Down the Pondoland coast. The old leper colony of Mkambati is now a nature reserve stretching from the mouth of the Mthentu to the mouth of the Mkambati, nowhere else on the outside edge of Africa have we seen wildebeest, zebra, eland and red hartebeest grazing within sight of passing whales, dolphins and shoals of sardines.
It's tough going; we're feeling the pace. First gear low ratio, and sometimes on foot over difficult terrain to follow the incredibly beautiful Wild Coast. The sardines are running, millions upon millions of young Cape pilchards moving East, shoals of up to ten kilometres long, birds flock in their thousands as do the dolphins with pods numbering up to 20 000 or more as they congregate to feed off the shoals.
It's up there with the Serengeti wildebeest migration as one of the greatest migrations on earth. We stop at the wreck site of the Grosvenor, the East Indiaman that went down here. The wind tugs at my beard. Ross' excited voice comes over his handheld radio, he's on foot with Anna and Tristan, having left from Mkambati that morning: "Can't believe it," he says, "never seen so many whales, dolphins, shoals of sardines, gannets diving and the coast, so beautiful - I can see the Landies, keep on coming down the track and you'll see us."
Tough Pondo women dive for crayfish and pull octopus and mussels from the rocks. Past Coffee Bay and the Hole in the Wall at sunrise, we're chasing time. The wind blows strongly as we take the small well-run motorised ferry across the Great Kei River. Leaning on the Landy bonnet looking out to sea memories of so many other outside edge river crossings come flooding back.
Memories of the long waits and disappointments, the shouting and screaming, the bailing buckets and bribes, oil pissing out from the ferry engine, midstream breakdowns, fish traders and touts, dangerous overcrowding, people pushing and shoving, more black marks on the sun visor, vendors selling bananas, ground nuts, mangoes, chickens, boiled eggs and warm beer - wouldn't have missed it for anything.
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