Have you ever arrived in a place and thought to yourself, am I still on planet earth?
Welcome to South Africa’s Wild Coast!
It’s hard to describe such a place, lovingly known as Coffee Bay.
But the name fits: Like coffee, it is both sour and sweet, incredibly enjoyable to sip, but best when served in the morning and definitely not too close to bedtime.
The drive from highway N2 down Main street 1.5 hours to Coffee Bay was a nail-biting, adrenaline filled adventure.
We dodged goats, cattle, large horned bull, sheep, people and pot holes.
This was made worse by large, randomly placed speed bumps which didn’t make any sense whatsoever. It would make a great course for the Indie 500.
The landscape was dry and spotted with circular mud huts painted in bright turquoise, red and brown.
People could be seen traversing the long seemingly endless hillsides from one sparsely populated location to the next.
What do people do out here? One thing is for certain, they walk!
We drove into town if you can call it that. Just a dead end with a few traditional homes on a hillside.
We had already pre-booked our hostel but for good measure we stopped our car and poked our heads into the “nice hotel”. As usual they quoted us an exorbitant price, which would make us feel better about where we were staying.
Where to stay in Coffee Bay with Kids
“The Coffee shack” as it is known, was over the bridge and at the end of the road, located on the edge of the river mouth.
We were greeted by a friendly local host and she showed us around. The place had a friendly “hippie” vibe and the kids were happy.
The walking paths were made out of native stone and the outdoor eating area had long log tables. There was a fire pit and a large irregular table under a thatched roof porch.
We were all given a complimentary drink from the bar.
The bathroom sinks and showers were made out of the local rock and the basins were hundred-year-old grinding stones worn down so thin that a hole developed and they made them into the sink basins.
Our room was across the river from the main facilities, all the way up a very steep hill. It was appropriately named “Kings Castle“. Great view!
The owners dog took the kids and Stephen for a walk up the hill and across to the beach. I walked around touring the hostel/campground. It’s such an eerie place when no one is around. I guess the town would be livelier in the summer?
We only stayed one night. I felt stuck in a time warp somewhere between the need to be part of the future but stuck in the past with no indication that the place would ever catch up.
I also felt sad for the day the big money does discover this area. I guess I felt at odds with myself wanting that, and not wanting that, at the same time.
Although we had a very short stay, the free dinner, awesome view, fun-loving atmosphere, friendly dog and sheets, made it a great stop.
I would like to go back again in 20 years, just to see if anything has changed.
And yes, I think I would go back to the Coffee Sack and ask for the Kings Castle.
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