Mossel Bay: Braai, Boards & Buses 

So after leaving Cape Town bright and early at 7.30am on Tuesday we boarded the Baz Bus for the first time and set off on our 5 and a half hour journey to Mossel Bay. (for those who don’t know the Baz Bus is a hop on hop off bus service that operates between Cape Town and Joberg all along the coast). After several stops and lots of naps we finally arrived at Mossel Bay Backpackers where we would be staying for 2 nights.

We checked in and dropped our stuff in the dorm and went to explore. This backpackers had a much more chilled out vibe that the last. There wasn’t as many people with it being a smaller place but it was nice to be able to chill. The facilities were great, there was a huge communal kitchen with everything you could need (obviously you bring your own food), a pool with sun loungers, several lounge areas to chill out in, various games (pool table, giant jenga, drinking jenga, cards, foosball table) and an activity centre where you could book all sorts of activities.
We headed out to the local checkers (supermarket chain) to grab some food for dinner. Every night the backpackers would do a Braai (african style bbq) all you have to do was bring your own meat etc and someone would cook it for you. So both nights we made great use of this and both nights it was cooked amazingly!!On the wednesday we had booked to go sand boarding in the morning. We were collected at 8am by our guide and headed off about a 20 minute drive away to the ‘dragon’ dune, the biggest sand dune in South Africa. We got there and hopped into the back of a land cruiser that took us up on to the sand dunes ready for sand boarding experience. Our guide spent 20 minutes explaining what we would be doing, some safety tips and how we would actually sandboard. After he gave us a board and we were off straight in to it. We climbed to the top of one of the smaller dunes for our first ride. The boards were the same as snowboards, this is one of the only places that can use snowboards on the sand instead of wooden ones because the sand is actually river sand and is a different texture.
Once at the top it actually seemed a lot higher that it looked from the bottom but nevertheless one by one we headed down. Both me and Kenny got the hang of it pretty quickly and were both heading higher up the dune each time. After 5/6 runs we took a break before heading out to the dragon (it was a super hot and sunny day so climbing back up the dunes after each ride was pretty tiring).So, break over we switched our snowboards for smaller plastic boards that we would be using for the dragon, we wouldn’t be standing on these boards we’d be laying down so they were much smaller and lighter (thank god). Once we were at the top of the dragon, which I should probably mention is 170m high and you can get a ride up to 350m long and travel up to 90kmh, we stopped and admired the amazing views out over the ocean while everyone gathered up. Our guide explained how we would be going down on our stomachs on the board, how we would stop using our feet and that when we finished there was no cable car we’d have to climb the dune. One by one we started going down the dune it looked pretty easy, so I laid down on my board and set off, 10 seconds later I was off the board and tumbling through the sand boardless. When I finally stopped rolling I sat up in a huge sand cloud and I was covered, I mean covered in sand, it was in my eyes, nose, mouth, hair, ears, in every possible place imaginable and thanks to the suncream not coming off any time soon. (Some might call this karma for Kennys sea sickness). So not only did I not get the full ride i had to climb up to retrieve my board which had stopped halfway and then climb back to the top of the dune to try again. Then it was Kenny’s turn to go and in a flash he was flying past me at high speed and seemed to make it to the bottom without coming off. Eventually those that made it to the bottom began to reappear at the top but there was still no sign of Kenny. The others started to go again when he finally appeared looking like he had been walking through a desert for days, red faced and sweaty, as soon as he saw me he began historically laughing at just how covered in sand I was (after checking I was okay of course). Then it was our turn again but instead of going down by myself me and Kenny went down together in like a sandwich. He laid down on the board while the instructor held onto his foot so he didn’t begin to move I then laid on top of him one hand holding on one clinging on to the GoPro (don’t know how comfy it was for Kenny but it was pretty comfy for me) this went much better and a lot faster, no involuntary board dismounts. After this one climbing back up the dune was so hard, like ridiculously difficult especially with the heat, that by the time everyone was back at the top everyone was done for the day. So we headed back to get picked up by the land cruiser that would take us back to the office to get our ride back to the hostel.Once back at the hostel we were both knackered, so after grabbing some lunch from the supermarket we spent the afternoon lounging around and making some more travel plans for later in the trip. We finished of the evening with another braai and a few drinks and some card games before crashing.

Thursday was our last day in Mossel Bay and we were getting picked up by the bas bus around 1.45pm so there wasn’t really time for us to do much so we spent the morning by the pool relaxing before packing up our stuff and heading to the bus that would take us to our next stop, Plettenberg Bay, another 3 and a half hours away.

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