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During my travels, my compensation for free accommodation for one night, was for me to write a daily travel diary. Of how I got to my next location, the people who would host me, the food I was offered and everything else. Below you find the archives of the highly extensive reports. Know that English is not my native language and most reports were written at high speed around midnight. Enjoy.

Saturday, 17 November 2001
--> Coffee Bay (SA)

Because there was no BazBus driving today, the shuttle wouldn't leave the Coffee Shack either. So here is the report of just another day (sunshine!) in Coffee Bay. Be aware: hangover alert!
This morning I joined breakfast at the outside bar. Everybody had to write down their names and what they want for breakfast and the chef would give a call whose meal was coming up.

The Caro’s and I were invited to come along for a Cultural Day-trip into the villages, but we kindly declined that offer to have a relaxing day at the beach.

And as there was no BazBus driving today, everybody was going to stay another day and so did I. Because hitchhiking out of Coffee Bay won't work without any traffic. What a life!

After breakfast I joined Caroline who spent some time on the internet to send some emails to friends and around noon we prepared to hit the white sand beach.

There are two beaches in Coffee Bay, both divided by a green hill with rock cliffs. The wind was blowing hard, so we found a good sun bath spot in the green grass where we would be out of the wind to avoid changing in sand creatures and spent most of the afternoon burning our skins off. Of course with enough sun lotion. The ocean was warm, but had a strong current that could take me easily towards the rocks. The water was only used to get a cool down when things started to cook.

Pretty soon we were joined by three local kids, who started to play with our hair. One girl even managed to make dreadlocks with my short curls, but they had a hell of a time with the hair of the Caro’s. In reward of their effort and company, Carola shared them a bag of raisins that they first refused as they had learned not to eat anything that looks like that as it can be poison. They kept pointing at the bushes with its berries to let us know what they meant. But when they saw us eat the raisins with undiminished normality, they found the trust and enjoyed them too. Full hands were filling their little mouths. They were hungry.

I had my camera and a little handbag with me and already placed it under my head as a hard pillow, but we soon found out that one of the little hands had opened the zipper of Caroline’s bag and was aiming for a bag of money. “No! No! No! That is my money,” she told them. “You can not take my money.” And after this pity incident, we kindly asked them to go and play somewhere else.

But it didn’t spoil our pleasure in the sun at all. I mean, a suntan was on our hand!

It was around five when we returned to the Coffee Shack. Just like we got to the beach, we had to walk back through the Bomvu River (waist height), who seemed to be a baby river today, compared with the wild water of yesterday.

And on the other side, Caroline was surprised by the sudden arrival of Jeff, one of the Canadians I had met before. And I have to tell you that they already had a little bit of romance at that backpacker place in Cintsa, so both Caroline and Jeff had to be very thankful that I convinced the ladies to come to Coffee Bay instead of a town called Hogsback.

Back at the Shack I met up with Jeff’s friend Erin Collins, you know – the Canadian CBC-journalist that I met before in Keurboomstrand. They had arrived in their rental car, all the way from Cintsa.

Unless the hard wind we survived in the grass, he and an Irish guy really wanted to go surfing the waves.

For the Caro’s, Jeff and me, we decided to hang around in the big hammock that had been attached between three trees. And as you can see on the pictures, I loved every second of it!

When the sun was settling down, everybody was invited to come along for a ride up the hill to enjoy the sunset. Of course we were ready to come along, jumped into the truck and drove to couple of hundred metres up the green hill.

Once there I was offered a 360 degrees panorama of the Coffee Bay area, a true Nirvana! Some local kids had run up the hill and started singing for us, all standing in a line and slowly dancing on the songs they sang. And that while the sun was going down at the horizon. Really a magnificent display!

At dinner time (oysters and mussels for starters!) we joined a Dutch couple on a sit-in in the rocky garden, and even with five Dutch people on a table, we continued speaking in English, for Jeff’s sake.

It was long after dinner, when the darkness had set in, when I hauled the group of Dutch, the Irish guy and the two Canadians together and opened the bottle of Champaign that I had carried with me since we first met in Keurboomstrand. Erin was really surprised that I had really carried that bottle with me all the way to Coffee Bay.

And he was right, it tasted terrible and it was the cheapest Champaign in South Africa. I shook the bottle hard while opening it and sprayed most of the contents in the air, while the people all cheered out loud! Someway this was going to be a little celebration in Coffee Bay that I had survived the 201 days in the letmestayforaday-project and I am still going strong!

When the Champaign was drank (aarrghh!), we all joined all the other travellers in the little bar inside, where the drinking games started and here I already had my four ‘promised’ beer, but the bartenders kept offering me little shooters, Smirnoff Ice, and etcetera.

You can understand that a lot of people got pretty pissed drunk this night and please don’t blame them, or me, for doing so. It’s life in paradise and we doomed travellers got to live with it... It was okay, it was fun, it was great!

But please.. Yes I know, I have to be careful with those hangovers... Tomorrow I’ll leave Coffee Bay again and head for another, but much more remote place in South Africa.

Good night Coffee Bay!


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