Chilling in Coffee Bay
Trip Start Aug 26, 2012
129Trip End Dec 22, 2013
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Where I stayed
Sugarloaf Backpackers Coffee Bay
Read my review - 3/5 stars
Read my review - 3/5 stars
Our Baz bus driver(Jay) was such a sweetheart and told us that he does charity work and would be stopping along the way to hand over some goods. The first charity stop he did was a quick one where he handed a bag of stuff to 2 teenage boys
After stopping in East London to drop some people off we continued to Chintsa, which is probably the only place I regret not staying at to date. But I didn’t know how beautiful it was until I saw it and spent about 20 mins there. I was happy to know that Tymaree and Andre were going to be staying there for a few days and get to enjoy “paradise”
Reaching Mthatha we and two new acquaintances Mika and Ines, transferred to our backpackers, Sugarloaf Backpackers Lodge (www.sugarloafbackpackers.com) truck, in town for supplies (read beer run) and drove for another 2 hr drive to Coffee Bay. The drive was through rolling hills, with some farm land, lots of colourful rondavels , a few towns and many villages. But it was apparent that the further from the main highway (N2) the poorer the people were. Finally arriving at our place in Coffee Bay we were greeted by the welcoming committee, three dogs and greeted by more later for a total of seven dogs living on the grounds. If we had come a week early there would have been a total of 13 dogs, thankfully they gave the six to villagers. Coffee Bay is a good candidate for a volunteer spading program!
The theory behind the name Coffee Bay is that a ship wrecked here in 1863 and deposited its cargo of coffee beans on the beach. It is a very remote scruffy hamlet with a beautiful beach that has been turned into a backpacker’s haven; its charm having been developed via the backpacker places and the locals
After dinner (fish and chips) we walked over with torches in hand (no street lights here, heck there where hardly even roads) to the bar at the Bomvu Backpackers where they had a traditional drumming group performing. The place was flooded with locals participating and enjoying the drumming and dancing up a storm. We got our faces painted and joined in for some of the dancing when we were passed the “shakers” (water bottles filled with gravel) by the locals. It was good vibe all around.
Jesse and I had good intentions to go for a hike to the Hole in the Wall, but upon waking up both agreed it was not in the cards. So for the first time since arriving in Africa I did absolutely nothing. Except stroll to the beach, lie in the sun for a few hours and then stroll back to the bar and watch SA beat Scotland in rugby
The weather was still not that great the next day and we were taking the shuttle back to Mthatha at noon so it was another lazy morning hanging with the dogs. After having to wait for the Baz Bus for about 1.5hrs at the gas station in Mthatha we were finally on our way to Durban. Our bus driver John was great and he was full of good useful information about areas we would be driving through and Durban. We had been warned and heard horror stories about the road work between here and Durban but thankfully the first stoppage we were at the end of a very long line which meant they would be letting us go through soon and only waited 10 mins. And the second road work area, we were the last car waved through before the stopped traffic. Luck as on our side as we heard of people having to have had to wait up to a total of 2 hrs.
I’m glad to have spent time in Coffee Bay and think it was definitely worth the extra shuttle to get there. It was too bad that the weather wasn’t better but that can’t be helped. Regardless I got some much needed downtime and almost remembered what it felt like to do nothing. I say almost because we are coming up on the last three days before Jess has to go home and there is still Durban to conquer!
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