Trekker’s Hostel Highlights: Island Vibe Backpackers, Jeffrey’s Bay
“What’s up, all you dudes and dudettes out there?” If you are into surfing or sunning yourself on a FANTASTIC beach, do I have news for you! Island Vibe – in Jeffrey’s Bay, Eastern Cape – is the premium backpackers for any surfer or surfer wannabe. With a back gate leading right onto the beach, a beach that stretches as far as the eye can see in both directions, you can live out your dream of riding the next wave all day.
Experienced surf instructors are more than happy to give you a few pointers and get you started on the right track – or wave, rather. For those of you who prefer to simply look the part, there are factory shops galore just a few minutes’ walk from the hostel. You can choose from Roxy or Billabong, to mention just two, and if they don’t have what you are looking for trot on over to the non-factory shops (be sure to grab your discount vouchers for these at Island Vibe’s front desk).
You will be happy to know that there are all the comforts of “civilization” in this tiny surfing community, with grocery shops, restaurants and internet cafes readily available. The town is safe to walk around in, but be careful at night alone. Island Vibe is very secure and as long as you can remember the gate code you can come and go as you please. Laundry service is offered but usually only comes back later in the afternoon.
Now to one of my favorite parts of a stay there – the FOOD!!! This is definitely one of the best hostels as far as food and value for money goes. They have an excellent self-catering kitchen, but who would want to use it? One night we had a large steak, baked potato, salad, bread and – did I mention the large steak? – all for only around R30. You can’t argue with that. The steak was tender and cooked to perfection and large enough to feed three hungry backpackers (somehow I managed to struggle through and finish it!), the salad was good too…
The property is big enough for tents along with the dorms and private rooms. The showers are clean – except for the large amounts of beach sand underfoot that is simply impossible to keep under control. The bar has ample room for hanging out and a wide assortment of beers, shots and – mmmm, what are those things called again? – ah yes, sodas!
I think my only negative about this great place is that occasionally the vibe seems almost “cliquey” – like there are the cool dudes and everyone else. But usually, after a visit or five to the bar, everyone is best buds.
So my tip of the week is to live out your dream and jump on a surfboard, or buy a billabong bikini and simply look the part.
Till next time, keep trekkin’!