St Francis Bay and Back to Being Solo

The drive to St Francis Bay was on a bumpy dirt road that seemed to stretch on for ages. When it finished we were presented with a quaint little town complete with white houses and thatched roofs, somewhere I was happy to be able to spend a couple of nights.

We stayed at the St Francis Bay Backpackers, something I couldn’t recommend more. The common area was modern and fitted out with nice furniture as was the outdoor area beside it, and our private but family sized room that we’d treated ourselves to was perfect. The enticing queen bed was as comfortable as it looked and the bunk beds didn’t scare me off as they’d threatened to in some other places. Despite the lure the canals and the cape had, Emily and I were just keen to relax in the room and utilise the mass floor space to empty out our backpacks and attempt to pack and repack everything. I’ve been testing new ways of packing my bag every few days, hoping for a strict pattern as opposed to the game of Tetris I find myself playing every time I need to pack up and move to a new place.

Giving up, we headed out for our final dinner together in a cute restaurant called Quaysyde situated on the canal. It was dark when we got there so we weren’t able to admire the views of the water but we sat inside away from the wind anyway. Having spent almost 3 weeks traveling together it felt weird to be separating considering we’d barely even been apart in that time. While solo travel is sought out so purposefully by most, I’ve gained such an appreciation for having a temporary travel buddy, especially one that you meet while you’re away. Neither of us had preconceptions of the other and we’ve been strictly ourselves from the beginning allowing each of us to be completely open and comfortable with it. It might mean I’m cheating on the solo travel part but I think we have to admit that you can’t be by yourself all the time, particularly if you’re someone who talks as much as I do.

Saying goodbye the next day didn’t feel real and the proof in that is that there were somehow no tears shed. Considering how I went saying goodbye to everyone in Malawi I thought this would be a repeat of that. I’m not complaining, it made the process much easier than I thought it would be.

The rest of the day was a very chilled out one but productive. I’ve been starting to plan what Africa part 2 will look like, having booked a group tour from Cape Town to Vic Falls for the start of May and unsure where I’m headed afterwards. I attempted a trip to the beach but bailed after one minute of walking along the sand with the wind battling to blow me over.

Thursday was much the same. I was checking out that night so spent the day in the lounge room, challenged by the smart tv which wouldn’t play Netflix and starting a new book that I’d taken from the exchange shelf. The most exciting part of my day was being startled by a monkey jumping up onto the outdoor table and staring at me inside. Running over to lock the door (maybe unnecessary but they have hands so maybe not, it wasn’t something I cared to risk), I looked out to see two more hanging around the place. Only in Africa, right?

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