Surfers for the day in J-Bay

  • Miles travelled: 6173
  • Waves caught: Jamie – many; Kaylin – 0.5
  • Highlight: Watching the whales from the hostel balcony
  • Lowlight: Not being able to stay longer

From hippies in treehouses, to beach bums in the sand.

After the bungy, we headed straight down to world famous surf spot Jeffrey’s Bay. First stop was a reviving beer and ostrich burger at next door Ruth’s Restaurant before heading out to explore.

Jeffrey’s Bay is all about surfing. From the bars to the street signs, everywhere is plastered in surf stickers or decorated with old surfboards. Even the bus stops are shaped like breaking waves.

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Needless to say, Jamie is in heaven.

There are several wide sandy beaches forming the bay, each named after their respective waves. Luckily for me, this place covers everything from Supertubes, Magnatubes and Bone Breakers for the hard-core pros, through to Kitchen Windows for the serial belly floppers.

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The surf wasn’t great on our first afternoon so we stuck to strolling the beaches and sampling the local range of Brewhaha craft beers, with enticing names like African Sunset and Moonlit Stroll.

The hostel we’re staying in is called Ubuntu Backpackers. Ubuntu means the spirit of family – the belief that home lies in the community and that everyone is part of one connected family. There’s a book here signed by someone called the Ubuntu Girl, a girl who set off from her home in South Africa with just R100 and a belief that, in the spirit of Ubuntu, people would help her out along the way. 150 families and over a year later, she had looped the whole of South Africa and made it home to tell her tale. An amazing, and incredibly brave, journey for a solo female traveller.

Ubuntu Backpackers is like a big family home, complete with two dogs (again, yay!), lots of hammocks, swing chairs and a communal kitchen/living area. Obviously, it’s also all surf themed.

From the upstairs balcony there’s a view of the beach around a mile away and we settled in with a cold beer on our first night to be greeted by the unexpected and incredible sight of a whale flipping its fins at us out at sea. We had a completely clear view of it flapping around and waving at us, so humbling to see just how immensely large even one fin of these incredible creatures is!

The next day we headed down to Dolphin Beach to rent a couple of boards and try out our luck in J-Bay’s famous waves. I had great fun belly flopping around, while Jamie earnt himself some praise from the local surf instructor – ‘Hey bru, you surfed nice today man, lekker.’ The whales were playing behind us again and there were some beautiful, clean waves. At one point, Jamie turned to me and said ‘There’s no way I’m leaving the water today, you might have to bring me a mars bar for lunch.’

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The waves died down eventually so we did stop to grab a couple of toasties at the beautifully located Tasty Table café (new favourite spot). Several more hours of fun in the waves and we headed back to the trusty Ruth’s Restaurant for dinner. Somehow this place manages to serve everything from curry to Thai to pizza to seafood and it all tastes amazing.

The wind picked up again the next day and spoilt the waves so we decided to explore the nearby ‘secret waterfall’. Turns out some canny farmer has figured out he can charge R20 for access to a 25m waterfall on his property. Totally in the middle of nowhere, just us, some Afrikaans girls and a homemade zipline.

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(Elegant as always..)

Back to the hostel for sundowners on the beach, catching up with a friend from Wild Spirit and homemade veggie pasta and an early night before Addo Elephant Park tomorrow!

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