Xhosa kid in magenta
Once an all - White community, PSJ shows an excellent mix of predominantly well travelled white South Africans and the local Xhosa communities in the area. Quite probably related due to the “indigenous tobacco” all inhabitants like many coastal areas are smiley and friendly. Both Black and White communities are subsistence survivalists.
Most of the long term PSJ residents are involved in some local community project, be it medical, teaching, fishing or agriculture. Others come and sell their craft work, from jewellery to pipes. In their spare time many either work part time in Amaponda (running daily walks and hikes, bar work,, dj-ing, etc.) or simply to hang out here, trying to impress and score with attractive young things passing through. They are friendly, usually quite well travelled and have some classic stories to share and entertain the traveller stranded waiting for a parcel from UK to set him on his way again.
Many “classics” are generated by the legendary local raconteur and story-teller Jonny Rotten who i am keen, but yet to meet. Clearly a local legend indeed!
With such a wild coast not surprisingly the surfing is popular especially for beginners and intermediates who are not put off by four great white shark deaths in two years. Fishing, for selling and subsistence is also a common pursuit off the beach-heads.
The hikes to the Gap, the waterfall, across the coasts and bays and Silaka Nature Reserve are beautiful.
fishing is a popular pursuit
One of many such advantages of such interesting “hippy communes” is how easy it is to hitch the roads around and getting to and from the town centre, which boasts a Spar and a less whole-sale style Boxer grocery store. Internet can be accessed from the Internet server up the stairs next to Spar or in the friendly, quiet and tranquil Jesters Coffee Shop and Restaurant. PSJ must clearly be on the map boasting its own Kentucky Fried Chicken behind the main bus stand.
There is a heavy police force here as you will see from all their vehicles on the roads, however they are polite, courteous and friendly, much more interested in tackling the multitude of poachers selling contraband shell-fish (mussels, oysters, clams and crayfish) than checking bags for marijuana – a strong contrast between here and the charis selling valley of Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India. Nonetheless, almost everyone smokes and has something to sell or pass your way if you ask for a sample only. Locals claim that their crop is as good as anything found in Swaziland and Malawi. It should therefore not be surprising the proliferation of “Pondo” fever that hits visitors to the area.
Highly recommended eateries include Wood ‘n’ Spoon and Delicious Monster, both just past the bridge at the end of Second Beach, although the service can be ridiculously slow. The latter has special Mediterranean food. The food at the Backpacker, most notably their braais and breakfasts are both good. North, East West and South opposite Jester's does a yummy cheesecake, and a selection of curries and fresh fish for around ZAR50. Toppings, a new wood fire pizza hut between the Backpackers and just past the liquor store is new, pricey but large. The Frommagio 4 cheeses is excellent. Prices range from ZAR45 -65. The Fish Eagle in the town centre next to KFC has tasty lamb shank in an axcellent tangy sauce. Good filter coffee is available in PSJ, but I have been unsuccessful to track down a place with espresso. Meanwhile I borrow Jandre's coffee maker.