, it's reasonably comfy and management gives you your own towel to wash up with (it's oh-so-white and puffy!), so it gets an 8 out of ten. Minus ratings for the price I had to pay (probably for all the extras that I never ended up using anyway) and the fact that the wall socket for my laptop was just a tiny bit too far from the bed to be realistically convenient.
In other news, I came across this really creepy dog while wandering about Plet's malls, and it just wouldn't stop staring at me, even amidst a crowd of passers-by.
It must be an omen of some kind. Probably to the effect that I should start avoiding creepy dogs.
Hopping off to Knysna for a few days now. Really looking forward to it.