Supertubes in J-Bay

Trip Start Nov 24, 2008
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Trip End Oct 21, 2009


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Where I stayed
Jeffreys Bay Backpackers

Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Saturday, August 1, 2009

We left Chintsa on Tuesday evening headed for Port Elizabeth. The Baz Bus makes a compulsory stop there so we had to spend the night regardless. We didn't arrive till fairly late around 11pm. It had been a pretty a long day so we just went straight to bed. Next morning we went strolling around PE in search of a second hand bookshop. For the first time since we started traveling I had run out of books to read. We have a lot of time on our hands so we've been going through about 2 books each a week. Usually most hostels have book exchanges but most of the hostels here in South Africa are just full of Dutch books because of all the Dutch backpackers. We didn't get up to much for the rest of the day as bad weather was forecast, around dinnertime a spectacular lighting storm kicked off and so we spent the evening reading and watching tv. Wouldn't have liked to be the guy who was camping in the backgarden that night!

We were up at 6am the following morning to catch the Baz Bus to Jeffreys' Bay, surf capital of South Africa. Every year the Billabong World Surfing Championship takes place here, we had actually just missed it by 2 weeks. Apparently Jeffreys' Bay, or J-Bay as the locals call it, is one of the top 3 surfing spots in the world. They have some very impressive surfing beaches with fancy names like The Supertubes, The Kitchen Windows and The Boneyard. We were dropped off at our hostel around 9am. After dumping our bags we decided to go in search of the 'Supertubes' we had heard so much about. After about an hours walk along the beach we eventually found it. We sat around for a while and watched as only the most experienced surfers took on these crazy waves. Basically if you've ever seen a picture of a huge wave and a surfer riding inside it then thats basically what the Supertubes are. We took some videos of the surfers getting absolutely creamed inside these waves, we probably shouldn't have laughed but we did.

After that we walked back to our hostel via the main road which was a lot quicker but oddly enough very slippery. At one stage Rachel slipped and just managed to grab my hand before she hit the ground. After lunch we went down to the Billabong factory outlet, all the the big surf brands have factory outlets here where you can get dirt cheap clothes. Rachel didn't find anything she liked but I got a nice hoody to replace my other one I've had for the last 8 months and was starting to turn a strange shade of green? That night we had a few drinks in the hostel and as often happens one thing led to another and we ended up hitting the local night spots. The woman who runs the hostel was with us so we had a good guide. In a place called the Wax Cafe we got talking to this Afrikaans guy who had just returned from spending the last 8 years in Ireland. He had an odd accent which was sort of a mix between south side Dublin and Afrikaans. After more than a few drinks he invited us out to do some archery the next morning, him and his friends are into hunting with these professional type bows. We sort of dismissed it but next morning he rang and asked where were we, of course we were still in bed but we got up and had some breakfast with the plan of getting a taxi out to the range.

Unfortunately Rachel was a little worse for wear from the night before and went back to bed but I got in a taxi and went out anyway. It was a good laugh and I learnt a lot about professional archery. The bows aren't easy to fire and require a lot strength and steady hands. I had a go and managed to hit the targets a few times, not bad for a beginner. The lads dropped me back to hostel later that afternoon and told me we were welcome back anytime. The rest of the evening was spent watching South Africa beat New Zealand in the tri-nations and eating pizza.
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