One of the most memorable days of our time in Coffee Bay was our walk through the villages surrounding the town. After doing the hike to The Hole In The Wall with Prince we asked him to take us around the town to explain some of the culture and life of the people that live there. It was really, really interesting.
One of the big parts of doing this adventure around the country was to show our kids that our country is much more diverse than what they experience in Cape Town. In fact Cape Town is not an indication of the rest of South Africa at all. It’s got a completely different look, feel and vibe than anywhere else we have experienced so far. I want to say “first world” but I’m sure there’s a different and better term All the same, it’s nothing like the coasts of the Eastern Cape where they literally only got power 2 years ago.
Our first stop after hiking up another hill, was to a traditional house that you can find in the area. I asked what the colours that they were painted meant and found the answer quite interesting. Apparently when they are painted white, peach, yellow or other bright colours they were typically Christian families that don’t believe or practise worshipping the ancestors. Then the ones with the darker colours, blue, green etc, those are usually people that still worship the ancestors. Although nowadays it’s all a bit mixed apparently.
I thought the fact that whole families live in these houses would affect our kids a bit more, but after staying in the van, the inside of the house looked and felt a whole lot bigger than we assumed it would be.
From there we went to the local shebeen or well, where the local umqombothi brewer lives. He shares his house with the local witch doctor. We spent some time there – the men sitting on stool on the side and the kids and I on the floor on the other side. Our guide told us that we were separated but didn’t go into detail as to why. Later we found out that it’s because the men needed to be ready for battle at any given moment and the women and children would have been safer there to hide.
We tried the beer and I found it very gritty, but the after taste is much better than regular beer. In my opinion. Although it’s not very strong at all. I found the whole process quite interesting, from how they make it to how everyone pops in to come and get a few litres of it.
The man making the beer was very friendly and chatted to the kids and i teaching us Xhosa and telling us about his life. It was easily my favourite part of the tour.
From there we went to a local Xhosa restaurant where the kids were SO excited to have umngqusho after having tried it a few times in her Xhosa class at school. The restaurant was full of other people chatting and chilling.
The weather wasn’t great during our tour – the wind was absolutely freaking insane. So bad that we were quite cold by the end of it and longing to snuggle up in the van. So that’s exactly what we did. Another great day in the van.
See the whole experience in our vlog…