During the week we spent in Jeffreys Bay, we had the opportunity to go sand boarding, horseback riding on the beach, or take surfing lessons. I chose to go sand boarding with about a dozen other people. The sand boards are similar to snowboards but also very different. They are shorter, and your feet are strapped in with velcro straps. At the top of the sandhill we waxed the board every time before riding it down, to allow us to go faster. As we were riding down we had a gorgeous view of the ocean. Near the bottom of the sand dunes there were a few natural jumps that you could do spins and grabs from. Afterwards, we cooled off in the ocean and then jumped in the bus to drive back.
Surfing in Jay Bay was amazing. Naomi, Cole, Jess, Amani, Julien, and I all walked to the surf shop and rented our boards and wetsuits. It was a beautiful day to surf. Our surf instructor was cool. We went out on the waves and body surfed. Then we learned to stand up, and we struggled because it was a bit of a challenge. Our surf instructor then gave us the most inspirational speech ever, then made us go practice on the beach to remember the steps to stand up and surf. He said, “There’s no desire. No fire. You guys need self confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself, then how do you ever expect to achieve anything? You need to have faith. You need to want it. You need to achieve this goal and be able to say you stood up on your own. You tried your best and gave it all you had. It’s just like in life; you need to seize the opportunity.” After that, we all surfed like pros. His inspiration made us glow and gave us strength. It was beautiful and I’ll never forget his speech. All you need is to believe in yourself and you can do pretty much anything.
Horsing around during our time in Jeffreys Bay was an incredible experience for all of us who mounted those crazy horses. We drove out to the ranch all dressed up in our long pants and shoes, despite the temperature reaching 35° and not a cloud in the sky. We all mounted our horses, and then we took off down the trail to the sand dunes. The sun and heat was relentless, as was the bouncing of our rear ends when the horses trotted, until we made it to a steep sand dune and hung on as the horses leaped up. We all stood on the top and admired the view of the endless sand and ocean, but the horses became impatient and either dumped riders (me) or started off down the dunes (also me). The horses started galloping when we hit the sand, and the feeling was incredible. We made it to the ocean, and after touching the water some of our horses took off galloping completely out of our control, and it took a lot of shouting “WOAH!” to stop them and return to the group. The feeling of riding the horses in the ocean breeze as they sprinted across the beach was one of the best feelings I’ve experienced but also one of the most terrified feelings I’ve had. We trotted, cantered, and galloped back along the beach to our starting point, barely keeping in control and roasting in the sun as we left the beach. We got back sweltering in our long pants only to learn that our bus did not have working air conditioning, a major disappointment. Luckily, we stopped at store and bought cold refreshments, and jumped in the showers as soon as we returned. Horse riding on the beach was a fantastic experience and I would easily do it again.