Africa Blog Posts, Blog Posts

Week 81: Durban and Coffee Bay

I arrived in Durban and made my way to my CouchSurfing hosts place. I stayed for most of the week with an Indian family visited the temple and attended a celebration. Before any of this I started looking up the prices of a new laptop and digital camera, I have been planning to get these for the last two or three months and was hoping to get them here in South Africa. I looked up the prices and checked against my budget. Although I could technically afford to buy them I would have very little money left over for my arrival in Australia. So I decided that it is better to wait a little while longer, until I am working in Australia and will have more cash.

After making that decision I applied for my Australian visa, it is all online and should take less than a week. Then on Friday and Saturday we went to the temple and ate some really nice food. On the Saturday we attended a celebration which was very interesting but I still don’t quite understand the significance of a lot of what happened.

Then on Sunday I headed out of Durban to Coffee Bay to meet up with Nofar for the last time, I only stayed there for one night because I had received a response about my Australian visa. Apparently I need to get a chest x-ray examination, so I decided to head to a city and get it all arranged as soon as possible. I will hopefully be leaving South Africa in a week or so, I’m looking forward to a change of scenery and a chance to stay in one place and settle down for a while. But moving forward means leaving some places and people behind, sometimes that is a lot harder than others.

Africa Blog Posts, Blog Posts

Week 80: Diving in Sodwana Bay

This week has been really awesome, I stayed in Sodwana Bay doing my Open Water and Advanced Open Water scuba diving qualifications. The open Water course took 4 days, three of which included diving in Sodwana Bay. On one of the days we saw a group of dolphins and went snorkeling with them on our way out to the dive site. The bay has a huge area of coral reef and is home to loads of different types of fish and two types of turtle.

I finished the course on Thursday after scoring 100% in the final exam, while I was heading back to my tent I saw a group of people stood around a tent and overheard them asking if there was anyone around who wasn’t afraid of snakes. I used to have pet snakes so I went over to see what was happening, they told me that a cobra had been found in the tent but they were all too afraid to move it out, so I offered to do it. The snake was covered with a bed sheet and they gave me a long grabber thing but told me that the snake was too big for the grabber to fit around its neck. After a few minutes I had pushed the snake and the sheet into a box and closed the lid, we carried it out to some bushes and released it. The snake was about one and a half, to two meters long and black. They then told me that it wasn’t just a cobra but a Mozambiquan Spitting Cobra. I hadn’t been afraid because I was staying far enough away not to get bitten, but spitting cobras can spit quite far.

The next day I started my Advanced Open Water course, this basically involves five adventure dives, chosen from sixteen different fields. I chose to do a Deep dive, Underwater Navigation, Peak Performance Bouyancy, Naturalist dive and Multilevel dive. The course was great and I saw lots of great fish and actually finished the course with a dive on ‘7 mile reef’, which is one of the top 10 dive sites in the world. During the course I swam with dolphins again and saw two Manta Rays. A really great experience.

Now I am heading to Durban and trying to plan what to do over the next week or so, I think I will be leaving South Africa very soon and heading to Australia. I just need to decide where I want to visit in South Africa, go there, then fly out to Australia to begin my third section of the trip.