200 or so km south of Bulungula sits Cintsa – another coastal town marked by very hilly landscape. Aside from it being very lush, the other distinct difference is the type of dwellings you’ll find here. Contrary to the small randavals that dotted Bulungula hillsides, the South African real estate market has capitalized on Cintsa’s location and built vacation homes upon vacation homes upon vacation homes. That being said, there really isn’t much in this area but beautiful scenery. There are no shops to walk to, no restaurants or grocery stores – just you and unspoiled beaches.
I had two nights in Cintsa before I needed to catch the shuttle to Hogsback so I used my time to get in a bit of physical activity and relax. Let it be known: I am not a runner. In fact, I hate running. Unless my life literally depends on it, I have zero interest in running, jogging, or any variation thereof. But on my first morning in Cintsa, I was feeling Forrest Gumpy and so off I went. I ran out past the lagoon that spills into the ocean, south to a rocky outcrop and then north past sand dunes and tree-covered hills. I don’t know how far I went but I felt I could’ve kept going forever. It was only when I saw a fin just off the shoreline that I paused to see what it was. There, not 50 metres from the shore, was a pod of at least 20 dolphins. And way off in the distance behind them, I saw large splashes in the water which I can only assume were from a whale. If every running experience were like this, I could sort of understand why people do it voluntarily.
Another highlight of this area is that there’s a brewery nearby. A brewery that produces REAL beer – not cider or some crappy lager but real, tasty ales. And beyond that, the backpacker’s had a dedicated space for yoga. It was nice to get in a couple practices that didn’t involve me getting sand in places that sand should never be. If I weren’t so excited about Hogsback, it would’ve been easy to waste a few more days here.