Our first stop on the Garden Route, the most famous coastal strip in South Africa, was at the Wild Spirit Backpackers in Nature’s Valley. It’s a beautiful and isolated hostel on a massive piece of land up in the mountains. The view from the main deck is absolutely stunning.
It has a very hippie vibe, complete with lots of weed and drum circles, it reminded me a lot of college. There’s also a farm store right down the road that makes their own cheese, bread, ice cream, and has a huge assortment of wine and other goodies. We ate here a lot.
We went for a surf our second day there but it was pretty junky. We’d heard from others it was supposed to be a pretty good spot but we learned later, after we’d left, that we hadn’t actually paddled out at the right spot.
The following day we went for a really nice hike through the forrest that ended at the beach. We had a quick team meeting and decided that we’d had enough dreadlocks and drum circles and that it was time to hit the road.
Our next stop was a small town called Wilderness where we camped in another very nice Backpackers. I’ve never been to a country with such a high standard for hostels.
I hung around the hostel and played some soccer with some local guys that afternoon, and then that night a South African band called The Lectric Monks that was touring around the area played a show. It was rainy outside so they set up right inside the bar and played an acoustic set. It was upbeat folk music and really good. The crowd wasn’t being particularly active but once Artem and I started dancing around with reckless abandon most of the rest of them joined in as well and it turned in to a super fun party. We ended up making good friends with the band a learned that they would play again the following night.
The next day was very hungover and slow. We checked the surf but it was way too windy so we ended up doing some sightseeing and visited a river valley is supposed to look like a map of Africa.
That night the band played again, this time outside and plugged in, and once again we had a pretty good party. We made a lot more friends and got more tips on things to do and places to see in Capetown, where we planned to head the next day.