Road Tripping South Africa
Part 4: Coffee Bay, Bulungula and Buccaneers - The Wild Coast
Last week we left you just our triumphant steed, or Hyundai i10, had just successfully navigated from Durban in KZN down into the red-earthed hills of the Eastern Cape. This week we’ll pick it up from the turn off from Umtata down to Coffee Bay. I've already told you that the Eastern Cape’s roads are probably the worst in the country and this was something that was about to be further cemented into our minds, so again, please be cautious when headed here – and take out extra tyre cover!
The roads were littered with both livestock and potholes, and not the kind of potholes you can easily drive around, in places they are so numerous it’s hard to believe that cars use this road daily – but they do, and if you pay attention you can too.
A magical feeling comes over you as you near the Wild Coast, I had personally never been this far up and we were excited at the prospect of surfing in warm water, visiting Hole-In-The-Wall and living amongst the Xhosa people on their turf. The scenes were astounding as mud huts appeared in all sorts of colours on the hill tops around us. On some hills I marvelled at the view the people living here get to enjoy, some homes get the best of the sunrise and sunset and what would go for millions in the cities is enjoyed by everyone here.
We arrived in “paradise” about two hours after the turn off from the N2 and made our way to Coffee Shack backpackers, our accommodation for the next three days. We stayed newly made rooms which were actually beautifully made traditional rondavels across the river from the main backpacker lodge – so we got to enjoy peace and quiet when we had had enough socialising. Coffee Shack probably served us excellent, if not the best, food during our month long journey, I cannot commend them enough on the quality of their staff, food and coffee.
During our time there we engaged in various activities including surfing lessons! Actually we both surf in Cape Town, but never having had lessons we figured it wouldn't hurt to give them a try. And at R50 for a two hour lesson including everything (cheapest in the country) it was well worth it. Niel, the surf instructor, is a legend.
Sadly the weather made it impossible for us to visit hole-in-the-wall, and we didn't want to risk getting our own little vehicle stuck, so we went on a three hour coastal hike that was wet, windy and rainy but most of all – breath-takingly beautiful.
Our time here expired too quickly, three nights should have been five but we weren't done with the Wild Coast yet – not by a long shot, in fact, our next destination is one my favourite destinations on the planet.