28-Dec-2003 -- After our successful visit to 32S 28E we headed for our destination at Kei Mouth, a seaside resort in the Eastern Cape. The main focus of our holiday was a hiking trip from Kei Mouth to Gonubie, the Strandloper (Beachcomber) Trail, a five-day hiking route along the seashore. As the route can only accommodate 12 persons per day and our group consisted of 24, we split in two. Hendrik van Eeden was in the group which would depart first and Dirk Talma and I had a day open before our group would depart.
With perfect weather for a day on the beach, we could not find any volunteers for the trip to find 32S 29E, 100 kilometres in a straight line from where we were. This confluence point lies in the heart of the geo-political region known as the Transkei, home of the Xhosa nation, a deep-rural area lacking good road-infrastructure. Fortunately I acquired Garmap's African Road Atlas, which was released just before we departed on holiday. With detail not available on regular roadmaps, I saw that there was a track that passed within 100 meters of the Confluence and realised we had a good chance on success.
With Dirk as navigator manning the GPS-receiver, we set off for the trip, taking the N2 northeast along the same route we followed south the previous day. We passed through Butterworth and Idutywa again, and later the small village of Qunu, where Nelson Mandela was born. 10 km after Qunu we turned off the N2 at Jojweni, and followed the road to Coffee Bay, from which a network of backcountry roads branched. These roads are not signposted at all and the waypoint I created before we departed showed us exactly which turn-off to take. After 12 kilometres on this dirt track we stopped almost next to the point, which was in a small maize field. We greeted the family whose land it was and explained the purpose of our visit to the only person who understood English. With a group of spectators in attendance, I took the mandatory pictures and we left for Hole in the Wall, some 11 kilometres away, again guided by the GPS with its African Road Atlas, which I had by now really come to appreciate.
Hole in the Wall is a spectacular natural feature consisting of a huge detached cliff rising up from the sea in the form of a precipitous island at the mouth of a small river known as the Mpako. Through the centre of the cliff the pounding waves have worn a substantial tunnel over many millennia. Hole in the Wall is known to the local Bomvana tribes-people as esiKhaleni (The Place of the Sound) after the roar of the waves through the cavern in stormy weather. The name of Hole in the Wall was applied to it in 1823 by Captain Vidal of the Barracouta, one of the ships sent out by the British Admiralty to survey the coast from Kei Mouth to Maputo. After a round trip of 500 km we returned to the rest of our families at Kei Mouth, with all of the Confluences in the Transkei now completed.