Once we were done playing in the mountains and riding horses we headed south for the Wild Coast. Our first stop was to be Coffee Bay, a place we’d heard raving reviews about from a lot of other travelers, but first we had a long drive down to get there. We didn’t get started driving until late in the day so we had to find a place to stay on the way, which turned out to be pretty tough in the middle of nowhere. We eventually found a steak house that also has bungalows and even though we were only trying to camp the owner let us stay in a bungalow for no extra charge. She also stayed up late for us and made us a delicious steak dinner once we finally arrived.
The next morning we got back on the road and drove another 3 hours to Coffee Bay. It was a lot smaller and more crowded than I was expecting and we couldn’t find camping sites at any of the backpackers. Eventually we decided to camp at the local camp site, which isn’t part of any of the backpackers. It was beautifully situated in a grove of indigenous trees, but it’s famous for the swarming mosquitoes so we were slightly nervous about that.
The first night we hung out at a couple different bars and met some really cool people who are living and working in Coffee Bay as well a bunch of other travelers. We went back to our campsite late at night, went straight to sleep (me in my hammock with mosquito net and Artem in his tent) and had no issues with mosquitos.
The next morning we went for a surf, my first surf in several months since I was in Cocos Keeling. The sun was out, the water was warm (we were in trunks), the locals were friendly, and the scenery was beautiful. The waves were pretty small but we still had a blast and it was fun to be back in the water.
Later in the evening Artem borrowed some spear equipment from one of our new friends and we went spear fishing. The currents were really strong and I didn’t know the spot too well, so I wasn’t comfortable venturing too far out, but it was still cool to see some new terrain. We didn’t catch dinner but luckily Sugarloaf, the coolest backpackers in Coffee Bay, was having a lamb roast so we dug in to that.
Later that night a huge thunderstorm rolled in and I got my first real rain test for my hammock setup. It was blowing hard and raining even harder but I stayed dry all night. I now trust this hammock in any and all conditions (though I wouldn’t voluntarily camp in it in the snow again).
The next morning we decided we’d had enough of Coffee Bay and set out for Cintsa, another town on the wild coast. We stayed at a backpackers there called ‘Buccaneers’ and it was great. It sat up on a hill above the beach and was on a huge piece of land with a swimming pool, volleyball court, restaurant, bar, and massive camping area with plenty of trees for our hammocks. They also added a nice touch by organizing a sand volleyball game each night at 5 complete with free wine. The same day we checked in a group of 18 university students from Holland, 16 of whom were female, also checked in. After volleyball and dinner everyone moved to the bar and we had one of the most fun nights since we arrived in South Africa. All of the staff and other guests were awesome and we shared many tequila shots and laughs.
The next morning was definitely slow but Artem and I went for a surf to knock out the cobwebs. The waves were crumby but I felt a lot better after being in the water. We spent one more only slightly more tame night there at Buccaneers and then set off for Jeffrey’s Bay, the most famous surf break in South Africa.