Day 2 (February 25th)
I had to wake up nice and early to get back to the ship for my safari. The trip left at 9 a.m., which meant I had to be checking in by 8:40. After my alarm went off at 7 and I hit snooze once or twice, I hopped in the shower, grabbed my stuff and we grabbed a taxi. Of course we left late AND ended up with the world’s slowest taxi driver so I was panicking all the way back. Typical me, I know. But I ran back to the room and grabbed my already packed backpack and rushed out the door. But not before I found out Malia was quarantined for being sick and I also managed to leave my toiletries kit, which I later found out, at our first lodging. I met up with the group, and actually wasn’t the last one on the bus, and then our bus drove us to the airport and we had plenty of time to kill after checking in so we grabbed a quick breakfast. After being a little panicked all morning, I managed to finally take a big breath and relax. After a plane ride to Port Elizabeth, we met up with our tour guide, Marianne, and our bus driver, Lawrence. In no time we were driving through the beautiful costal town of Port Elizabeth, or Nelson Mandela Bay, as they recently changed their name. We arrived at our first lodging, the Orange Elephant Backpackers. I didn’t know what a backpackers was until I arrived. It is simply another name for a hostel, but of course when I was going through the itinerary, I had no clue what that meant. Luckily I wasn’t the only one in that boat, as many of the other students had no clue what that meant either. That’s also around the time I discovered I had left my toiletries bag on the ship. After relaxing for a little while, and learning about how to work the “light-your-own-fire-to-heat-your-water” shower, we had a delicious lunch of burgers, a welcome delicacy after days of pasta, potatoes, and pork.
Then it was time for our next stop, the Addo Elephant National Park. We did an open-air jeep safari and got to see plenty of elephants, and some other animals too, like zebra and antelope. The elephants are sometimes called orange elephants because they roll through the red dirt and it makes them look orange so hunters used to think they were actually orange and not gray. After about an hour and a half of driving around looking at elephants, we had a 30-min drive back to the main gift shop, and due to my lack of sleep the previous night, I kept dozing off throughout the entire ride; head bobbing back and forth and all. Apparently it was quite a funny show for everyone behind me. After a quick stop in the gift shop and the museum we hopped back on the bus and headed back to our backpackers. We had an evening of leisure time, so naturally I fell asleep while relaxing and then it was dinnertime again! The meal was chicken skewers, steak, potatoes, butternut squash, homemade fresh bread and salad. Once again, SO delicious compared to our usual meals.
After spending some time relaxing and watching a rugby game, everyone slowly began to head to bed because we had to get up so early.