The Daily Aztec

Naked and Afraid in South Africa

Jeffreys+Bay%2C+located+in+the+Eastern+Cape+province+of+South+Africa%2C+is+a+popular+destination+for+surfers+and+tourists+driving+along+the+Garden+Route.+
Jeffreys Bay, located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, is a popular destination for surfers and tourists driving along the Garden Route.

Jeffreys Bay, located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, is a popular destination for surfers and tourists driving along the Garden Route.

Cami Buckman

Cami Buckman

Jeffreys Bay, located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, is a popular destination for surfers and tourists driving along the Garden Route.

by Cami Buckman, International Staff Writer

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Here’s a story about my personal episode of Naked and Afraid: South Africa edition.

I have been living in South Africa for almost two months studying abroad at the University of Cape Town. For the long Easter weekend, three friends and I decided to rent a car and drive along the south-eastern coast of the country.

My friends Erika, Cat, Rachel and I booked some air bnbs, brushed up on our manual transition driving skills and hit the road for our adventure. Day one was great, but my story begins with day two.

Day two takes place in a small surfing town called Jeffreys Bay. If there was any indicator of how our night at Jeffreys Bay would be, it was when we arrived at the air bnb.

We pull up to a house and ring the doorbell. No answer. We went back to our car and waited for a few minutes, but eventually, a woman walked out of the house and confusingly approached us.

“How can I help you?” she asked.

“We’re here for the air bnb, we’re staying at this house.” we told her.

“Not at this house,” she says.

Turns out our correct place was two houses down the road.

After finally arriving at the correct home, we enter the beach house and are greeted with the booming sound of the house alarm. In a panic we tried to disable the alarm, but the code provided to us wasn’t working. Five minutes passed and the alarm was still going off.

It was as if Jeffreys Bay was telling us “No! Get back in your Ford Figo and drive home!”

Five more minutes passed and the neighbor stopped by to check out what was going on. This is the same neighbor that we mistakenly thought we were staying with.

Eventually, we figured out how to disable the alarm and began unpacking our bags. All of this, of course, was explained to the police officer that knocked on our door 10 minutes later investigating a possible home invasion. What a way to be welcomed to the neighborhood.

Later that evening, we thought it would be a fantastic idea to go skinny dipping. Four American ladies, swimming naked, in a city we know nothing about: What could possibly go wrong?

We all hopped in the car and headed to the beach. We parked in the empty lot and excitedly ran over to the darkest spot on the shore.

None of us brought any belongings. No phones or purses, just ourselves and the car key. I brought a towel in case I was cold, and given the impending circumstances, I predicted I would be.

So we dropped trou, freed the nipple and galloped into the chilly ocean water. Here we all were, naked, laughing, swimming, taking in the moment.

“Woo Hoo!”

Once the actual dipping was done, there wasn’t really much more to do. After maybe five minutes we made our way back to the shore to grab our clothes and leave. We got to our spot and saw nothing.

Our stuff was gone.

“Did the waves get it?” Cat asked.

“No Cat, our stuff was definitely taken.”

There we were, four naked American women on a beach in South Africa with no idea where our stuff was.

Still shocked and confused as to what was actually happening, we looked around to see if we could find anything. To my delight, I found my pair of shorts and flannel shirt still on the sand. Literally every other belonging of ours was gone except for my clothes. I guess the thief didn’t like plaid.

Then we remembered the car.

Along with our clothes, the car key was connected to Erika’s wallet, and both were gone. I threw on my clothes and ran up the shore, over the stairs to the parking lot to see if the car was still there.

Thankfully, it was parked right where we left it. I stood there a while and looked around to see if I spotted any suspicious individuals. I figured that the person/persons who took our keys were probably watching the car, so I put on my “intimidating” face to scare them away. (Seeing as I was wearing inside out pajamas, I doubt my “intimidating” face worked, but it was worth a try)

I ran back down the shore toward my naked friends and told them our car hadn’t been stolen. A few moments later we spotted a group of guys on the beach walking up the stairs to the street. I ran over to them and put on my “intimidating” face once more.

They were a little younger than I am, maybe 17, and were wearing warm up athletic suits.

“Hey guys,” I said. “All of my and my friend’s stuff was taken, do you know anything about this? Did you see anything?”

I was suspicious, of course. I had three naked friends on the beach, how couldn’t I be suspicious of a group of young men?

They offered to call me a locksmith and show me where the police station was. However while I was thinking about what to do next, I noticed a few of the guys giggling at something behind me. I turned around to see my friend Rachel confidently marching toward me and the guys.

Why exactly did Rachel approach me? Well, while I was talking to the guys, the other three of my friends were concerned I was gone for so long. So, Rachel decided to take it into her own hands.

“I’m gonna go get Cami,” Rachel told Erika and Cat. “I don’t care if I’m butt naked, I’ll fight anyone!”

The guys ended up being very helpful, so Rachel’s fighting skills weren’t necessary. One guy handed Rachel his jacket and two other jackets for Erika and Cat, who were still hiding in the bushes.

So there we were, four semi-dressed American girls with eight young men on a beach in Jeffreys Bay. Before we called a lock smith, Rachel and I thought it would be a good idea to take a brief walk along the beach to see if we could find anything. We took two guys with us and headed back down.

A few minutes into the walk, Rachel noticed something shiny in the sand. Miraculously, like a scene out of a movie, we found our car key. Directly beside the key was a trail of foot prints in the sand. I decided to run the key back up to Cat and Erika, but the others decided to follow the tracks and see what they could find.

I unlocked the car and grabbed what ever I could find to clothe Cat and Erika. Cat wrapped herself in a towel, and Erika wore a jacket long enough to cover her not-so-private-anymore private parts.

Rachel and the guys eventually came back without Erika’s stolen wallet or any clothes. However we had our car, and partial clothing, so there was nothing more needed from the group of young men. We thanked them for their help and left.

But before leaving the area, we noticed another group of men in reflector vests at the end of the parking lot. They could have been security personnel, and they also could have been hoodlums, but there was only one way to find out. We pulled up next to them and told them our situation. Turns out they actually were security workers and helped us call the police.

Once an officer showed up, he advised us to go to the police station and file a statement for the stolen wallet.

“Alright guys, I’ll go in the police station and file a statement, don’t worry,” I said to my friends.

“Good idea Cami,” Cat said. “It’s probably best if we don’t go in the police station with our vaginas out.”

So off we went to the local police station in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. As if living this night wasn’t funny enough, trying to explain what had happened to a police officer was even funnier.

I had a sense of humor about it, the officer did not.

After finishing up at the police station, I headed back to our car parked outside. I got in the car, looked around at my naked friends sitting beside me, and couldn’t help but burst into laughter. I’m thankful for the naked ladies I shared this adventure with, I’m thankful we had a car to return to the dealer, and I’m thankful to have a story I will never get tired of telling.

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