It was a six hour bus ride to East London (I obviously slept the whole way), and a two hour shuttle up to Hogsback. It is a beautiful mountain town heavily influenced by renewable energy, organic gardening, and alternative living (has my name written all over it). Perfect! I found an enchanting cafe called Butterfly Bistro. They had outside picnic-like seating, and the waitress walked around barefoot. I ordered some rooibos tea (huge in SA), and Skyped my family for first time in a while. My sister had written me to say that my nephew missed me and wanted to Skype. What magical words! I talked to my mom first who had surgery the day before on her shoulder. Then I called Koryn and the kids. It’s crazy that within a minute I can see them back home. The newbie (my newest niece Grace) has grown so much since I’ve been gone. I haven’t felt homesick lately, but I can’t wait to hug and kiss those kids!!
I stayed at a place in town called Away With the Fairies. Yes please!! I stayed in a dorm that slept five, of course I was the only girl. I went into the kitchen where I bumped into Andre, who had been at Island Vibe when I was there. He and his friend, Dannie, were just road tripping on their holiday break before meeting with their families for Christmas. Later I met a couple from America, Sarah and Richard, who were talking with Andre and Dannie. They had been traveling for about nine months in Africa. We filled each other in on our travels before deciding to check out the moon from the treehouse. We climbed up the 15 meter treehouse in the dark, listened to music, and enjoyed the night sky.
The next morning, the five of us went on a waterfall hike. The forest was damp, displaying various colors of green. It felt good to be in the mountains breathing in its fresh air. There were a couple small waterfalls and a swimming hole on the way to the Madonna and Child Fall. I love the sound of a waterfall before you even see it like it’s drawing you closer and closer before it appears cascading down. We relaxed there for a while before heading back. Lately natural running water has been symbolic for me. I always have to put my hands or feet in it and feel it wash over me taking with it my past, my sins, my pain, and my worries, leaving me refreshed, new.
We grabbed lunch at the bistro and talked about the future plans of our trips. I was trying to figure out when I could catch the bus to head back to the coast towards Coffee Bay. The guys were heading the same way and said I could ride with them. What a blessing! Road trip with my new friends!
Andre and I walked to check out a rock garden accompanied by a man named Theo who was heading the same direction. He reminded me of Gandof from Lord of the Rings. We had seen him earlier on our way back from the waterfall. He was walking towards the falls, and someone said, “You are almost there!”
“I am right where I need to be, here,” he replied with large smile and one tooth missing.
He was very enlightening to speak with. He said something that stuck with me. “People are constantly trying to divorce themselves.” He talked about how we are meant to be in touch with nature and deep inside we all desire it, but we distract ourselves and try to shut it out.
We finally made it to the garden, but it was closed. The lady saw how tired we were, and we told her where we walked from. She opened up the store and showed us a map of the garden. We couldn’t find the labyrinth (maybe we were in it). We did however find the rock circle, which is supposed to represent that God is in everything and around everything. We also found the Silver Birch Grove with feminine energy. I want one of these in my yard one day. Beads hung from a tree to enter. I walked the maze before positioning myself between two rocks to take in some deep breaths. I kept poking fun at Andre to get some feminine energy. He walked the maze as well. Hogsback is truly a unique place.
We ate dinner by the fire that night. It got really cold when the sun would go down, and it felt a little more like Christmas. I guess it even snows here in July. I went to bed at a decent time and woke up ready to role to Chintas. The guys packed everything in the car, leaving a space for me and my bag. We drove a few hours to Chintas to stay at a place called Buccaneers. It was a beautiful place up on a hill with an ocean view.
We went down to the beach for a couple hours to stretch out before it got dark. The sand there is unique. It looks normal but is black when it sticks to you. It’s the weirdest thing. The beach was relaxing and the waves were cold, once again washing my waste into the sea.
The journey to Coffee Bay was filled with beautiful countryside and fun company. Dannie and Andre are easy to get along with and fun to talk to. We stopped in a sketchy town to grab some items since Coffee Bay doesn’t have a grocery store. When we were turning a corner, we got jolted forward as someone hit us from behind. I turned around to see it was a police car with the front bumper hanging loose. Danie got out, shook his hand, and we drove off. His car wasn’t damaged, and he explained to me how different car insurance works in SA compared to the USA.
As we got closer to Coffee Bay, the “wild coast” was starting to appear. We were driving past villages spread across the green hills decorated with a variety of colored huts. Sheep, cattle, and goats grazed the land as we randomly saw people working outside. I told the guys how I wanted to live in a hut here. There is something about the simplicity of living that is attractive to me. It makes me realize how much I complicate my life. Not just with material things, but with over-thinking things I can’t control, worrying about the past, and stressing about the future. I need to start taking mental inventory to see what I am storing in my mind, and what I need to get rid of… I’ll add that to my list of things to wash away.
Andre and Dannie are great guys to talk with, and I am blessed I got to spend a few days with them. We made it safely to the Coffee Shack where we would be staying. I immediately felt homey here. I ran into Yaya and Geraldo, a couple I had met in Jeffrey’s Bay, who were staying for a couple weeks there. It’s nice to see familiar faces along the way! I decided this is where I would stay until Christmas.