We got up before six for a dawn patrol surf session. Got all packed up to leave as well. Graham got up to consider going with us. We visited briefly but he was pretty “fuzzy headed” from partying late and eventually decided to go back to bed. By the time we got to the waterfront of Durban it was closing in on 8 AM and we were surprised to find hundreds of people, perhaps thousands, out running, biking, surfing, body boarding, and generally just enjoying the lovely, warm spring morning. The surf lineup was packed so we drove north to take a look at some other spots. After much searching and not finding anything worthwhile we had to make a decision about our future: do we drive 2 hours back to the south beaches where we might find better surf, or do we continue on our journey northward, getting us closer to Mozambique or Victoria Falls. We decided we would go south and spend 4 or 5 days, then drive in a very “focused” manner through Botswana and on to Victoria Falls. However, Bob had me pull over just before we got on the highway. He was getting pretty burned out on the crowded resort beaches in and around Durban and we weren’t finding many waves anyway. I backed off the onramp, turned around and we drove north instead; another unscripted moment.
It was getting hot and the wind was picking up, though it wasn’t quite noon. We decided to find a good swimming beach and spend a couple of hours getting some exercise. After checking a few beaches we had to settle on one that was nice enough but this whole stretch of coast seems to be pretty rocky so it wasn’t great swimming. I swam a bit, then worked on getting some tan back, and read. Bob spent most of the time swimming and body boarding in the strong surf.
Our minds made up, we stocked up on groceries and jumped on the toll road in hopes of making it to St. Lucia, which is known for beautiful beaches, coral reefs, snorkeling, diving, and birding, but there doesn’t appear to be many, if any, surf opportunities. It got dark before we made it to St. Lucia so we got a room at a sort of backpackers place called Khumbulani Lodge. The brochure said it is rated by its guests as one of the best hostels in Zululand but I’m afraid this guest will have to disagree. It is really just a big house with lots of rooms but since they don’t serve breakfast it isn’t considered a B&B. We had the best room in the house since we were the only ones staying there, so at least it was pretty quiet. The “lodge” hasn’t had much attention since the 1970’s I’d guess, by looking at the furniture and fixtures and it would have to be a whole lot cleaner to get my stamp of approval. However, we did eventually get the water to work in our room (can’t drink the water here and their private tank was having troubles) so we took a bath and got a good night’s sleep in the queen bed that did not require the use of our personal bedding.