Garden Route Trip Day 3: Plettenberg Bay and Knysna

By 20:52

After just one rainy night in Stormsriver, we left the next morning to see the Stormsriver Bridge since I missed it on account of the rain. The bridge is the N2 which cuts through an amazing mountain way with a valley below. We parked at the petrol station and there are pathways to guide you along both sides of the highway where you can see the rock face, the greenery sloping all the way down into a little river below. It is absolutely breath-taking. Even more incredible was imagining how they built the N2 over this so many years ago, still managing to retain the natural wonder and including pathways for people to view this.

After lots of looking down, we went to look up at the Big Tree. It’s about 2km from the Stormsriver Bridge off the N2. We paid a small entry fee to get into a nature reserve and walked around until we found some very big trees. The Big Tree is 1000 years old and preserved in this reserve. Although this didn’t take too long, it was a bit of a walk…in nature…which I hate, so if a nature reserve isn’t your thing, you can leave this out of your itinerary.

Our next stop was in Plettenberg Bay – just to walk on the beach and collect shells. We marvelled at Beacon Island which I don’t think is really considered an island but it is surrounded by water. There’s a little bridge connecting the Plettenberg Bay beach to the island but you can easily wade through the water to get there too. This stop was just to walk along the beach which is an everyday must if you’re driving along the coast.

We hit the road again and detoured off the N2 into Knysna. A pretty little area filled with tons of vegetation and a huge lagoon. We stayed at the Protea Guesthouse which had an amazing view of the lagoon.

We headed to the Knysna waterfront which has apparently deteriorated over the years. Having never experienced what it was like before, I thought it was pretty awesome. Boats leave from the waterfront to cruise on the lagoon daily and the restaurants all look out on to the lagoon. There are many shops (read: tourist traps) to browse through. I actually bought some stunning pearl jewellery from a little gem jeweller there.

We had lunch at Drydock. Since we were on the coast we opted for seafood. I had the catch of the day which was gurnard, a fish I hadn’t tasted before. It was delicious and juicy. My boyfriend has a fish soup which had a number of different types of seafood swimming in a tasty broth.

We initially wanted to stay at Thesen Island but it the rates are way too expensive for the working class to afford. Nonetheless, there are other things to do on this island, like supper at Knysna Tapas and Oysters. I’m used to eating oysters raw accompanied with a squeeze of lemon and a drop of tabasco sauce the way it is served at the Oyster festivals in Jozi. I had no clue that oysters could be served any other way. This restaurant boasted an award winning oyster dish, oyster chiquila, which was a cultivated oyster with tequila sauce, japaleno mayo, cucumber and red caviar. They also serve grilled and tempura oysters along with oysters served the good old fashioned way. I can simply say that I am now a fan of oysters that aren’t served plain. We had lots of other tasty tapas at this joint with extremely friendly service. I definitely recommend this place.

Although we spent 2 days in Knysna, I think Knysna could have been experienced in one day. Although, the two days did make it all the more relaxing. 

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