Thursday morning at 5am I left Port Elizabeth in Team Mini's sponsored VW Polo to join the rest of the participants in the Mini vs Maxi Adventure across the Eastern Cape at the offices of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency for a briefing. After receiving our info and prepping the cars with the necessary decals we headed to Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve for the officials launch function.
Inkwenkwezi also sponsored lunch which consisted of their famous Maxi Burgers which has become a regular Wednesday night feature on the East London restaurant scene over the years. Believe me these babies are biiiiiiiig. You start off well, then slow down and finally get to a point where you can't anymore. I finished the bottom section and the meat, but couldn't do the top.
Team Mini's first destination was the Morgen Bay Hotel on the Wild Coast and unlike Team Maxi that had to go as far as Cape St Francis, we only had a short distance to cover which was done at a nice leisurely pace. Each team has been given a video camera to document their trip and Sisa immediately volunteered to be our camera man. We stopped a couple of times for him to capture some footage and I am sure that he has missed his calling.
On the way down towards Morgan Bay we saw what must be one of the most unusual sights on the Wild Coast, if not in the whole province. A huge pink plane next to the road. It stands at Morganville Farm which, as the sign states, is a resting place of old bikes, automobiles and flying machines.
After checking into the Morgan Bay Hotel we headed down to the lagoon to try our hands at canoeing. Neil has paddled before, but it was a first time for both me and Sisa and I am proud to say that we had the art of paddling under the knee very quickly and there is already talk of a possibly Fish River Canoe Marathon (said very tongue in cheek). Paddling up the lagoon was a fantastic experience for these two canoe virgins who also got the opportunity to do some bird watching off the canoe and spotted, amongst others, a fish eagle.
Neil, who knows the area well, suggested that we grabbed a couple of drinks and head up to the top of the Kranse (Cliffs) for sunset. The Kranse is just to the west of Morgan Bay and is a large grassy hillside with cliffs leading down to the crashing ocean below.
The perfect end to a great first day of what will hopefully be an unforgettable four days of adventuring through the Eastern Cape.