St. Lucia

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October 30, 2008 - Thursday - Swaziland to St. Lucia

After passing through the border point at Golela, we are on our way to the Indian Ocean coast.  We stop at another highway rest stop and I have lunch at Wimpy's again - ordering the hake fish & chips.  It was very good and cost less than 50 Rand (US$5.00) including a small Coke.

We arrive at the Protea Hotel in St. Lucia at 4pm and soon learn this whole area is under severe water restrictions. The municipality shuts off the water at 9pm and doesn't turn it back on until 5am. They also turn the water off midday from 10am-3pm. The hotel is no great shakes, but it will do for the night.

Most of us take the St. Lucia Estuary Boat Cruise at 5pm, which cruises up the estuary showing us some of the wildlife along the shores: African Fish Eagle, Goliath Heron, Hippopotamus, Kudu, and some smaller animals. I don't think it is up to the standard of the Chobe River boat cruise in Botswana, but I take my best photos and video of hippos and African Fish Eagles on this cruise. I'm a bit annoyed by my group - they won't stop talking, so the wildlife is skittish.  The guy at the helm of the boat runs right over a hippo - such an idiot!  This is one of South Africa’s World Heritage sites, however the South Africans need to take better care of it.

Male Kudu with big horns
Male Kudu with big horns
Goliath Crane & Greater Egret
Goliath Crane & Greater Egret
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle

On the way back from the boat cruise, Craig tells us about the timing for the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve open vehicle safari tomorrow morning. Our wakeup call will be 4:45am, and we need to be out the door by 5:15am! He says the safari will end around 9am, so that works for me. I guess lots of us will be sleeping on the bus as we proceed to Durban tomorrow.

Wildlife in South African parks & reserves
from JoeTourist InfoSystems on Vimeo

This evening I went alone to Alfredo's Italian restaurant for dinner, which is located across the street from the Protea Hotel. This is a family run restaurant with very reasonable prices. I order the Seafood Misto (prawns, line fish & calamari strips), an Italian salad starter, and a glass of wine. This is the best seafood I've had in a long time. Total cost is 190 Rand (US$20) - a very good price! This meal would be at least double the price in Canada. I had a Cappuccino to finish - a bit watery, and the décor is drab, but overall I highly recommend this restaurant because of the excellent food and good service.

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