Wow, what a day? The weather here in Plettenberg Bay is perfect, I just got back to the hostel from my round this morning and made some lunch, now to tell you all about it! (The golf, not the lunch!)
Before I do that though, I need to tell you about the weekend and how I got to this point. It all started on Friday afternoon, when I made the 5 hour drive from Cape Town to Knysna with some friends. (Thanks Dave & Lisa!) The first thing we had to do when we got there was check in for the run and get our race numbers, we then retired back to our various accommodations for a carbo-loading pasta dinner and an early night.
The start of the Half Marathon was a slightly delayed, as the buses bringing the runners up into the forest for the start took longer than expected, the announcers and their bad music taste didn’t make the time go any faster either, but once we got going it was great. The route through the forest was beautiful and running through the Simola Golf Estate and down onto the Knysna Lagoon spectacular.
My run went very well and I managed a time of 1 hour 39 minutes, which was better than what I was aiming for and a great first half marathon. Saturday night we went, with half of Knysna, to Crabs Creek and enjoyed the festivities there, maybe a little too much, but after a good run, it was worth celebrating!
On Sunday morning, everyone was moving a little slow, a combination of stiff legs and headaches and started drifting off back to Cape Town at around midday…. I on the other hand drifted to the bus station, where I caught the Translux intercity bus up to Plettenberg Bay. Having done my fair share of long distance buses, the worst being a 29 hour slog through northern Chile, the half hour trip didn’t worry me too much.
Once I arrived in Plett, as we call it, I made my way to Nothando Backpackers, where I am staying for my two nights here. I am staying in a dorm room which has 8 beds and its own private bathroom (R130 per person), but they do also have twin and double rooms (from R350 per room), for those looking for more privacy, but still at a good price.
This morning I was collected by a taxi I had ordered last night, but was a little too early and had to wait until it got light before I could tee off. Apart from the grounds crew, I was the first one out on the course and watching the sun come up in the Piesangs Valley, where the Plettenberg Bay Country Club is situated, was absolutely amazing. I had to pinch myself to check I wasn’t dreaming, it is the middle of July (winter) and I am in shorts, enjoying an early morning round of golf on a beautiful course.
The front nine went quite well, the course was a little wet from all the rain they had last week, so it was playing longer than normal and was a little sticky, but it is in great shape. Being in a valley, there are quite a few holes that have elevation change and the creek that runs through the course comes into play on a number of holes.
After starting the back nine with a great tee shot, it all went a little wrong, but the course had nothing to do with it! I did manage a few good shots, but struggled to pull good shots together to make good holes, except on the par 5 18th where I finished with a birdie four and ended my round on 88.
All in all, I had a great morning, the staff at the Plettenberg Bay Country Club were all very friendly and helpful and the facilities and club house, top class.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will be heading back down to Knsyna on the Baz Bus, South Africa’s premier backpacker Hop-on Hop-off bus, and on Wednesday, the good people at the Garden Route Golf Passport have booked my tee time for 8am at Pezula Championship Course, which I am really looking forward to.
Until then, so long from The Shoestring Golfer!