What was supposed to be 654 km and approximately 8 hours of driving turned into probably 700+ km and 10 1/2 hours travel time.
Shit happens when you miss important road signs and continue on your merry way wondering why all of the semi-trailer traffic has ceased to exist. Could we be going the wrong way?
We turned on our trusty iPhone Maps navigator and were immediately told “U-Turn, U-Turn!!!”. Our hunch was correct so we U-turned and were told to turn left on P601, about 1 km down the road. Great, not too far out of the way. We turned onto P601 and after no more than 5 km the road went from a small paved surfaced to a very rough gravel road. This doesn’t look good but our iPhone must know some sort of shortcut? We followed the gravel road for 17 km through beautiful hills and planted pine trees and learned that silviculture is thriving in this area.
We finally connected to a paved road and were told to turn left 1 km ahead and when we reached our turning point discovered another very rough gravel road.
As it turned out we didn’t have cell reception so the directions we were receiving were stuck in a loop! Okay, now what? We did see a sign that the road we were on would eventually lead to the highway we needed but didn’t know if we would be backtracking or not so we ignored our maps and finally found our way to the main highway heading to Durban.
The drive from Chintsa to Durban is very rural and filled with hills, mountains, hazy skies from wood smoke, small towns and townships and our detour added in wandering cows and horses and a true taste of real life rural Africa.