Exploring the Cape West Coast
Yesterday we decided to explore the Cape West Coast – an area full of surprises. Without much planning (the only plan was to do the trip on a bike but the wind had other ideas) we set out on the R27, destination unknown, my mom and I on a ‘rekkie’ drive to discover South Africa’s best kept secret.
First stop – Yzerfontein
Yzerfontein is situated 80 kilometres out of Cape Town and one of my favourite stops when out on the bike. Lunch at “Die Stal” is a treat – especially if you order pork chops – and, of the many other nice restaurants in the area, I really want to sit down for a meal at the “Strandkombuis”, but, as expected, you have to book in advance so it’ll have to wait.
Yzerfontein is still the quaint little fishing village it was years ago although major developments are taking shape in and around the town. In addition to a variety of restaurants, a variety of bed and breakfasts cater for a variety of tastes and budgets.
After exploring the town we stopped to watch the waves break and saw pelicans in full flight over the ocean as if to say goodbye.
Schaapeiland Hiking Trail
Schaapeiland Hiking Trail is a 2km trail along the edge of Yzerfontein. We only had time to explore the section above the harbour which was a real pity as the pathways and flowers were simply amazing. There are many viewpoints from where you can watch boats come in and out the harbour or whales find safety in its waters. And if you’re into bird watching the trail is an absolute paradise.
West Coast National Park
On our way to Langebaan we decided to take the route through the West Coast National Park. Every year I vow to make the spring trip to see the wild flowers and every year I miss it. Luckily it was early summer and that there were still some flowers but obviously not the volumes on show during spring.
Whenever I go to the park I like to go to the Seeberg lookout point. The little cottage was vacant last time I was here but has since been transformed into a museum with a wealth of information inside. The views from here were spectacular. I was particularly fascinated with all the different shades of blue in the water and, as a bonus, could vaguely make out Table Mountain in the far distance.
Next stop was the Yacht Club in Langebaan. Unfortunately the wind was howling so the only activity we briefly saw was some brave kite surfers enjoying the conditions. On quiet days the lagoon is a hive of activity with skiing, fishing, sailing, kayaking and jet skiing taking place all over the show. Langebaan Lagoon is a popular holiday destination but also has many permanent residents.
Next we headed back to the R27 and turned left heading towards Vredenburg. As we turned left towards Vredenberg, we were greeted by wildlife including springbok and ostrich. The ostrich had babies with her and was giving me a ‘hairy eyeball’ over the fence as I tried to photograph her young.
Paternoster is what you may call “out of the way”. I’ve been there once before on a motorbike approaching via gravel road to take in the spectacular surrounds.
Even though it was windy the bay itself was calm. The beaches were deserted with only the famous West Coast space all around us. Paternoster really is a great place to take a family or go kayaking or get involved with other activities in the area.
There are also a lot of little restaurants – most of which I won’t mind wandering in to.
I was amazed by the interesting mixture of tiny houses and lavish mansions.
I also loved the ”theme’ which I noticed throughout the town – wherever you looked – someone had taken one of the older used boats and turned it into a flower bed or the like. I just took a couple of pictures but there were so many more.
Sadly it was time to turn around and head for home. As always on a good trip we desperately wanted to stay longer to see the sights we might have missed. Looking on the bright side, whatever we missed gives us a million reasons to come back and that’s something we plan on doing very, very soon.
Summary of our West Coast Way driving tour:
You need to set a day apart for the distance we did on our driving tour.
Where did we start from? Cape Town CBD
Where did we travel? R27 West Coast Road
Which attractions did we stop off at on the Culture Route: Yzerfontein and West Coast National Park
Which attractions did we stop off at on the Foodie Route: From West Coast National Park to Paternoster
Written by Yvonne Luden