Congratulations to Hilda Beukes from Bloemfontein in the Freestate on winning the Funky Town Flashpackers (in Jeffreys Bay) Competition.
Keep looking, we try to give away what we enjoy & experience – who knows, soon you might win your own family weekend experience.
Competition details are always here
Location: 77 kilometres from Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, on the N2 in the direction of Cape Town.
Date Visited: 29 June – 1 July 2012 (Winter)
Where we Stayed: Funky Town Flashpackers
What we did: Wow! Where to start? We met amazing people over tables filled with delicious food. We re-discovered relationship, went sand-boarding with Wacky Wipe-outs, visited the shell-museum, went surfing with Wavecrest Surf School , got ourselves donuts at infamous Donut World & enjoyed warm winter sun & hospitality.
Recommendation: Jeffreys Bay is an awesome coastal town not even 45 minutes drive from Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay. We’ve been there before & couldn’t resist going back. 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.
For more on Jeffreys Bay, click HERE
I know we’ve visited Jeffreys Bay, before.
But when Michelle Campbell contacted us & enticed us to go back to Jeffreys Bay, with the invitation of a stay at the newly opened Funky Town Flashpackers & the promise of seeing what we’ve not seen, we just could not resist.
What is a ‘Flashpackers‘ anyway?
It is something extraordinary, we would discover.
A stay like The Traveling Tribe has not had to date.
The Dodge Caliber, probably the best value, with the most ‘car’, for the least amount of money, available in South Africa, was an easy drive to Jeffreys Bay.
As we hit the N2, I engaged the cruise-control, only slowing down as we took the turn-off into town.
The Caliber loaded our luggage & the entire tribe with ease.
There wasn’t space for a pram, but even with Maddi’s other baby-gear nothing had to be pushed or shoved or squashed to get a spot in the boot.
At Funky Town Flashpackers we were welcomed by James & Tayrene.
And amazing art.
By Buffy Braveart, amongst others.
And covers from Tintin books & pictures of a ’67 VW Fleetline Combi & Vespa Scooters & comic book characters on the walls, mixed with exquisitely beautiful furniture, tastefully combined with little surprises hidden everywhere.
We take our luggage upstairs.
We are drawn to the lounge-area for drinks & conversation.
James’ passion for Funky Town is very evident.
As is his very beautiful soul as he comfortably mingles with my bizarre children who have no concept of age or appropriate as children-of-the-system might have or as adults might very often expect.
For which I cannot blame them.
As it is Zuko & I who took the bold step of raising them in the spirit of non-conformity & authenticity, to the detriment of most lovers of all things appropriate.
James talks of the art.
The opportunity of bringing something new & fresh to a world filled to the brim with the same-old, same-old, same-old stuff.
A ‘flashpackers’ combines the opulence & comfort of up-market accommodation with the social-opportunity of meeting & discovering new people.
Cooking together in the state-of-the-art kitchen.
Sharing the fire or drinks at the bar.
Enough privacy & comfort in your own en-suite room.
With just the right amount of ‘social’ to remind you why you loved traveling in the first place.
If anything should be mentioned about this weekend in Jeffreys Bay, it is the amount of wonderfully interesting people we met & spent time with.
Michelle Dean at The Mexican, where we had supper on Friday night.
A wife & mother, who alongside her husband wanted more of a family life & translated their entertaining at home into a business which brings people together & creates relationship.
Jane who was so into Food that she started InFood & became loved for her food, beyond Jeffreys Bay.
She served us breakfast on Saturday morning & spoke of finding ourselves & being true to our own being & walking away from that which is not us, always finding more in honesty & success in enjoyment.
Bruce at The Sunflower who took disappointment & translated it into new opportunity, alongside his father.
Andonis at The Bay Pasta Co, who alongside his brother, wanted to be close to Jeffreys Bay’s infamous waves & ventured into the world they grew up in, to create something of their own which is exceptional & accessable & delicious all at the same time.
Marlene who created Vue de Cafe, a quaint Beachfront Cafe serving breakfasts & luncheons to droves of hungry beachgoers & tourists & locals, while she would fulfill a dream & build a new life.
On Saturday afternoon, after we surfed & explored & enjoyed scrumptious food we were met by a crowd of locals at Funky Town. They say they came to meet us & they are very kind. I think they came because they were curious about Funky Town Flashpackers & wanted to see for themselves the beautiful art & exquisite decor everyone is talking about.
Liz is a dancer, model & performer.
That is how she made her living.
She ‘is’ a kind heart.
An embracing soul.
A refined spirit.
Sonja is there with her daughter. They talk of tomorrow & yesterday all at the same time.
Of hope & disappointment.
Of doing everything different & doing it as expected.
The three of them join us later at The Bay Pasta Co for Andonis’ deeply rich food.
But first we also meet Maureen who made a living writing contracts, before coming to Jeffreys Bay, by chance & starting a (now hugely succesful) blog on everything Kindle related.
Saturday morning saw us spending time with Andre Moon from Wavecrest Surf School.
A man who love the ocean & his family & found a way of bringing it all together in one place.
Sunday we spend time on the dunes with Reg or Regardt, depending on who you are & what language you speak. He gets even me sandboarding like a professional.
While the children’s impossible energy remains undrained we talk high up on a dune with the warm winter’s sun on our faces. He grew-up in this world. Came here as a young boy when both his parents died.
Grew up with grandparents.
Found his way through life.
Not only creating a tourism business, but also manufacturing sand-boards & assisting with the creation of a lodge.
All around us.
All weekend long.
Tayrene of Funky Town talks of her excitement to be building such an exciting new venture.
James, who came up with the idea & brought it to reality, speaks of reminiscence.
Of remembering where we came from, despite where we were or what we tasted.
Of hope, always alive.
Even if the flame burns low at times.
And he loves.
And our children.
And it is visible in the Funky Town of his imagination.
Somewhere along the weekend we also get the chance to enjoy the jacuzzi.
A warm pit-fire.
The best donut in the world from ‘Donut World’.
On Sunday at lunch we catch up with Margreet from Healthy Mom& Baby Clinic.
We sit outside at Cafe Kima.
The food is tasty.
The rhythm slow.
We talk of her recent trip to The Netherlands.
Of our mutual love for Africa.
Of hope found in relationship.
Of relationship across boundaries.
James drives up. His car is loaded. He is heading back to Cape Town. He just wanted to say goodbye.
We exchange kind words.
Pippa leans into the car, intruding personal space without hesitation to give a farewell hug. Theunsie offers a firm handshake.
I wonder if we’ll see each other again?
It was almost to brief.
And yet so very intimate.
Then we eat. And talk to Ilse, the manager of Cafe Kima. Another beautiful being. Living close to family & friends in the slow dance that is Jeffreys Bay. Food in her soul. Hope in her heart.
Margreet says goodbye.
And as the late afternoon gives way to evening we load our bags & say our own goodbye at Funky Town.
The Dodge Caliber accepts the relaxed speed I choose with as much ease as it would a more urgent acceleration.
We savour the last moments of our weekend together.
Pippa talks of different lives seen.
Which is good.
For if we think that everyone is as us, then we make the mistake of expecting everyone to give themselves up.
Zuko & I talk of the people we met & the ones we connected with.
We talk of our desire to love & be loved.
For who we are.
And not what we have or can offer.
We talk of time.
The greatest gift we can give to each other.
The most precious gift we can receive.
And we resolve to never let it be about the stuff.
To always let it be about the relationship.
Ours with each other.
And with others.