We arrived in Durban on a rain soaked Sunday and checked into the only place we could find room - the Home Backpackers. It turned out to be great - they had camping, and a cheap double room with private bath for Ronnie and Nick. With the rain though, I was able to throw my sleeping pad and bag on the floor.
We basically spent a few days recharging batteries and preparing to part ways. First up was to say goodbye to the Encouragement. After a quiet New Year's (watching both the Bourne Identity and the Bourne Supremacy!) we took her down to the car wash for some TLC before dropping her at the airport. Once at the airport, I took a few moments to say goodbye, and we were on our way back to Durban - without our own transport for the first time in 2 months.
I must say it was a bit of an adjustment not being able to just hop in the car and get something done, but we took a deep breath and stepped into local transport whcih turned out to be both cheap and efficient.
After 3 days, we shifted from Home Backpackers in town and headed to a 3-bed duplex overlooking Anstey's Beach. (Actually, the deck ovelooked a house which overlooked a car park and then the road, another parking lot and then the beach, but we did have a wonderful view of the ocean and the kite surfers riding the waves.) I spent one night there before headng back to Town to catch a mini-bus out to Sani and the Drakensburg Mountains on Friday, but the three of us enjoyed our last self catered meal together. It was a bit random, but we used up ther remnants of the food we'd bough over the last month - macaroni and cheese, stir fried zuccini and tomatoes and garlic mashed potoatoes (a mainstay of our self catering meals) and of course some 2 mintue ramen noodles.
The next night we met at a Thai restaurant for a proper goodbye meal which we shared with Colm and Pippy a couple from the UK we'd met at Home Backpackers. On a side note, it came up in conversation that Colm and Pippy had travelled in Namibia in November. They's met-up with a Belgian driving a white rental car who had just left an American and an Australian in Etosha NP. I was the American, and the Belgian was Stephen Hauben whom I'd met at the backpackers in Windhoek back at the beginning of my time in Southern Africa.
I took it as a sign it was time to move on.
After a wonderful Thai dinner, I bade Nick and Ronnie farewell. They headed back to Anstey's Beach and I to Home Backpackers and then on to Sani the next day.