Day 2: Mngazana to Mpande
Day two of our hike on the Wild Coast was a fairly easy one, although hilly at times.
We left the village we spent the night in quite early and again got amazing views of the surroundings.
how to dry the clothes you just washed at the pond
One thing that is so unbelievably beautiful about this hike is that there are giant butterflies flying around at all times. They’re colourful and big and add just another touch of magic to this incredible place.
We soon arrived in another village (Njani?) in which there were a lot of gardens that people tended to. One man who was working in his garden as we walked past called us over and invited us to his home. He gave us some pineapples from his garden that he had just picked. I am always amazed by how friendly and welcoming complete strangers can be.
Meeting the friendly stranger’s animals.
We sat down on top of the hill in the shade of a tree and enjoyed our pineapples. They were some of the sweetest I had ever had. And there’s nothing better than fresh fruit on a hot day of hiking.
Shortly after, we kept walking over hills, through forests, until we could see the ocean again. This picture is a view of the place where we would spend our second night.
On the beach, we met some of the luckiest cows in the world. A pretty typical sight on the Wild Coast is cows chilling at the beach. We decided to do the same for a while, before facing our first river crossing without a boat.
When you look at the river it looks fairly unimpressive… but right as we were standing in the middle of the river, a big wave came rolling in. We had to stop and hold onto each other – we (and all our belongings on our backs) were so close to being absolutely soaked. Quite an impressive first river crossing.
After the crossing, we just walked a little further along the ocean and soon made it to our home for the night.
As soon as you arrive at the house, the family will offer you fresh Xhosa bread with butter and coffee or tea. We ate Xhosa bread in the morning, for lunch, in the afternoon, and anytime in between. It is usually cut into thick slices and can taste almost cake-y. The crust is often a little crispy and it is oh so good, especially when it’s fresh.
As it was a pretty short day of hiking, we decided to make the most of the rest of our day and head down to the ocean. We saw some of the fishermen doing their job and catching crayfish (which we actually ended up having for dinner that night).
Nothing can beat a view like this after a hike. Just the sound of the crashing waves and the cool breeze coming from the ocean. It was all we wanted and needed at that point.
While we were at the beach, our guide Lloyd was asking around in the village where the sangoma lived. He eventually found her and asked if we could visit her that night and learn about what it is she does.
Sangomas are traditional South African healers. They are not only considered doctors but also connect to their ancestors and get rid of evil spirits.
The first few minutes all of us felt quite intimidated as we had no idea what to expect, but that soon changed. The sangoma was an amazing person and explained everything we wanted to know. She was hilarious as well and made us laugh a lot.
We were soon joined by children from the village, some from the family we stayed with as well, and we danced and sang together. We watched the sangoma connect to the ancestors, tried some of her herbal medicine and got to admire her certificate (yes, you have to attend a school and be qualified to become a sangoma).
It was so interesting to learn about this important part of South African culture.
That evening we fell asleep to the sound of crashing waves and felt all kinds of grateful.