Jeffrey’s Bay

Our tour of South Africa continues! After Hermanus I made my way up the coast towards Jeffrey’s Bay. I was attracted to this place by its description – one of the top surfing spots in the world. So I don’t know jack about surfing, put I figured if there is good surfing it must be a nice place to swim. Clearly I never took a physics class.

As I woke up to the beautiful sunrise over the vast ocean, I ran for my coat. It was FREEZING! And to make matters worse, there was something that was great for surfers, bad for warm blooded West African adoptees – blustering winds. The winds averaged around 40km with gusts up to 80km while I was there. My hair was a hot mess. The sunrise though was breathtaking. The hostel I stayed at, Island Vibe Backpackers, sat on a sand dune. All you could see was ocean, it was almost like being on a private island.

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Despite the cold and the wind, I was determined to go swimming. That didn’t last long, the water was pretty chilly and the whipping wind made for some really intense goosebumps. Lucky for me, there was a festival in town that weekend. The shops in town were really cute and the stands at the festival had all sorts of different wares from around South Africa.

I went to lunch at a Greek restaurant because it had been far too long since I had some lamb. There was a man and his wife talking to two other guys while I was there. It became clear that the man owned the restaurant. He got into a heated argument with quite a few people and was threatening all sorts of things. I felt like I was watching a mafia scene unfold in front of me. Later an old Greek man came in and when he sat down the whole place seemed to instantly revolve around him. The food wasn’t very good, but the drama was fairly exciting. It was one of the only meals I had in South Africa that wasn’t good.

Side topic, but I never liked olives prior to trying them in South Africa. I hate black olives on pizza at Andolini’s, but I never really tried an olive before. When I was in Stellenbosch I tried their kalamati olives and finally discovered what everyone else on this planet knew – this stuff is good! I can’t wait to make it back to America some day and attack the olive bar at Whole Foods.

So later that I day I went back to the hostel and chatted with one of the workers. He was originally from Malawi and we talked about the differences and similarities between Ghana, South Africa, and Malawi. At some point during our conversation he fell madly in love with me (typical African male response) and tried to get me to come away with him. Unlike Ghanaians, he was actually persistent. I shook him off with a pretty good ninja move and slipped away to my room to go to sleep.

Did I sleep? No. Even with earplugs in, these German tourists came in super late at night, drunk off their asses, and loud. Two of them proceeded to start having sex, loudly, right in front of the door. So, I didn’t get much sleep.

The next day I did pretty much the same thing, roamed around town and watched the surfers strut their stuff. The place was beautiful, but I’ve discovered I’m less of a beach girl and more of a adventure/activity girl. I would rather explore a town than sit on the beach. Unless that beach is in Ghana and I’m desperate to go swimming, which is also code for eat fish cakes.

Jeffrey’s Bay was nice, but I wouldn’t go back again.

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