Coffee Bay: Our South Africa Round up

After what felt like forever we arrived in Coffee Bay at our backpackers, Coffee Shack. We jumped off the bus and headed into reception to check in but instead we were taken straight to the bar for our complimentary drink. We must have looked like kids at Christmas, a free drink! Bare in mind we paid about £8 a night for this place so a free drink was great. After the drink we were told we had to be driven to our rooms as it was over a stream and it’s easy to drive the bags there than carry them. We were shown to our hut and reminded dinner was served at seven o’clock. After freshening up we decided to head back to the main area and check it all out. It was a short walk from the hut down the this so called ‘stream’. Basically it was where the water from the hills met the sea but at this time the tide was in and there was no bridge. Luckily for me I had shorts on but rosie with trousers on had to roll them up as much as she could. We started wading through the water and it got deeper and deeper and was quickly past my knees, I turned round to see Rosie’s trousers drenched she was not a happy bunny but we continued and made it through and headed to the bar. We chilled for the rest of the night and ate good food before tackling the ‘stream’ again. Luckily by the time we headed back the water had receded a bit so you could see some rocks that formed somewhat of a path across the water so this time we both managed to stay dry. After a long day travelling we headed to bed for an early night as we were planning to get up and go hiking the following morning.

Up bright and early we headed across the stream which was still very small and made it across without any casualties. We had a full english breakfast in the bar which was amazing! We were supposed to be heading out on a hike to do some cliff jumping at 10.30 but the weather was having other ideas, the sky was seriously cloudy and it was starting to rain, we checked the forecast and it was meant to storm all day so we cancelled our hiking plans.. neither of us felt like getting struck by lightning in the sea.  So we decided to spend the morning booking some of our plans in Cambodia. After some yummy lunch we headed back to the hut and Kenny believe it or not went for a run in the rain (I opted out). After he’d recovered we went for a walk to the beach but weren’t totally sure how to get there so after a short walk we figured we’d head back to the bar and chill for the rest of the afternoon before dinner. It’s worth mentioning that dinner here was AMAZING! They served the best home cooked meals (2 courses for R70 which is basically £4) from soup, stew, spaghetti, steak and stir fry.

The following day we signed up to do the hole in the wall hike which is a hike from the hostel to the hole in the wall which is approx 10k from the hostel (by road) and then you get a lift back to the hostel. You follow the cliffs all the way round to the hole in the wall which is a rock formation in the sea which has a hole in the centre that the waves come through.

So we were up bright and early determined to go rain or shine. We headed for breakfast armed with our raincoats, water, walking boots and of course our cameras. We were leaving at 10.30 so we made it to the bar with plenty of time for breakfast before we left. Whilst we were eating the guide came to tell us that we would be driving there and walking back as the rain had made the roads quite muddy overnight and it was due to rain more through the day and there was a chance the truck might not make it through the mud if it rained all morning. So we finished breakfast and headed out to the truck with another 12 people who would also be joining us on the hike. The truck took us through the stunning countryside and we drove past countless  Xhosa villages, hundreds of cows, goats, sheep, dogs and donkeys before reaching our drop of point, a short walk from the hole in the wall.  We all bundled out of the truck and began our walk up the muddy road to catch our first glimpse of it. We reached the top of the hill and the view spanned out over the ocean and to the hole in the wall, even though the weather wasn’t great and the sky was pretty grey it was still a fantastic view and the perfect opportunity for a photo. We headed down the hill for a closer look and several of our fellow hikers went for a swim in the cold water although no one managed to get as far as the hole. We milled around for about half an hour with everyone getting their fill of photos before out guide announced we were starting the hike back to the hostel. With everything packed up off we went, as we started we quickly realised just how humid it was and before long everyone was pouring with sweat. After maybe 45 minutes of hiking we were drenched in sweat and quite frankly praying for rain, we had just come to the top of a cliff top close to a village when we were joined by a little dog who soon decided he would keep us company for the rest of the hike after i couldn’t help giving him a cuddle. As we continued on our hike it seemed like the up and down terrain was getting more and more extreme and it was becoming a real challenge to get to the top of some of these hills. We crossed streams, waterfalls, beaches and Kenny only fell down a hill once.  After a couple of hours we stopped on top of one of the cliffs and waited for everyone to catch up, it gave us all a chance to catch our breath while we admired the view an wondered how far we had left to go. When everyone caught up we asked the guide how much further we had left and he pointed out to the third cliff away from where we were standing and said “see that cliff with the house, the next cliff,”. I was pretty disheartened, that cliff seemed miles away and it already felt like we had been walking forever i thought we’d be much closer than that but we ploughed on anyway still accompanied by our new 4 legged friend.  Soon after we set off the rain started to come down but at this point no one was bothered about putting on a raincoat we were all glad of the cooling rain for a while. After another hour scaling the cliffs we reached a road which singled the end our our trip, it was all downhill to the backpackers from this point and only about 5 minutes away! We arrived back and were greeted with cheese and tomato toasties, not sure we’d ever been so hungry before! I checked my fitbit and we had actually covered almost 14k over the hike much longer than the 9 I originally thought it was. We got back around 2pm and after having lunch we headed back for a quick shower before heading to the beach where Kenny went for a swim. We headed back to pack up our bags  before our long journey to Durban the following day before heading over for dinner in the bar. Little did I know that we would also be spending the night watching two rugby matches, first Scotland vs Ireland and then England vs France, as the hostel had a tv in the bar they used for sporting events. After watching both matches we headed to bed ready for an early start before our long journey.

Over the next few days we spent a lot of time on the Baz Bus. From Coffee Bay we headed further up the coast to Durban, we had to stay over night in Durban as it was the final destination that for that leg of the trip with the next bus leaving the following day bound for Johannesburg. So whilst in Durban we just chilled out and went to Nando’s. Yes Nando’s. we just wandered around a huge shopping mall and did nothing it was great. Then the following day we had our mammoth trip to our final stop in South Africa, Johannesburg. The bus said they would pick us up around 6:30 am so we were up and out of the hostel early waiting for the bus. 6:45 rolled around no bus, 7 no bus, 8 no bus, finally at 8:30 the bus arrived and we started our 10 hour Journey. After stopping a couple of times along the way we finally arrived around 18:30 ish. We had booked a hotel rather than a hostel so we could get some good sleep before our flight to india the next day. We ordered room service and fell straight to sleep. Our final day in South Africa we headed to the cinema to watch Lion a true story about a lost child in India (great film, however not a recommended watch the day you fly to India). After the film we packed up and headed to the airport where we waited anxiously to board our flight.

After almost 6 weeks in South Africa we were definitely sad to say goodbye, we’ve had such an amazing time and have loved everywhere we have stayed (apart from PE when we got robbed) we’ve done some incredible things whilst we’ve been here and met some great people. If anyones every stuck for travel or holiday destinations South Africa is the One! The nicest and most welcoming people combined with the most beautiful country makes for the most wonderful trip! We will certainly be back, but for now we’ll say bye as we head of to india and prepare ourselves for the chaos that we no doubt we’ll find there.

K & R x

 

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