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SOUTH AFRICA | Thursday, 28 March 2013 | Views [631]

The noise of the ceaseless pounding of the ocean is carried on the cool breeze straight into the large open windows in my room where I am comfortably sat in an armchair, cup of tea nearby, ready to begin my account of Wilderness.

We arrived at The Beach House, also known as Annie’s Place located not far above the beach. To my dismay the dorms were mixed and large, although wonderfully airy and light with huge glass sliding doors leading out onto a massive deck which looks out to the sea. Looking at the bunk bed (with no ladder) that was left, I felt overwhelmingly ‘dorm-ed out’. I am still struggling with the ‘get in there quick and grab the best you can get’ mentality. I felt totally deflated at the prospect of 3 nights there and decided to find out if there was another option. Very much more expensive but I now have the luxury of solitude - a double bed with the same sea view, its own bathroom and real towels!

For as far East as one can see into the ocean spray, large sandy beaches stretch uninterrupted to meet the row of beachside houses. To the west rocky hillsides descend straight into the ocean but a walk along the disused railtrack allows access to other bays, as well as The Secret Cave I mentioned.

Wilderness as a name is somewhat misleading as you would naturally assume a remote spot. In fact part of the main N2 highway is visible from here and there are a number of houses and a small town centre as well. Some shops, cashpoint, restaurants and bars – just enough to be convenient but not too much as to be built up.

I am developing a fascination for the history behind some of the hostels, the people whose lives have lead them to this point. As is so often the case abroad, their stories are often full of the twists and turns of living a life less ordinary. Africa, whilst beautiful, throws out challenges which you can choose to accept, or leave. People who come here thinking they can tame this wild continent, will soon find that embracing and adjusting to life here is a far more rewarding endeavour.

Last night we arrived in Hermanus which is our last stop before Cape Town. It was also our last trip on Baz Bus and again I have to extol the virtues of choosing to travel with them. They truly opened up South Africa to me and my fellow travellers (Baz Buds) and thanks to them, I have enjoyed an overview of this amazing coastline and have a pocket full of memories as cherished souvenirs. My travel buddies Suzie, Veerle, Ingo, Anneke & Oskar, Spencer, Liam, Dom, Fabian and others that kept reappearing along the way, all contributed to a journey in a lifetime.

It has been a long 2 weeks and we have seen so many different places in a relatively short time. We have chosen to stay along the coast rather than venturing inland. It is possible to do both but only having 2 weeks means prioritising what you want to see. Given my planning time again for this trip to South Africa, I would have volunteered for a maximum of 3 weeks and spent a good 2 months on the road.

Today I am meeting an old friend and will be staying with him and his family. I hope you have enjoyed my tour of the coast. I will return to tell you about Cape Town, although I shall slow down on my posts for a while and make the most of my remaining time here catching up with old and new friends. Thanks for travelling with me.

Tags: annies place, baz bus, beach house, journey, ocean, secret cave, south africa, waves, wilderness

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