March 11 – Sugar Loaf in Coffee Bay
I fell asleep to the sound of rain on the thatch roof. Then woke to the increasing volume of music in the bar up the hill so …. ear plugs.
It was still raining in the morning so we dawdled over breakfast, packing and chatting with others in the hostel. Most conversations revolve around travel, where you’ve been, where you’re going and tips for “must sees” along the way.
The baz bus was a bit late and the shuttle driver for Coffee Bay called me just as we left. He was waiting already. Hmm. Apparently he had others to drop off.
It was pouring rain so a good day to be on the bus. The scenery changed again and we passed through many villages. Many didn’t appear to have roads and there were a lot of rondevals (round houses)
Patrick, the shuttle driver picked us up at the gas station and we drove again for another hour over hills, through villages and over some really rough roads.
It was still raining when we arrived at the Sugar Loaf in Coffee Bay. The place had many leaks and there was no wifi, even though the advertisement said they did. We’d counted on catching up with confirmations and various internet things here so weren’t impressed. The guy let us use his lap top for a bit to get somethings done.
Our room was a rondeval with a double bed and a set of bunk beds THREE high. I’d hate to climb on top of THAT!
The sun was shining and we hoped that maybe the earlier weather was what disappointed us about this place. Everyone along the way had said we had to go to Coffee Bay. We didn’t see it. The people are very nice and there ARE lots of hikes but you’ve got to hire a guide for all of them and most require some rock climbing. Sugar Loaf doesn’t have a kitchen so you pretty much have to buy meals and they even charge for ricoffy (fake coffee).
After breakfast, we went walking. Across a river to check out other back packers. Then up the hill to see the view. Back down to check out a water fall and into the village that was supposed to be interesting. We found it dirty and uninviting. Again, that could be due to the large amounts of rain they’d had lately as there was mud everywhere.
We’d asked several people how to get to the beach and it seemed simple but we could not find the path. The military had a camp set up and I finally asked a guy with a machine gun. He pointed out the path which was behind a huge military vehicle. No wonder we couldn’t find it.
The beach was not nearly as nice as Chintsa but the rock formations were beautiful. Some women were harvesting something among the rocks. When I asked they told me it was bait. I don’t think they had much English, so I didn’t any more info. This region has a lot of Xhosa (Kosa with a click) people.
There was a fancy hotel on the beach so we stopped for a milk shake, figuring they’d let us use the wifi if we had something. The woman didn’t want to give the code to me until I promised I just wanted to check in with my kids. I think data must be very expensive here.
A young couple we’d met before checked into the hostel and we got chatting. They were going to Mdumbe. We’d wanted to go there but couldn’t get a ride so they offered us one. Nice! I called and they still had a room so we cancelled the last 2 nights in Coffee Bay.