I am never leaving the Eastern Cape… EVER!! Those were my sentiments on Saturday morning 2 weekends ago, mostly because I woke up to this view…
That is what you see from the back of one of the beach houses at Island Vibe backpackers in Jeffrey’s Bay. Having been there once before a couple of years ago this is one of Meryl’s favourite places. She was over for the weekend and we had made the ninety minute drive out there the previous afternoon. Looking around from the moment we arrived it wasn’t difficult to see why she is so enchanted with the place.
When you think of a backpackers you think: very basic four-walls-and-a-bed-to-sleep-in, and dirty traveller-type people around (as a friend of mine recently added 🙂 ) This place is very far removed from that, think of something in between a cosy bed and breakfast and a fun island resort and you’re a lot closer to the Island Vibe experience. Now it sounds as I if I’m being paid to write this 😛 No, that is most definitely not the case! We just both thoroughly enjoyed the place. It is situated on top of a small hill in Jeffery’s Bay, and when you’re standing in the reception area you can look down the other side of said hill and see waves crashing down on a beach barely a five minute’s walk away.
Perhaps it was just that particular weekend, or the crowd of young traveller-types that happened to populate the place on the night we were there, but the place had an energy about it, a party-like atmosphere. Meryl swears that is it’s permanent state. We (and what seemed like everyone else that was there) spent that Friday evening in the bar-restaurant area.
We had pizza for dinner (as one does :-P), and met some interesting characters. At one point late in the evening I found myself on one side of the room playing pool with a Namibian guy I had just met and on other side of the room Meryl was playing beer pong with some other people.
We had a really good time and I recommend this place to anyone road tripping through the Eastern Cape or just passing through Jeffrey’s Bay for a night or two. We were not in fact on another roadtrip, we drove back to Port Elizabeth the next day but we have a definite plan to go back and hang a little longer, sometime soon.
Back in Port Elizabeth we met up with my friends Gareth and Nadisha. They had spent the previous 2 weeks in Cape Town with family and were spending a night in PE on their way back to Zithulele where they are currently living and working.
I don’t really like board games. Yes I know, who doesn’t like board games right? It’s just something about having a plan to sit around a table for an hour (or a few) focussing on the table bothers me. Just one of those things. It is alleged that I always enjoy myself when I’m dragged/forced to play. Of course I deny this, but apparently there is proof. I was up in Centurion with my family over the Christmas weekend, and there was one particular day when Meryl came over and we spent an entire afternoon playing 30seconds with my two sisters and my sister’s husband. I may or may not have enjoyed that, I dunno it’s difficult to say 😛
Gareth and I settled down to battle Nadisha and Meryl over a game of Cranium. We let the entire male race down and got our backsides handed to us, by an embarrassing margin at that! It may have been my fault, I’ve never played Cranium before and it took me a couple of rounds to get into it. It was Meryl’s first time too but she seemed to catch on quite quickly. There is a theory that says that people couple up with partners of roughly equal intelligence. Based on how things went that night Meryl the law student is sharper than yours truly the medic. Looking at things a little closer though, Gareth’s wife and my girlfriend were two happy winners that evening, so perhaps it is us who were the smart ones… 🙂
We had to say goodbye late that evening, Gareth and Nadisha would be driving off again early the next day. I had seen them two weeks previously (again, briefly) when they had passed through on their way down to Cape Town. Our time together is always so short lately.
Gareth mentioned that when they were down in Cape Town he kept asking himself why they don’t live there. It seems to be a serious option for them. This while I wrestle with my own little dilema. I have and am really enjoying my time in Port Elizabeth. My year is almost up. I am all but sold on the slower life, and relaxed atmosphere down here. Why go back up to Jozi? Meryl is in Johannesburg, oh and also Meryl is in Johannesburg. I have an apartment in Jozi. My family and best friend are all back there. Life will be faster. Work will be in a tougher, higher pressure environment. But that is what I always wanted isn’t it? Decision time. Fun times…