It takes hard work and vision to build a world that works
Getting lost in Cintsa is as easy as pronouncing its name is not – “Tsk”-IN-t-SAH. Along the way, you’ll see marvellous aberrations, I mean adaptations of the word on road signs advertising everything from trees to beer. Very entertaining. Maybe that’s why I struggled to find it. Maybe it was Google Maps’ crowd-sourced content or the receptionist’s colourful directions. It definitely doesn’t matter; I’m not the first to get lost in the sticks and I won’t be the last to look upon this piece of the Eastern Cape coastline with wonder.
Pulling in to Buccaneers in time for a delicious dinner, I dined with the co-owner, Sean Price, a marvellously incisive and passionate man who approaches his work responsibly and efficiently.
Going greener is ideal, but easier in some ways than in others and small businesses have a big challenge here. Growing herbs and harvesting rainwater – which they do – is not quite as complicated (or as expensive) as going off-grid, which they’d like to do. For any existing tourism and hospitality business to serve both the law and the land, this usually means major changes to existing infrastructure and a significant investment in appropriate alternative energy. Speaking of which, Buccaneers is busy changing its garbage disposal process in alignment with new regulations. “We manage ALL our waste ourselves,” Sean pointed out before outlining how they are continuing their existing commitment by upgrading their processes at their own expense. Buccaneers is also Fair Trade Certified since 2010 and believes that business can be an instrument of change as long as it’s economically viable. The question of whether business can, by itself, afford to invest in the gamut of sustainable solutions still sits in my mind next to the question of whether we can afford not to as a species. I left the dining room deep in thought.
My home for the night was a stylish wooden house on stilts called Biko. I’m glad my host did him justice by giving me a lot to think about and that the finishes were clean and fine to calm me. In that little palace with its wonderful view of the river opening out into the ocean, I pondered the balance of things in the company of complimentary beach towels, polished floors, and a beautiful shower. Would I give aspects of this up for Mother Nature? Would I need to if products and services that serve the earth were cheaper? Can the consumer subsidise this, or must government? Having failed to solve the problem of this aspect of the human condition in one evening, I went to sleep with the song of the ocean wafting up through the windows.
Tip : get up extra early for spectacular sunrises.
To find out more about the social and environmental priorities focussed on at Buccaneers, visit their page on Eco Atlas.