Published: March 20th 2011December 15th 2010
Our Baz Bus driver from Mthatha to Cintsa, Johnny, was hilarious. He was constantly cracking jokes, telling stories about getting shot and other various things, and played some pretty good music too. We all enjoyed the journey even though we were pretty tired out from our Coffee Shack antics. He even stopped at Nelson Mandela's house in Transkei, and told us a few stories about it. He made the journey pretty interesting. Unfortunately, it was one of the shortest Baz Bus journeys I had in SA, at only about 3 hours.
We stopped at Buccaneer's Backpackers. The staff at Coffee Shack told me they'd made a booking for me here, but must have been too busy partying because they definitley didn't. The lady at reception told me that I didn't have a booking, and they didn't have any rooms left. The Baz Bus had left by this point, and Cintsa is in the middle of nowhere, so I started to worry, offering to sleep on the floor if I had to. Also, I really didn't want to part with my new friends (Lucy, Sarah, Ysabelle, Stewart and Max). Thankfully, they had a spare room that was usually only used for
volunteers working in the local area, so it all worked out.
We spent the first part that night in the hostel bar, where our Baz Bus driver was knocking back the tequila and having a good time. But after a while I retired to reception to chill out and check my emails. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that I'd been offered a place on the TESOL course I'd applied for, and therefore was guaranteed a teaching job in Thailand. I was ecstatic, because this meant that I had a whole new chapter of travel to look forward to, and knew what I would be doing after my trip through South Africa was over. Therefore, I could relax and enjoy my time there, safe in the knowledge that I had some income, a purpose, and another adventure to come in the next few months. After a little celebration with the guys, we got a fairly early night. One of the first things we noticed about Buccanneer's is that they had a notice board with daily activities on it. The next day there was a 'treasure hunt', so we were pretty excited about that. As childish as it seemed, it
sounded like fun.
The next morning we were really disappointed to find that the weather was shocking. It was cold, wet and extremely windy. This was a shame because Cintsa is actually a really beautiful place, and our hostel was right next to the beach, but there was nothing to do all day. The most annoying thing was that the treasure hunt was cancelled! After a couple of hours of twiddling our thumbs and complaining we trekked across the lagoon and the beach to the shop to pick up our supply of cheap crappy food (which consisted of R4 noodles, biscuits, eggs and bread). We were all conserving our cash for Cape Town the following week so were spending a minimal amount on food. When we got back, we all had a movie day in the hostel bar. It was actually really cosy. They had a big projector screen, a fire, and we all brought our duvets from our rooms. Buccanneer's gave us plenty of popcorn, mulled wine and trashy films, so we were sorted for the day. It didn't feel like South Africa at all, but it was nice. That night, we typically played Shit Head and Poker
in the bar over a few drinks.
The next day, the weather was much better. The strange thing I found about South Africa is that the weather is very temperamental, much like it is in England, only more extreme. The girls and I spent a few hours toasting ourselves on the beach in the morning, and in the afternoon there were some 'Olympics' going on at the hostel bar. This involved Volleyball, Table Tennis, and various inventive drinking games. It was good fun. Ysy had been surfing that morning and got the most ridiculous wetsuit tan I'd ever seen. We all had a good laugh at her.
That evening there was a special 'Ginger Party' going on because it was a member of staff's birthday, Emma (who was of course ginger). It was just a normal party with some cans of orange coloured hair spray getting passed around, but it was good fun. I turned in earlier than the other guys though, which made me feel a bit old. I just wasn't up for getting trashed, and the sun had tired me out. It was lucky that I'd got an early night because I was woken up at 7am by Lucy, because Max had pushed her in the pool that night and she'd hurt her ankle, which meant she couldn't get up the stairs to get to her dorm. So I gave her my bed, some painkillers, and left her for a while. Eventually she felt alright so I helped her up the stairs and went back to bed for a lie in, only to lock myself out of my room in the process. I went to reception, only to find that they didn't have a spare key for the room. Shit. However there was a back door to it, but the desk had been put in front of it. I eventually managed to push it open a bit and squeezed through the gap. Luckily I'm pretty small. I ended up having to do this a couple of times, because I'm an idiot and kept locking myself out.
Our bus out of there wasn't arriving til 5pm, so I left some of my washing out to dry and packed the rest of my stuff, and headed out for the day. Sarah and Ysy were doing some canoeing on the lagoon, so I went over there, watched them for a bit and had a little nap on the grass in the sunshine. It was lovely. When they got back we tried to get the canoe onto the bank, but seeing as we were all feeble women, we didn't have much luck. First of all, Ysy got out which left Sarah to capsize, which was pretty funny. Then the whole thing filled with water, making it even more difficult to get out of the lagoon. We were all fairly useless and didn't know what to do about it, but after some time and effort we managed to conquer it. We headed back up to our rooms, and I went to collect my washing, only to find that it had gone. I asked all of the maids if they knew anything about it but none of them did, and it didn't appear to have blown away in the wind. One of the women simply responded with 'So?' when I told her, which wasn't very helpful. I started to panick a bit because I'd lost my favourite pair of shorts, along with a few other things, and since I was travelling light, I didn't have many clothes to spare. It turned out that one of the maids actually had taken them, but was clearly an idiot and didn't realise what I was talking about, so I managed to get them back about 10 minutes before the bus arrived. Phew!
Cintsa was really beautiful, and Buccanneers ended up being one of my favourite hostels in South Africa. I would definitley reccommend it to any SA backpacker.