Location: 77 kilometres from Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, on the N2 in the direction of Cape Town.
Date Visited: 16 -18 March 2012 (Fall)
Where we Stayed: Lombardini Game Farm
What we did: we learnt surfing from the SurfLife Team, the best surf-school in the region, while getting to know new friends and reflecting on life.
Recomendation: Jeffreys Bay is an awesome coastal town not even 45 minutes drive from Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay. If you cannot spend a weekend here, it is at least worth a day-trip. It is known as Surf Capitol of the world and not without reason. It has perfect waves in so many different spots. The beaches are clean & white. The environment is friendly, happy and safe. Surfing isn’t the only offering of this fantastic destination. There are awesome restaurants, breath-taking game viewing, horse riding, diving, fishing and sandboarding. A visit to South Africa is not complete without a visit to Jeffreys Bay. If you live in Nelson Mandela Bay, it is unthinkable that you would not spend a day or weekend recharging here.
The graceful blue bodies of white mouthed waves rolled onto the soft ocean sand of Jeffreys Bay’s beaches.
As I breathe the rhythm of the ocean, I am reminded by great herds of sable at Lombardini that this ocean wasn’t always the kingdom of surfers with wet-suits and finely crafted boards.
That once magnificent hippo roamed these shores as benevolent Koi-San hunter gatherers took only what was needed to exist in harmony.
Here are no more hippo.
Only Lombardini Game Reserve in the picturesque ‘Seekoei River Valley’ preserving wildlife which once roamed free.
It is tangeable.
As you walk the soft sand and breathe the ocean air you become aware of it.
You cannot name it.
You cannot even describe it.
But it is undeniable and it draws you closer.
It whispers in your being.
The surfers must know it well, for as you imerse yourself in the warm ocean swell, it overwhelms you.
It makes you forget everything else.
We surf all Saturday.
Shannon Ainslei patiently showing us the basics of board riding as we share wave after wave.
Tabu and Amber also help.
Shannon has been doing this for a lifetime.
He survived a shark’s attack and was not detered.
He knows the ocean.
He comes alive in its hands.
It connects him to history and the future.
To memories desperate for rejuvination and the One who alone can feed this desire.
Who was here, even before hippo and hunter gatherers.
Who lovingly crafted these prisitine white beaches and infused it with a touch of his own spirit.
His presence still lingering.
We take respite from the waves in the comfort of Lombardini Game Farm’s Guest House. Beautifully appointed rooms. Tastefully furnished with an eclectic mix of old and new, practical and artistic. Seeped in the desire to provide rest and refreshment.
Breakfast is a slow affair.
Supper a feast.
On Sunday we visit a local Church.
It is called ‘Vicotry’.
It is what brought Surflife to life.
It is what brought Shannon and Tabu, Amber and Margreet to Jeffreys Bay.
An opportunity to rethink life.
To redefine themselves.
To discover who they were all along and become that, without hesitation, in new refreshed relationship.
Through Surf Masters.
Margreet came here for surfing.
She stayed to be part of a healthy mom and baby clinic.
To bring to life.
Also our baby.
To bring to hope.
So many mom’s to be for whom pregancy is a lonely fearful thing.
And she surfs.
Amber came for the same reason.
She is still here.
Teaching at a school.
Coming alongside Shannon in Surflife.
Fostering deep and meaningful friendships.
On Sunday we all have lunch together at Nina’s Real Food – this first Italian Restaurant where I’ve seen people order Thai Food.
Perhaps this speaks of Jeffreys Bay – grounded, yet open & accepting.
Hopeful that a new spirit will be awakened inside of you.
Or perhaps it is an old one?
One of connectedness.
Of easy communication.
Honesty and unconditional love.
We nurtured friendship this weekend.
Our tribe reconecting with Alan & Tania and their boys as we learn to surf and eat fantastic food and enjoy the breath of Jeffreys Bay.
Old friendships deepened.
New friendships forged, as we allow our souls to migle with the exquisite beings who are Amber & Margreet and Shannon and Tabu.
We come home on Sunday afternoon.
More of that which is the Jeffreys Bay we tasted this weekend.
More of the people we came to love in three short days.