On the way to Hole in the Wall

Day 9 – Cintsa to Coffee Bay – 17 September

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After breakfast at Schafli Manor we packed up our carful of cr*p and set off, stopping for more pictures of the beach on the way. We are getting quite good again at packing up every day, though it is never particularly enjoyable!

So far I’ve only managed to leave behind some shampoo, and a six-pack of beer that we fortunately got back! All our electronics are running off an English multiple plug thingamy which is handy as you only need one socket to plug it into. I am often amazed at how poorly designed some hotels and B&Bs are with regards to plug sockets, both availability and accessibility. You learn to look at things differently if you’re traveling!

We left for Coffee Bay with a bit of trepidation as you read about the terrible state of the road from the N2 to Coffee Bay everywhere. Brian really wasn’t looking forward to the trip, but as it turns out the road wasn’t as bad as expected with most of the potholes filled so the going wasn’t as slow as we dreaded. Filling the potholes did nothing about the animals wandering randomly into the road though, and after the first few times of suicidal animals deciding to cross the road when they saw us coming we got used to it. I saw a lot of sheep that were mostly behind fences, unlike the other animals that wander around freely and eat what they can find. I eventually realised why the sheep were fenced in as they really are dumb animals who can’t look after themselves – we had to stop once for a sheep crossing the road, and of course as soon as one crossed the road, all the others followed as well without paying any attention to the oncoming cars. Compared to them goats and pigs are quite good/clever as they tend to pay more attention to cars and stay away. Cows and donkeys also don’t give a sh*t and will wander in front of your car without blinking, pretending you don’t exist. I never saw a chicken cross the road so can’t comment on them or their motivation! Hopefully that paragraph provided some much needed advice on animal behaviour on the road to Coffee Bay… 

At Coffee Bay we found our accommodation for the night, Geckos B&B, as soon as we got to the town, and unpacked all our stuff before heading out. The B&B was basic but fine for our needs. 

As the weather was really threatening we decided to go and see Hole in the Wall as soon as possible, rather than waiting and risking missing it altogether due to rain. Roger from the B&B explained in detail how to get there and which way to walk so we went driving full of confidence. The 10km to Hole in the Wall starts out quite good, but the road deteriorates drastically after a few kilometres and becomes quite scary to drive. I kept my eyes on the beautiful countryside and glimpses of the sea while Brian negotiated the craters on the way to HitW. We parked in the hotel’s parking space and set off at a fast pace, only to be caught up by a couple of local lads who wanted to be our guides and who pretended to not understand the meaning of ‘no’. They stayed around us most of the walk and to be honest, made us feel a bit uncomfortable as there wasn’t another soul in sight and they wouldn’t leave us alone. We went of the walking route down a ‘road’ that took us to HitW, took the obligatory amount of pictures and made our way back. HitW is a spectacular sight and well worth visiting despite the ridiculous Road and pushy locals. Though our car is fairly high with good tires we saw a fair few normal and even small cars making their way there, so maybe we’re just wimps! Plus, I suppose it makes a difference if you’re in a rental car and you don’t care too much about the car!

We made it back to the B&B just in time before the deluge started and it thundered down for quite a while – I was VERY glad we didn’t get caught in that! Coffee Bay was a lot less interesting than I’d hoped and there weren’t that many options to choose from for dinner. Even though I had pizza the night before, we opted for Papazelas for pizza again. The restaurant is on a hill with gorgeous views and quirky setting. It has an outside deck area with long tables and cheap beer by the quart. We settled in for a couple of beers and pizza, both of which were good and lingered a bit as we had no other entertainment back at the B&B – not even TV! Eventually we went back to our gaff and watched the first episode of Stranger Things on the laptop before nodding off. I found Coffee Bay beautiful but disappointing in equal measures. You quite often read about the town in glowing terms and see articles spanning multiple pages, so you expect a lot more. In reality the town is TINY with barely anything there and I really wouldn’t advise anyone to stay longer than one night, unless you are a surfer or seriously into drumming and/or smoking pot. Admittedly, we were there in off season and the weather was pretty bad, but I still can’t see that there’d be that much more to do in summer, though I may be wrong. On the topic of pot, I am massively disappointed that I was never even offered any to buy by the locals as I was told you get offered it everywhere – it must a sure sign of impending old age?!

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