Jeffreys bay
For more pics check out www.flickr.com/tomas_zonabend

Roadtrip

Of course we should go on a roadtrip. But now? It's windy.. The conversation had been going on for about three weeks.

While Charles and I have been surfing and had a great time on the water Jolinda has become more and more bored. Jolinda is a girl who spends eight months a year working on a yaht in the mediterranean outside Turkey. Calling it work may be an overstatement since the owner, a super rich Pakistani only visited the yaht once. So instead the work is more about trying not to get bored and having wild parties in Marmaris. Since she doesn't want to experience her vacations in the same manner she declared that if we don't come with to Jeffreys bay she will go herself.

Charles had since the first day taken an interrest to Jolinda and tried to show his good sides and since Charles and I had been surfing so much we agreed to go to Jeffreys. Jolinda taking the weel with a cigarette in her hand. Charles next to her rolling a joint.

Charles is one of the coolest french guys I met. Not afraid to go up on any wave no matter the size and independent of the rocks on the inside. After travelling since november starting in Maui where he had been for two years and where he says he will keep on travelling to because of the awesome waves and surf, he came to Cape Town by Mocambique.

- Canada, I love Canada. Charles gazes out the window taking a deep drag from the joint and expresses his happiness that the country is looking more like a mountain landscape than any african savanna. Personally I think the landslide looks more like Sweden with pine trees and small clear blue lakes everywhere. It is a pressing heat in the car with more than 30 celsius outside. This in combination with all the people smoking and ashing in the street while driving makes for a lot of fires alongside the road. This doesn't hinder either Charles or Jolinda from puffing on the cigarettes in the front seat.

Racing through garden route on our way to J-Bay I don't get too impressed with the landscape and manage to doze off in the backseat while Jolinda is steering us on the all too straight road whining everytime Charles asks if someone else can drive. I wake up just before bloukrans, the highest bridge in africa with 260m. To bungy jump from it costs 650 rands, something we decline.

Little did I know we were doing the same strech again two days later...

Jeffrys bay.

At the time we get to Jeffreys bay we are pretty tired and hungry. The trip has taken two days to complete with a short stop for the night at Plattenberg, something Jolinda desperatly wanted to show since she had stopped there with her previous boyfriend and thought it was lovely. We ended up at a cheap bed and breakfast in a dodgy neighbourhood and after dinner Charles and Jolinda went out to a lokal bar while I took an early night. The feeling of having partied too much was still upon me since Marie, her friends from travelstart and I had a South African braii two nights earlier which kept on going till five.

We check in to Beach music, a B&B at the beach in Jeffreys Bay with a view over their famous supertubos, the wave that Kelly Slater and all the pros come to surf in June. Today, beginning February the water is warm and the wave is a bit too small to be working properly however it is still good for us beginners. After admiring the view I get to borrow a Roxy minimal surf board and head out. Roxy is really a brand for girls but today I don't care how I look and just enjoy the water. The waves are rolling and I get up to ride the first two waves easily and it feels nice. The east coast of South Africa is one of the most shark infested waters in the world and I try to keep a lookout for them but I can't see any. It feels good to be in the water and after three hours of surf I finally give up and get out just to get hasseled by Charles who has been sitting on the beach trying to get me on camera on a wave for the last twenty minutes. I realised I had in fact not got any waves in the end and feel a mixture of embarrasement and exhaustment. I get into the water again and with an effort take two waves so that I can look Charles in the eye again.

It is a bit windy and now that Charles paddle out I start freeze horribly. He shows how to surf properly by taking all the waves in his area and paddling to those within reach. The sun is just setting in front of him so I get some really nice pics with him drenched in golden light before I tell him I need to get home to warm up.

After taking a shower Charles shows up in his pink board shorts with the Roxy board telling me he has taken the best waves ever, stealing them from the locals. Something that is not recommended at all. While he was out a shoal of dolphins showed up, jumping and sumersaulting so close he could almost touch them. Unfortunately I missed it all with the camera because I had been freezing...

After getting warm Jolinda had booked us for a horseback ride, something that after being sceptical about it turned out to be amazing. I got some advice on how to ride from Jolinda before mounting. Jolinda, having her own horse and being a superb rider gave the awesome advice. Relax. Something I failed at misserably. The ride went from the a farm and after 20 minutes feeling uncomfortable in the sadle while all the other guys seemed to be taking it a lot better than me, we came to the beach. The horses feeling comfortable with the route didn't need anyone telling them what to do so the set off in a sprint. Galopping in the sand along the beach and occasionally taking a swim in the hot water. Unfortunately I got such a sore ass that I couldn't fully enjoy the moment.

A really nice day witch included everything. Unfortunatly for us when we came back home I opened my laptop...

Nice waves

- So you actually flew back to Cape Town to pick up your windsurf stuff and then drove the whole eight hour way back again. That's just crazy, Annalena says to me. Annalena and Andy came down two days after D-day.

- Yes I tell her, but the forecast was for five meter waves and super windy so if that would have worked we would be famous.

Up at 6. Get to the airport. Buy a ticket. Whatever. Fastest way to Cape Town. A cab ride. 1000 rands later the stuff is on the car and we are driving back to Jeffreys again.
- George, george, george of the Jungle. Watch out for the tree. Watch out for the tree. Aaarrgh Boom.
After the drive was complete and all the songs we could think of sung we came to J-bay at ten. Eating a late dinner we found ourselves in the company of some Jo-burg girls who was on their way back from vacation in Cape Town and had a last stop in J-Bay and in desperate need to get drunk. Not wanting to be a bore we followed the girls to the only place that could possibly work on a Monday in J-bay. A small pub with a pool table and some local guys at the bar. I bought the first round of beers and took a que. Soon we had intruduced ourselves to all the locals at the bar who were very nice to us since we came with the only girls in the pub, and shortly they started giving us shot after shot trying to get us to fall off the chaiiirrrrr...

Waking up at eleven with a huge hangover I cursed myself and dragged my feet out to wake Charles so that we could have a look at the waves. The forecast was for the wind to pick up during the day and it was already blowing super strong. The five meter waves however were not showing. Being too small they ended up breaking on the rocks making Supertubes unsurfable.
- Windsurfing supertubes has always been something of a dream to me. Charles had declared before we bought the airplane tickets. Having fantizised about writing an article about windsurfing in the tubes, something that hadn't been done in 15 years. We came to the realization that our hopes were ground to ash.

Still wanting to make the best out of the day we set of to look for the perfect sideshore conditions we needed to be able to windsurf and came to Paradise beach. Once we got there the wind had unfortunatley picked up so that I was totally overpowered with my smallest sail. 4.2 square meters. Going out, the waves were breaking all over the place and being in the most shark infested place on earth we soon gave up and somewhat dissapointed gave in to our bad headaches from the night before... The next day was a different story.

Waking early feeling rested I could hear the waves from my room and ran out. Meeting Teegun, the owner of Beach music, in the door dripping wet in his wetsuit I bareley had time to say hi before he told me to go rent short boards.

A 6.6 short board was the smallest I had ever had and being out in supertubes I was pretty intimidated with the waves and the locals who were known for their hostality towards other surfers. It turned out my fears were unjustified. Seeing Charles take a wave easily and soon chatting to the local guys, who weren't hostile at all now that it was South African summer and the place uncrowded. J-Bay being a winter resort when supertubes usually worked 4 days a week.. On the waves I wasn't really ripping but getting to learn the short board and feeling the nice waves on a windless day was perfect for me and surfing for four awesome hours I was totally exhausted when I finally tried to get up and ended up going on the rocks. Lucky for me I managed to get away without more than small scrapes on my feet. While Charles was still in the water I ran to get the camera but seeing him as exhausted as I had been I didn't manage to capture him ripping. While I stood there an onshore wind picked up. A nightmare for surfers since it totally destroys the waves and soon everyone was out of the water.

Being exhausted and feeling great we took an early evening. Having a South African braii with Travelstart Lotta and her friends, who had come down to J-Bay to check it out.

Shark scare

The last day the onshore winds were still blowing and after a short and horrible surf Charles and I ended up going to Cape st Francis to look for sideshore conditions. The place is located about 20 minutes drive from Jeffrey bay and after going through all the roadworks and coming down to the light house we found ourselves looking out over some of the most amazing views ever. The water boiling with waves and rocks as red as blood with a darkend sky above. Too much rocks unfortunately to surf and after a short walk we headed down the road..

- Shark dinner table. Swedish chicken and french froglegs. Charles comments when we finally found the sideshore conditions we have been searching for. The only place we found was also a shark dining table. A nice deserted sand beach with a big sign saying that it was a seal protection area with big warnings about shark and ripcurrents.

We chickened out and returned without having surfed Cape st Francis.

There and back again

At home in Cape Town again after leaving on friday morning. The smell of weed is working itself in from the room where Charles and some new guys are playing pool. Not being able to remember most of the stuff in life I find it relaxing to tell the story for a future me or perhaps someone else to read.

Ps, if you ever go on the same roadtrip. Make sure you take break in Knysna, pronounced Aisna. A beutiful place and the only place of interessed on the way home.

Driving two cars so that one of us had to drive alone. Me half the way, driving too fast, listening to three year old songs and eating too much biltong. Charles smoking too much but being a much more relaxed driver. Is weed perhaps good?