Arriving at Amapondo backpackers in Port St John we were not greeted with the best of first impressions. A lovely complex with a hippy vibe set into the side of a hill overlooking the beach, the calm, laid back paradise we'd been promised was over run with local tourists. With barely a square foot of grass in sight, we had to squeeze our tent on to the edge of someone else's campsite - a group of seemingly rowdy boys from Pretoria.
We escaped for the evening to Delicious Monster, and treated ourselves to a somewhat blow out meal of meze, shwarma and felafel.
The next day we drove back into the town centre to pick up some dinner supplies for a braai. We were stopped on the way back to the beach and told we were not allowed back without a permit - something the hostel had failed to mention. Over new years eve in South Africa huge numbers of black city workers migrate to the beach for a wild new years day of partying an the permits are supposed to help restrict this. We were warned to stay away from the beach for the couple of days around the 31st - two guys at our campsite were mugged at gunpoint while walking on the beach on the 30th.
The hostel threw a big party on NYE with an ABC (anything but clothes) theme, so we sat up on our hill overlooking the bar and enjoyed a reasonably low key new years, clothes intact. Unfortunately it rained for most of the 31st so our braai was conducted under cover of an umbrella and we were thoroughly soaked by the time the clock struck midnight!
2012 arrived with a beautiful sunny day (and minus a hangover!) so we trekked up to a waterfall and pool with two guys from our camp.
The view of the beach revealed the mass of people that had arrived from the cities over night, it was absolutely insane!
Spending the rest of the afternoon reading in the sun at camp was a nice way to round out new years. So Amapondo wasn't so bad after all!