Friday, July 13, 2012

South Africa: Coffee Bay and Mdumbi beaches

A few of us woke up early at Sugarloaf to go and find the beach. We could see it from the backpackers and wanted to go exploring. We walked down a road past a few other backpackers and huts and found the beach.

The beach was beautiful. The sun had just come up, and everything was light blue and black. We were the only people on the beach other than some local kids walking to school.

Me, Bree and Meg doing our respective sorority hand signs. Panhellenic love!

After deciding we needed to come back to South Africa in a few years, we headed back to Sugarloaf for breakfast. The owners and their kitchen people made us toast, fried eggs and bacon. Bacon in Africa is different, thicker and not as crispy. But delicious!

the view from Sugarloaf's backyard
Sadly, after breakfast it was time to leave Sugarloaf. We had two options on how to get to our next location: walk or take the bus. The hike was a four hour trek up mountains and over rocks and through water. Glen informed us that there would be no way to get anyone to the hospital if they broke a bone/got bitten by a snake/were gored by a stray cow/got rabies from a wild dog/had a heart attack, which didn't put me at ease. Jenna, one of our co-leaders, was riding on the bus with the luggage, and anyone who didn't feel prepared or confident enough for the hike could go with her. I debated all morning about going (I'd woken up with a little headache and Glen's speech hadn't comforted me), and in the end I decided to ride on the bus with Jenna and three of the other girls. We hung out the bus windows and took in the amazing scenery.

Driving by the Tshani village we'll be visiting

the beach at Mdumbi
We arrived at Mdumbi Backpackers, and the five of us unloaded everyone's luggage. We were in awe of the backpackers, which looked like a mini-village, complete with huts! I was a little nervous at first, until I realized there was running water and the bathrooms were not outdoors! Whew!
Mdumbi Backpackers
As soon as we'd claimed a hut and picked our beds, we changed into our bathing suits and headed out to find the beach, determined to take full advantage of the three or four hours we had before the rest of the group arrived from their hike. We followed a rocky dirt path down a steep hill and found this stunning beach (my second beach of the day).

We went into the water (only up to our knees because it was cold). We took funny pictures. We ate the ham and cheese sandwiches the Sugarloaf staff made us before we left. We walked down the length of the beach and saw cows sitting on the other side of a sandbar.
See? Cows.
I finally had time to catch up on journaling. I tried to write about my experiences every day, but we'd been going, going, going for the past few days. It was so important to me that I remembered every detail I could, so I made writing a habit as much as possible.
Yeah...we're definitely creative writing majors
When the rest of our group arrived at Mdumbi, sweaty and exhausted, we cheerfully told them we'd been hanging out on a deserted beach all afternoon.


  1. That picture of the cows is the craziest thing I've ever seen! Seriously! Both beaches look absolutely beautiful, but there's something really striking about the first one, with the contrasting black and blue. It must have been majestic in person :)

    1. The first beach is my favorite, even though we only spent fifteen minutes or so there. Coffee Bay is one of my new favorite places in the world!

      And I KNOW, the cows were crazy! We were a little worried they were going to charge at us, but they weren't moving. Lazy lazy! :)


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