Thursday 11 April 2013

So, where is my mind?

Saturday, 16th February 2013

(Song choice for this blog entry: “Tracy’s Water” – PatrickWatson)

I hope to be able to do some impressive things in my life. I would also like to lend a helping hand to encourage others hopefully do the same one day: where I can, when I can.

After seeing the children of Chintsa East Village and the way they live -although it feels so foreign and is upsetting to understand their histories; recognise their presents; and make sense of the realities of their futures – one somehow takes on a sense of pride in the opportunity granted to be able to take part in a project such as this.

Having said this, it BEGS the question of:

‘when last did I actually do something for someone or something which was completely disconnected from my personal motivations and success?’

In the past, it would have to have been a very rare occasion by which I could answer this question sincerely. It seems to be due to me being caught up in the chaos of our contemporary society: narcissistic and self-involved.

Contemporary society is becoming more and more a type of contemporary enslavement; working your entire life to save money to blow on a red Ferrari, just so that ONE DAY you can drive it to-and-from work, once a day. It just seems so shallow. It seems almost a waste, no? But, encouraging someone to work for a sense of independence, to maximise their options and their freedoms in which to do so- I think that is what our generation desperately needs to see, and to help each other with. After all, we are only as strong as our weakest link.

After a week of racking through these thoughts - back and forth - dragging them through my brain, I returned to Buccaneers Lodge and Backpackers, where I am to remain until Sunday morning. From here I will make my way through to Bulungula Lodge which is situated in one of the most rural villages in South Africa, Nqileni.

Below are some of the stories and photos which I picked up at Buccs before having to say goodbye.
You can also find my original introductory entry to Buccaneers Lodge and Backpackers HERE.


#1) Make friends with the Buccs’ staff. They become your family as well as treat you like it.

#2) Make sure to take part in the themed and festive dinners that Buccaneers hosts. The food is hearty and so is the company. They are also always informative about the different activities which will be happening in the near future of your stay, and are a great opportunity to link up with fellow backpackers who might be travelling on the same route as you are, if company is your ‘thang’

Inside Buccaneers' dining room. Not only is it homey and cosy, but it's attraction extends outside to it's long deck accompanied by breathtaking views of 15km worth of Chintsa Beach, and the lush landscape and vegetation of the Wild Coast which surrounds it. 

If you do not feel like busying yourself with the many activities that the backpack has to offer and prefer to chill out, rather spend your day exploring the lounging areas and little dens that Buccs has created for your comfort and tranquillity.   

Buccs is truly one of those places where Fair Trade is evident in their staff  body and community outreach projects. Everyone is always smiling, always so willing to help you out. What is also very refreshing is that the staff take pride in having you in their place of work, and given half the chance - will treat you like family. Definitely a place I will rave about for many years to come, and will hopefully return to with my friends and family in the near AND far future. 

Me, eating my breakkies. All my friends and acquaintances know how much I love my food. So here I am, ordering one of the larger breakfasts of eggs; toast; beans; bacon; tomato; fruit salad with yoghurt; and a filter coffee. Needless to say, I devoured it all. They also have vegetarian breakfast options as well as INCREDIBLE themed dinners (both vege and meat options available here too). While at Buccs, I had the pleasure of trying out their Sunday meal of home-cooked spaghetti bolognaise recipe; Mexican Night; Traditional Xhosa Meal; and Local Braai Night. Get involved!

One of the many spectacular views you can catch from this make-shift village on the hill. What is special about this lodge and backpackers is that you will find exactly what it is that you seek. If you are looking for company in a party - the staff and fellow backpackers are always up for a wild night. However, if it is peace and quiet that you seek, you will find that you can slink off to the comfort of your own chalet or den that Buccs has to offer, and spend your day in complete relaxation. The place is truly big enough for you to disappear away from the crowds if that is what you are aiming for. Thus, Buccaneers have been able to cater for all age groups and scenarios, whether you are a young student backpacking through Africa, a couple who seek privacy, a family with young children or teenagers, or a more mature audience who enjoy taking part in cultural experiences and long leisurely walks on the Chintsa beach. 

The large deck extending out from the top dining room makes for a delicious spot to indulge in your breakfasts or dinners, or to just sit, read a book, socialise or suntan.

Apart from the incredible community outreach projects and community development programmes it offers the surrounding community of Chintsa, Bucc also has a small souvenir store which sells exquisitely made local crafts in their African Gift Shop. They are truly low costing and have the most incredible bead work which I indulged myself in. They provide you with the perfect gifts to bring back for family and friends. 

For those of you who are interested, Buccs also takes pride in their initiative in recycling water, harvesting as well as planting indigenous trees and vegetation in and around their property.

Some of the activities available to the guests of Buccaneers. They have it all! Make sure to take part in the afternoon free volleyball activity - great place to meet lekker people - as well as helping yourself to the free wine down by the pool every afternoon at 4pm. An absolute jol - and absolute must!

Another thing to look out for while in the area is Tea in the Trees. This special find is a local arts, crafts and home produce market. It has beautiful forests walks, serves delicious breakfasts and lunces, which is also accompanied by a jungle gym for the children to climb into. The day I visited this spot there was a concert being held in the newly built forest amphitheatre where Francious Le Roux performed. I sat in and amongst the trees listening to emotive music by a talented musician, sipping on home-made crispy-fresh mojitos. Great way to end of a long day.

If you are into more adventurous activites, check out what the African Heartland Journeys has to offer you. I took on the surf school and the waves of Chintsa Beach on the Saturday. 

Depicted here is one of the many cosy dorms which Buccs has to offer to backpackers. They are clean and come with a sensational sea-view. Here you can leave your doors and windows wide open and fall asleep to the crashing of the sea waves nearby. If dorms aren't your thing, their are also double ensuite rooms available, beach cottages (where I stayed - had a hard time leaving my cottage!!!!!!) as well as B&B sea-view suites. 

Just a taste of the harvested and planted indigenous vegetation on what was once a barren chicken farm. 

Surf's up! Bucc's famous surf school has a lot to offer. Acquaint yourself with Logan, the new energetic surf instructor who is always up for a challenge (and a party!). If you know how to surf already, Buccs makes sure that you know that you are welcome to hire out their equipment and give their beach break a bash. The water is a lot warmer then anything I was used to in Cape Town. The beach break is shallow and the rips are strong, but as a surfer myself, I had a great time cruising the waves. If you are new to the surf-culture - don't even stress! Logan will have you standing and grooving in no time. 

BEWARE: Once you start, it is almost impossible to stop!

Logan (Buccs surf instructor and fellow party accomplice) and I, getting ready to tackle the surf in quite windy conditions. Please note the type of wet suit I am wearing - this NEVER happens in Cape Town. All the surfers are subjected to full wet suits, often with hoods due to the difference in water temperature. Chintsa water was such a pleasure to frolic in!

Me in my little beach cottage, packing up and getting ready to leave Buccs and Chintsa East. What an incredible stay, truly encompassing the ideologies that Fair Trade supports and stands for. A good energy, a perfect destination for a conscientious traveller. 

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