Coffee Bay looked like a perfect place to stop and spend the night during my road trip in South Africa. A beautiful beachside town in the wild coast sounds, what could go wrong?
Journey to Coffee Bay
Our journey started in Durban as Karen and myself started driving towards Coffee Bay. As soon as we arrived in the Coffee Bay area, the roads immediately became unpaved. I hate driving on these kind of roads but whatever, we were already here. We felt like we were in a washing machine as our car starts bouncing up and down on dirt road full of pot holes.
We encountered many local kids walking down the dirt paths and Karen and myself made sure to greet all of them. I don’t think they’ve ever seen Asians before because prior to greeting them, they would stare at us with a poker face. As we smiled and waved at all the kids and teens that walked by us, the stare and poker face melted off and turned into a smile and friendly wave back.
We arrived at Sugarloaf Backpackers and decided to stay the night there. Their burgers were good and customer service was excellent.
In the morning, we got up bright and early for the long drive to Jeffreys Bay.
We decided not to eat breakfast because we wanted to get a head start. We soon found out this was a good idea.
Hostile rural South African
As we drove towards the exit of the town of Coffee Bay, something seemed…off. I see lots of big rocks cluttered all over the road. By the time we reached the main road, we see a big horse cart blocking the street.
A South African woman comes right beside Karen’s window and tells us “You betta git out or dey gona huut you” as she points to a man quickly approaching our car. The African man starts yelling and starts banging on my rental car. Soon after, a bigger crowd of hostile locals starts approaching my car.
I got really scared and quickly turned the car around. “Where do I go from here?” I said to myself as I ponder my next move.
Guidance from helpful strangers
As I was slowly driving back towards the direction of our hostel, a red car with two white South Africans starts motioning to us to roll down our windows. They appear to be twin brothers. We drive right beside them and opened our windows. The twin brothers began telling us that we can try getting out from the popular tourist spot called “Hole in the Wall”. Apparently, there’s an exit out of the town from there.
We followed the twins towards the “Hole in the Wall” exit; unfortunately, we were turned back once again as the locals have already blocked that exit. The twins then heads towards the local police station to plead to the police officers to do something about the situation. The only answer they got is to wait out for the situation to calm down.
The twins getting frustrated at this point said to us: “Well, there is ONE more way to get out of here… but the roads are even worst than what we used to drive down here. If we drive safely and very carefully, we can get out of here through there”.
I thought it through for a brief moment and the decision came easily. There’s no way I wanted to stay here longer in Coffee Bay and put Karen and myself in any sort of danger. We’ll take the even crappier dirt roads.
Escaping Coffee Bay
And terrible roads they were, Definitely worst off than the initial ones we took. Thankfully, the twins guided us halfway through the area. Once they felt confident we can complete the rest, they said their goodbyes. Karen and myself thanked them for their help as we parted ways.
After three hours of driving on difficult roads with a very hungry stomach, we got back to the main road safely.
Karen and myself felt a huge rush of relief afterwards and smiled to each other. “We’re going to be okay!” I said to Karen.
In the end, I’m glad we didn’t eat breakfast and left early. There’s no telling if the situation has escalated even further. That means leaving may have been impossible had we waited longer. There’s a strong possibly they blocked off the last exit available as well.
We spent the next seven hours driving towards Jeffreys Bay. Karen and myself were very grateful to have met the twin brothers who saved us from potential harm. Africa is really teaching us that for every bad situation, good people are just right around the corner to lend you a helping hand.
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