MY GAP YEAR 2007/8

COSMIC... MAN

We left the Wild Coast behind use and drove 5 hour down the coast to the Garden Route. The drive was fascinating as we pass small tribal villages which peppered the landscape with their round white huts and small communities.

We stopped off at the surfing capital of South Africa, Jeffreys Bay. A few backpackers which we spoke to said that Jeffery’s Bay was a bit of a let down, so I wasn’t hoping for much. I thought it was going to be tacky and a bit, well chavy,  The South African version of Newquay, but how I was wrong. The beaches are wonderful, with their powdered yellow sand and ‘surftastic’ names for the breaks (beaches) such as ‘Super Tubes’ & ‘Magnatubes’, it’s a surf paradise, for the serious surfer, unlike my unradical self who sits on the beach all day and may take a dip in the surf once in a while.

The hostel we stayed at called Island Vibe and might as well have been a five star hotel. Our room cost about £20 per night, and for that we got a double ensuite with a balcony overlooking the beach. I could step out of the door and straight on to the beach. The hostel had a wicked bar which played The Cure -Greatest Hits all night long, I was a very happy Sam.

Next day we headed to the Garden Route. For the people who don’t know what the Garden Route is, its a scenic coastal highway (and I quote from the Lonely Planet) ‘miles upon miles of sandy beaches, old pine forests, mountains and deep gorges. Now, this is the only part of South Africa I’ve been disappointed with. All I saw were rows and rows of mansion, tree plantations (with most of the trees cut down), and big industrial towns with gridlocked traffic. It wasn’t really what I was hoping for. However not all was lost, we ended up at a rather cool hostel at a place called Buffalo Bay. Again It was right on a beach. The hostel has taken a right battering from the elements as everything was rusty and fallen apart on the outside, inside was a different story altogether with it’s homely feel and big log fire the centre of the room. The beach is 20km long, and had not a soul in sight for the whole day. We spent the rest of the day walking along it, watching the massive surf roll in and trying to spot whales only to find out that it’s not whale season until November. It was such a nice way to finish the day after the disappointment of the Garden Route.

Just to add, as it was payday today we went out for a meal in the local town to celebrate my last pay cheque for one year. I thought I would try something different, so I opted for a crocodile steak, I can report It tastes like salty chewy chicken and it was rather pleasant in the mouth.

On the way back to the hostel we stopped on the beach to check out the nights sky, i’ve never seen such a clear sky, you could see the milky way in all its glory. We would of stayed out for much longer if it wasn’t so dam cold…… However it was truly cosmic… man.

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Ellie

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Island Vibe Hostel

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Island Vibe Hostel

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Island Vibe Hostel

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