Buffalo Bay Backpackers, Mouldy bed sheets, Spew in the sinks, and the kitchen...

Knysna Travel Blog

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Armed with our trusty Lonely Planet (which up till this point had been and handy source of information) my boyfriend and I arrived in Buffalo Bay. The road coming into the town is stunning, it passes by the river that leads out into the mouth of the ocean, the sand that forms the decaying boundary to the sea has been furrowed away and looks like many enormous snakes have been through this way to let the water through and at sun set the sun lights the river mouth up like nothing I can describe.
Our hopes were pinned on a surfing adventure, the hostel had claimed to have surf-instructors and equipment on hand for hire and we were looking forward to getting our toes wet. Also, like many other hostels we had visited, they offered double rooms and evening meals.
On arriving at the hostel (which couldn't be closer to the ocean unless it became the next set for The Little Mermaid) we were greeted by a surely looking girl who looked possitively surprised to see anyone at all, let alone people who wanted to stay, and give her money for the pleasure. She showed us to a sandy courtyard which was surrounded on all sides by breeze-block huts, closed with latched wooden doors. The door themselves had latches that you would expect to find on a white piket fence, not a door to which you wished to store your worldly belongings, including yourselfs for the night. Because the latches were on the outside of the room, a piece of string had been threaded through the door frame so that you were able to open the door from the inside which was weird not only for the fact you could be padlocked in but also for the fact that since the door opened outwards it was phenomonally difficult to close the door properly. Although after giving the room a once over, (and admiring the breeze blocks) we thanked her for her hospitality and she set about being surely some where else.
I must make it perfectly clear that I am no snob that is afraid of a little grub and grime. I have pitched tents in the most un-likely of places and have survived the waist deep mud of Glastonbury Festival and not said a word to the negative. HOWEVER.
After asking her whether dinner was available at short notice we recieved a look that suggested we find our own dinner or eat our shoes quick sharp. So, drifting into the nearby town of Knysna (because there is NOTHING in Buffalo Bay) we had a very lovely meal and then came home.
Then the fun started (no, not like that!). Ready to climb into bed we began to pull back the sheets... it was then we noticed a stain. I use the word stain however, residue, left-over-body-fluid or "stuff" would have been a better way to describe the sustance the stained the middle of the sheet. The pillow cases had MOULD growing on them. The sheet was DAMP. Although the microbes that usually grow on sheets require a micro-scope to be seen, these creatures had gone well beyond that stage. Unfortunately it was only at this stage that we had noticed just how dirty this bed was. Had we noticed earlier we certainly would have kissed goodbye to Buffalo Bay and gone on our merry way. HOWEVER.
Because we are ruffty tuffty travellers we had SLEEPING BAGS OF STEAL, which we laid on top of the bed.
Both of us slept badly (although that might have had something to do with the cyclone that was blowing over Buffalo Bay that night, and the consequence of having corrugated iron for a roof, which leaked by the way, all night, quite alot.)
So, morning came. The previousl evening however had seen two more guests arrive who evidently had settled in quite well and as we had seen the previous evening had helped the owners finish of an entire bottle of Jagermeister (no guesses what the boys bathroom looked like but i'll come to that later). Consequently all was some what deserted. The Kitchen having been declared as a cook for your self establishment which was said to house tea and coffee seemed like an intrepid place to go... and it was. However gross the bed was, this was worse. THE KITCHEN SURFACES MOVED! urgh.... was about all I could muster. Black coffee was the order of the day!!!
My boyfriend, having not yet been informed of the state of the kitchen ventured into the mens bathroom... there was no chance in washing your hands since all of the sinks were full of vomit, and that was assuming you had made it past the piss that was all over the floor to get to the urinal in the first place.
Packing as quickly as was humanly possible we left 200R half under the pillow, a note at reception telling them that we had left some money for them in our room and we left.

TWO DAYS LATER we recieved a phone call (presumably using the details that we had signed in with) asking where their money was. The girl phoning was not permanent staff and was a friend of the owners. When I explained that we left it half under the pillow she thanked us and hung up. It was then that we realised that they must not have been in that room for TWO DAYS.
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Knysna
photo by: elnaerasmus