Barefoot Beaches

Trip Start Oct 24, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Log Inn

Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Friday, January 21, 2011

It was still quite overcast and a smidge drizzly as we drove away from Coffee Bay and began the trek back to the main highway. As we drove southwest, we began to see a few gaps between the clouds -- perhaps the weather was improving? All we could do was hope it would clear up as we drove through more of the gorgeous South African scenery that made us very, very glad we'd chosen to rent a car.
About four hours after pulling out of Coffee Bay, we found ourselves in Cintsa East. Cintsa is divided into two quaint villages on the ocean: Cintsa East and Cintsa West. We weren't sure which would suit us better, so decided to make our decision based on the available accommodation choices. There was a backpacker spot in Cintsa West listed in our guidebook that sounded quite appealing, so we tried to find our way from one village to the other. After a few wrong turns, we eventually found the right road and before too long we were at Buccaneer's Backpackers. 

After discovering that they didn't have any private rooms, we were discouraged, but decided to have a look at what else was on offer: it wasn't pretty. Clearly we needed to find other accommodation, so we got back in the car and  tried our luck in the village. It seemed like we were going to strike out again, but after asking around a bit, we finally found a place that was free. It was nice and even had a grill, which was very, very tempting. However, having a look at the sparse selection in the one and only store in town, we had to decline: not many veggie items to choose from, and the village's only restaurant was closed for the week.

And with that, we were back in the car returning to Cintsa East. There were many more options there, but they were either all full or ridiculously expensive. After driving around and around, we were on the verge of giving up, but decided to try one more road -- and on that road, we found a little corner of paradise: Log Inn.

 Log Inn was perfection, and made all the driving around worth it. The owner was one of the warmest and most welcoming hosts I could have imagined, and we had the entire cottage
behind her house all to ourselves. It was a gigantic, yet amazingly adorable cottage that served as an ideal sanctuary for the night. The only drawback was the presence of gecko poop scattered around the house. Apparently, thatched roofs, while cute and quaint (and the perfect "topper" for a cottage), are an ideal home for geckos. 

After unloading our belongings, we were feeling a bit antsy, so drove into town to get some groceries for dinner. We made it to the grocery store, but never the check-out aisle -- we were too distracted by the Barefoot Cafe next door. After a second consecutive day spent mostly in the car, we were both feeling a bit stir-crazy and thought that the very cute cafe looked like a perfect place to have a beer... or two... or five.

In the end, instead of returning to our cottage and making ourselves dinner, we spent a few hours at the cafe imbibing some new beers, indulging in a delicious veggie burger, and sampling the wide variety of hot sauce on offer. From our perfectly located table outside, we were able to watch the locals come and go from the different shops and cafes in the little "mall," and see a slice of life in Cintsa. From everything we'd seen in Cintsa East, we were sold -- if only it were an easier commute from Istanbul....

We wrapped up our night back at our luxurious cottage, enjoying a stunning summer thunderstorm, tippling a few glasses of some fine South African red wine, and surfing the wide array of cable channels at our disposal. At some point, I collapsed in our immensely comfortable bed and slept away the rest of the night.


I awoke the next morning fairly early, feeling refreshed after a good night's sleep, and happy to see a spot of sunshine on the horizon. Konrad was still fast asleep, so I decided to explore the vast yard behind Log Inn. We were up on a hill, so there was a great view of the ocean and I could watch the waves crashing on the beach below. Everything was still a bit wet from the spectacular storm the night before, and I took the opportunity to snap a few pics before returning to wake Konrad from his slumber.  

Unfortunately for us, our idyllic cottage was booked for the rest of the weekend, so we wouldn't be able to stay more than that one night. It probably was for the best since the clouds had already returned and the forecast called for more rain. Sigh. We'd only been on the beach in Cintsa West, so before we hit the road once again, we wanted to see the beach in Cintsa East.

Life on the beach was as perfect as life in Cintsa: it was Saturday morning and everyone was out running, walking their dogs, and a few brave people were even daring enough to go in the chilly water. We didn't do any of those things, but still enjoyed walking barefoot in the sand and dipping our toes in the surf before lumbering back to the car and hitting the road once again. 
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