South Africa - Round The World Tour 2003 Day 15

Sodwana bay

Thursday 27th March

Today we completed the remaining two dives from our five-dive package. We’ve had a great time here at Sodwana Bay and met some really fantastic people, several of whom we have exchanged contact details with. The atmosphere here has been wonderful and the whole dive community has been warm and welcoming. We will leave here tomorrow morning reluctantly and with fond memories. The diving has been a mixed bag, particularly in light of the problems we both experienced with the nausea during our first dive, but otherwise it has been great. We would both love to return here one day. There are plenty of dive locations and sites that we have not yet seen.

Early this afternoon, after we had finished the diving, Sandy noticed that a very small tick had embedded itself into her abdomen. This was potentially a nasty situation as this can be a problem with some kinds of tick. There are some ticks that can leave you with quite a nasty infection if the tick is broken apart before removed or killed. Luckily, a DAN (Diver’s Alert Network) doctor runs a small surgery an hour or two a day just outside the main gate so we went up there to see him this afternoon. Fortunately, the tick in question was harmless and the doctor told Sandy to just put some Vaseline over it to starve it of oxygen. Then it could be pried out with a blunt knife. Since we already knew what to do in this situation, Sandy had already covered the little bugger with Vaseline.

The war in Iraq is into its second week now and I’ve been trying to follow it as best I can in the TV room whenever I’ve had a spare few minutes. Our passage through Egypt and Jordan in particular still hovers in the back of my mind and I wonder just what the political scene will look like when the time comes. We still have the flexibility of delaying our return flights up to a month so this should give us plenty of manoeuvring room. In actuality, we will probably push back these dates anyway in light of the things and places we still want to see.

I called Mike’s parent’s house today and spoke with Mike’s Dad, Dave. I think I must have confused him by calling out of the blue as it was a few moments before he remembered us. I told him that we were passing through and that we needed a place to stay overnight. He immediately offered us a bed at their house. This kind of hospitality has been the bedrock of our experiences with South Africans in general. We are looking forward to seeing both Dave & Glenis when we arrive there shortly after midday tomorrow after an anticipated three to four hour drive. Still not sure what we are going to be doing after that but as they live just North East of Durban, we will be in an ideal geographic location for a jump into either the Drakensberg range or down towards the garden route.

One of the couples we met here are Siska & Ryan. They are South African but live in Dublin. They are two very nice people and we may even visit them in Dublin this summer when we return to Europe. I put all the photos that we took during the past four days here at Sodwana Bay onto a CD for them to take home. At just 453 photos for the past four days, we’ve slowed down our pace somewhat but there were still nearly enough to completely fill another CD. I’m running low on CDs and must remember to pick up some more when we get to the next major town. I also promised another CD full of photos to a German guy. We got some lovely underwater shots over the past few days. Unlike using the two above ground digital cameras, a fair percentage of photos taken don’t come out too well. Other than the low light levels, the main problem is keeping the subject in focus when both it as well as the camera is constantly on the move. The fish are always swimming and the current drift makes keeping the camera in one place for more than a second almost impossible. Still, there a re a few crackers in there.

Although it’s hard to believe, the most fish that I saw during the past four days was actually during a twenty minute snorkel right here on the beach in just 12-24 inches of water and less than thirty yards from the shore.

With tomorrow’s accommodation now sorted, we can now both sleep peacefully and not worry too much about getting up too early. Hopefully, we will now wake up refreshed and ready to go tomorrow morning.