Cintsa, South Africa’s Coastal Beauty and Village

My Soup Kitchen and Chintsa East village guide, Soso. An inspirational 22-year-old young man who lost his mother at the age of 12 and was on his own until the age of 16 when his sister took him in. A noble, kind and caring young man who wanted to make sure I felt comfortable and who wanted to make sure the children at least got a little something to eat before a meal could be made for them. (Oct. 13, 2018)

It had gotten cold and was raining when we arrived late Friday afternoon at the Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge in the small coastal town of Cintsa, South Africa. An opportunity to upgrade to my own room kept me from pitching a tent during the next two nights so that made me a very happy camper. But happiness gave way to enchantment when I opened the door to my cottage. A small but more than adequate living room area with sliding glass doors that widely opened to my own balcony with a view so dang breathtaking I know I let out a moan.

I’ve seen some of the most gorgeous and breathtaking sites ever on this trip but to be able to have this picture perfect postcard view in front of me was utterly inspiring. And, I’ve seen poverty on a quantum level without the basics of running water and electricity. Yet all of these polar opposites make up South Africa.

Of all the activities offered at the Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge, a massage, canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, the only thing I wanted to do Saturday, our free day, was to visit the nearby village. And, the only outing available for the village was the Soup Kitchen Hike, which is a program set up for volunteers to cook and feed the village children of Cintsa East. And, this is how I got to meet Soso, my 22-year-old guide who shared with me his village, his accomplishments under difficult circumstances and his goals. Soso, thank you so much for your hospitality.

Here’s my time at the Buccaneers Packpackers Lodge in Cintsa, South Africa, and the village of Cintsa East with its Soup Kitchen for feeding the village children. Next stop the Addo Elephant National Park in Addo, South Africa.

This is what I saw when I opened the door to my little cottage, named after Stephen Biko, a South African anti-apartheid activist, at the he Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge in Cintsa, South Africa. Ideologically an African nationalist and African socialist, he was at the forefront of a grassroots anti-apartheid campaign known as the Black Consciousness Movement during the late 1960s and 1970s. The namesake and the views were both powerful. (Oct. 12, 2018)
By the time we arrived at the Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge in Cintsa, South Africa, it was cloudy, rainy and cold, but the views over the Cintsa bay from my private cottage balcony were warm and cozy. (Oct. 12, 2018)
No campsite dinner tonight, even Meshack’s meals are rather delicious, instead, our Intrepid group was treated to candle light dinner at the Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge dining room. (Oct. 12, 2018)
On the menu for our Friday night traditional South African BRAAI (a.k.a. BBQ) dinner at Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge in Cintsa, South Africa, was a grilled pork rasher (pork belly slices), a piece of traditional beef boerewors (sausage) and a spicy chicken kebab served with potato salad and the traditional side of pap (porridge/polenta made from coarsely ground maize) with red sauce and garlic bread. Plus a bottle of Savanna cider…my new favorite South African beverage. (Oct. 12, 2018)
I woke up too late Saturday morning to join my Intrepid tour group for an 8 a.m. breakfast at our camp site so instead I enjoyed the food and views at the Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge restaurant in Cintsa, South Africa. Bacon, an egg, toast, a delicious cup of coffee and incredible views made for a filling breakfast. (Oct. 13, 2018)
Not sure the name of this boat-thingy but just as my Cintsa East village guide Soso and I were getting ready to walk from the Cintsa bay, through the lagoon to the beach and on to the Soup Kitchen in the Cintsa East village from the Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge, we were invited to ride to this beach on…well…this boat thingy. (Oct. 13, 2018)
Everyone else was at the other end of this boat-thingy while I was sitting by myself holding on for dear life while taking in the scenery and the palatial homes dotted along the Cintsa bay in South Africa. The sweet little girl in the photo above asked me if I wanted my photo taken so I handed her my iPhone and voila. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The palatial homes overlooking the Cintsa bay and beach in South Africa. (Oct. 13, 2018)
After walking through the little town area of Cintsa from the beach and up a lengthy hill, Soso, my Soup Kitchen and Cintsa East village guide, and I began our descent down into the village. The walk up the hill did not have a sidewalk, but this portion, going down hill into the village did. (Oct. 13, 2018)
A view of the Cintsa East village in South Africa. The building with the green roof is the church and we could hear the singing from the Saturday service. (Oct. 13, 2018)
Although the Cintsa East villagers in South Africa don’t have the Cintsa bay or beach views and don’t live in palatial homes along the bay or close to the beach, they do have these stunning hillside views. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The village of Cintsa East, South Africa. Many of the homes have electricity and running water. The water is rain water captured in large green barrels. (Oct. 13, 2018)
Saturday was church day at the Cintsa East village in South Africa. According to my guide, Soso, everyday is going to church day in the village. But I could hear the music and singing as Soso and I were walking down into the village. (Oct. 13, 2018)
A small grocery shop in East Cintsa, South Africa. (Oct. 13, 2018)
Inside the small grocery shop in East Cintsa, South Africa. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The Chintsa East Community Learning Center in Cintsa East, South Africa, is where the children of the village go to play and to check out the laptop computers. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The Chintsa East Community Learning Center in Cintsa East, South Africa, is where the children of the village go to play and to check out the laptop computers. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The village of Cintsa East in South Africa. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The village of Cintsa East in South Africa. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The Soup Kitchen of Cintsa East, South Africa, where the village children can get at least one good meal a day. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The interior of the Soup Kitchen container in East Cintsa, South Africa. Oct. 13, 2018)
The Soup Kitchen is a daily meal program for the children in the Chintsa East village in South Africa. The point of the kitchen obviously is to feed the children and to encourage visitors, like myself, to cook the meals and meet the children. Although the Saturday menu, which is what I was supposed to be helping to cook, was rice, butternut, cabbage and children stew, didn’t work out that way. Soso was unable to get the gas stoves working and other volunteers were unavailable. So, the 85 Rand donation ($5.84 U.S.) became a 100 Rand donation ($6.87 U.S) and Soso and I purchased bread and sandwich meat to make some quick sandwiches for the children until hopefully more could be provided. (Oct. 13, 2018)
Soso, my Soup Kitchen and East Cintsa village guide, opening up the Soup Kitchen, housed in a shipping container. (Oct. 13, 2018)
Soso, my Soup Kitchen and East Cintsa village guide, making sure all the children getting the sandwiches we made. (Oct. 13, 2018)
My Soup Kitchen and Chintsa East village guide, Soso. An inspirational 22-year-old young man who lost his mother at the age of 12 and was on his own until the age of 16 when his sister took him in. A noble, kind and caring young man who wanted to make sure I felt comfortable and who wanted to make sure the children at least got a little something to eat before a meal could be made for them. (Oct. 13, 2018)
There’s such kindness and creativity throughout South Africa. This young man by the Cintsa beach, who makes gorgeous animals with wire and beads, is just one example of South Africa’s artistry. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The sandy Cintsa beach in Cintsa, South Africa. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The path from Cintsa bay and lagoon area back to my cottage at the Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge in Cintsa, South Africa. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The Cintsa bay with its sand, dirt and water path back to my cottage at the Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge in Cintsa, South Africa. (Oct. 13, 2018)
The only way to get from the beach back to my cottage at the Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge in Cintsa, South Africa, was to walk through the narrow sandy paths of the bay then the water and then back onto a dirt path, which is why I’m a whee bit dirty. But, I took my time and truly enjoyed this unusual walking path. (Oct. 13, 2018)
After a nice hot shower, I ended my Saturday evening at the Buccaneers Backpackers Lodge in Cintsa, South Africa, as I began it Friday night when I arrived…looking at this Cintsa bay while chilling on my cottage’s balcony. This too is South Africa and I’m truly loving it. (Oct. 13, 2018)