South Africa
West Coast District Municipality

Here you’ll find travel reports about West Coast District Municipality. Discover travel destinations in South Africa of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

34 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    Cape Town to Paternoster

    February 12 in South Africa

    Crack of dawn rising to drop Christine'Polly Parrot' at Cape Town airport to catch the first camel to Johannesburg . Had a great time with her and look forward to seeing her in the future. We had lots of fun.

    Vasco took over navigation and we hit the coast road without incident. Bit like Wales here, PC Plod with a speed gun round every corner but without PCEvans's sense of humour! Once out of Cape Town,the world is brown. The terrible drought is more apparent here than anywhere else. We saw some dead sheep and all livestock is suffering. Even the Ostriches are dusty. A long drive to Langebaan, a two lane road from horizon to horizon. I didn't know the Romans got this far south! Stopped briefly in there to check the place out - Great Kite Surfing and fishing country plus an Iron Ore mine, so some very large bulk carriers anchored off. No reason to hang around so off to Paternoster. Snook in a late lunch at a restaurant on the beach (packed out) but worth the wait for a plate of prawns and a few beers. Castle Lager of course!

    Accomodation superb, albeit a little isolated. After a late barbie of Boerewors and chicken, double bolted all entrances and exits. Can't have Mrs G making a run for it! Waste of time as we had a thunderstorm with huge squalls which would have made her hair go curly. I don't like locking myself in without my Browning. Every creak wakes me up but any trouble and I would set Mrs G on them. God help the Burglar.

    Paternoster itself is an old fishing village and probably hasn't changed that much in decades. This morning (weather not great) we went down to the beach and bought twelve crayfish for about £25 - that's our supper tonight! .... and another couple of nights too!. Enjoying chilling out - not a huge amount to do here but we'll have a busy week in Botswana next week so nice to have a quiet few days
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  • Day11

    The Real Africa!!

    February 13 in South Africa

    2days of rubbish here,we seem to have got out of sync. However,driving north yesterday fact finding for future visits. First stop St Helena bay across the same dust bowl. We are told that the Karoo is 1000miles of this. St Helena a nice port but nowhere to lunch and much the same as every other coastal village. Ok, then to Cape Brittania named after the square rigger that hit the shoals there in 1847 and went down, and Stompneusbaai round the corner. Never found it and suspect it was where the cannery now is! Lots of lovely yet inexpensive houses on the beach ( very Greek style) ,but no infrastructure. A week in these places would make you slit your wrists!
    Paternoster is a hot spot with its' two restaurants. We ended back here for a late lunch before cooking crayfish on the indoor barbie. (Not a great success as more smoked than grilled.) However, boiled the rest in salt water New Quay style and had them with a salad and a couple of bottles of Zonnenbloem Sauvignon Blanc. Really boring day with a lot of driving but things livened up that night. ( Not Mouchey Pouchey, you understand!) Very windy and we locked up at about 11ish. Lots of creaks and groans from the house but noises were not quite right! Went downstairs to track down the squeaks. They were coming from outside a window and sounded as though someone was trying to unscrew the outside hinges. Gave a firm knock on the shutter and the noises stopped and that was that. This morning the 2 screws holding the hinge were gone! We got the boss over this morning and he apologised for the drug infused Cape Coloureds . Apparently these are the root of most of the problem. Anyway he left Frans, a Slovenian,no teeth, does Frank know him I wonder?) to do a repair. He rescrewed the hinge back, looked fine but I thought I would check, just in case you understand,and took the screws out with my fingers. This is so Africa! Anyway,I sent him packing to get some bolts. I came back to find him holding a drill bit in a pair of molegrips and trying to drill the hole! Borrowed a drill from the builder 20 yards away and the job was finished,finally. The rotten burglar tried another door but fled without his pliers! Really,I mean a Ramraider would not get in here. Still miss my Browning but if he comes back tonight I will set Mrs G on him.
    Lazy day after that.Walked the beach to see the fishermen landing the crayfish and had an early lunch. Chilled in the sun and we went for a dip. This water is very cold but hard core RG plunged. Mrs G said she did too but her shoulder were still dry and her nose an inch longer so she only paddled.We watched a lovely sunset(dead romantic), and bolted ourselves in for the night. Where is my Browning, but hey Ron, I would probably miss the b******d!
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  • Day9

    Stellenbosch & Franschhoek

    February 11 in South Africa

    Early start, Shelagh wanted us to get to Hermanus early but we didn't realise quite how long it was going to take us with all her 'plans'!,,,
    Our first instruction from Shelagh was to stop off at the Delaire Graff' winery in Stellenbosch. what a beautiful place - gardens, sculptures, great food, great wine and guess what, we saw the ORIGINAL ( Blue Lady??? jane. Says). Chinese lady by Tretchikov ,the copy of which was given to daughter 2 months ago. I knew I should have kept it as an expensive knock off. (1million pounds apparently). We had a light lunch,small tasting and came away with a case of Cab Franc Rose. A great experience in magnificent scenery and awesome sculptures to boot. Long way round but worth it to see why they are water rationing the Cape. The biggest reservoir is dust bowl, no water, just dry. This was really frightening to see so expect your Cape apples to be more expensive. This is the fruit bowl!!
    Graff winery is one of the finest in Stellenbosch. It is famous for both its wine and its art, especially its bronzes of Cheetahs. Fab gardens. Enjoyed a small tasting. I did not want to overindulge as alc driving not appreciated, and with Jane and Chris navigating did did not want to do even more miles,tyres nearly bald already! Great views over the Stellenbosch valley. A real must for visitors. None of this costs a bomb although Graff is Relais et Chateau!
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  • Day9

    Hermanus - Big Reunion

    February 11 in South Africa

    We left Graff and arrived at the T junction. The front said Left, the back Right. Decided to back Mrs G in the front (Obviously)! Very tricky driving a car when Vasco wants to go one way and 'Amerigo' in the back seat the other. A car cannot go 2 ways at once. However common sense prevailed and we went past the biggest dam supplying Cape Town with water. Nothing less than a dust bowl. Dead old trees, no water, like something out of a John Wayne Western. Really frightening as this is South Africa's fruit bowl. Apples, oranges,lemons,etc,etc, as far as the eye can see,but no rain.
    Most beautiful drive down to the coast with Polly Parrot (Christine) giving a running commentary all the way. God the SA women can talk! ..... but we did it and didn't get lost - much! Vasco great. Found Shelagh's lovely house in Hermanus and hugs and kisses all round. 38 yrs is a long time! The ladies with so much catching up to do gave Murray a chance to fill me with beer. It was very hot mind you!
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  • Day11

    Encore Paternoster ....

    February 13 in South Africa

    ... so you are going to get very bored of sun, sea, sand - lekker crayfish, beer, wine etc. We have a few stories, real gems as it happens, which I will leave Roger to tell you about. But for now some great pics ... (we're only allowed six per footprint)!

  • Day12

    North towards Namibia

    February 14 in South Africa

    Slept Ok last night with no intruders! Gaaad it was hot though. A very sticky night and up to 34 degrees outside the car today. Vasco in charge with the plan of getting to the Cederberg Bushman paintings. Turned out to be a very long drive and after 3 hours decided to about face and head back to the coast. Despite the fact we didn't get to see the Bushmen paintings (Vasco here - due to maps provided by the local Tourist Board not being to scale! I feel a letter to the South African Dept of Tourism!), we did drive through the Cederberg Mountains which were stunning. Feel that the paintings the tourists are guided to (misguided!!!) to see are just the tip of the iceberg - I'm sure there are hundreds out there. Sadly, having aborted our mission, the coast road took half the time to get us back! Vasco strikes again!!
    These roads through the bush are superb. Dead straight,very quiet (go for 20mins or so without seeing another vehicle). It is also incredibly boring. Scrub or drought parched cultivation and all dirty brown. In 2 hours out we saw 2 Cape tortoises crossing the road and a dead snake! The birds faired rather better with loads of Ostrich, Guinea fowl, Pink Flamingos in the salt pans by the Cerebos factory, Blue cranes,Hadeda birds to name but a few.
    The Cape is thousands of square miles of grain and fruit farming. The dry is very dry but the lucky ones have tapped into borehole water. The fruit and vines look extremely healthy and there are hundreds of square miles of these along the Cederberg Valley. Going into these towns is like stepping back a generation! No sophistication at all with no polish visible. The Dorps are simply clean and functional.
    Anyway Vasco and I came back along the coast road with the plan to have a spot of lunch at the Elandsbaai Hotel. It is both expensive and salubrious. Lunch of 4 Castle lagers,Calamari followed by a Greek salad for Jane with SA pickled fish for me(superb!) for the princely sum of £16. Crazy!
    Cold front fog on the coast like New Quay,so drove home the long way but an hour quicker. Good old Vasco, bless her.Jane will want her bit but I am saving it as she will edit it for sure! (Sadly, guilty as charged - Vasco!)

    We are sitting on the patio watching the mice run around outside!!!!
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  • Day12

    Valentines night - Breaking news ...

    February 14 in South Africa

    Secretly writing this under candlelight - power cut has hit our end of Paternoster. Chap next door has locked himself in and barricaded all the doors and windows. Does he know something that we don't or has he heard rumours about Mrs G!
    We have armed ourselves with two champagne buckets and a a couple of bottles of red to repell any marauders. If you don't hear from us in 24 hours please send more red wine. Watch this space!!
    Have phoned for outside assistance but as yet no cavalry.
    Two hours later hot and humid and candles burning down - have had to light indoor BBQ to get some light. Sweating buckets - very romantic but wasted on Mr. G.
    Dehydration! Down to last bottle, water situation critical due to drought - Mrs G stressing - no tea!,
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  • Day13

    Thursday in Paradise

    February 15 in South Africa

    Well,the lights came on at midnight with no marauders! Woke Mrs G from her beauty sleep on the sofa and up to bed. The house was oven hot as we had the fire lit to provide extra light so just a little sweaty!
    Dead low water at 09.20 so decided to do the Vieux Breton Moulier bit and collect some mussels from the rocks outside the house. Big beauties they are so I will let you know tomorrow how good (bad) they are!
    Decided to visit Saudanha Bay. It looked good on the map but basically an iron ore terminal and a few shops,what a dump. Then we checked out Jacobsbaai. This is a largish residential town built in Greeky style.(very white). However, no shops,1 restaurant(closed) and nothing else,so 4 miles to buy a loaf of bread! Bizarre
    Mrs G decided to cut our losses and adjourn to Gaatjes for lunch after a quick shop to restore our Vitamin C stocks.
    We had a great lunch. ''This place is a bit up market so total bill was £37!
    Back home for a long walk around the bay. It is like walking to the point in NQ but 10 times longer. Paradise for me ,it is!(quote Yoda!)
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  • Day14

    Last full day in Paradise - very sad!

    February 16 in South Africa

    Another beautiful morning. No ill effects from the moules! We snook out to try to take some pictures in the rock pools as the anenomes around are both numerous and huge. Took a few,not bad but a little breezy. Need a wet suit and snorkel,it would be amazing.
    A little exploring around the village for some contact details for accomodation next year. Definitely coming but with golf clubs as well.
    Drove up the the St Columbine lighthouse,named after said ship which went down there. If you look out to sea, you can see odd rocky reefs miles offshore. No wonder so many poor souls were lost on this coast. Beautiful views though and we found a little jewel. A small bar/restaurant in Tietiesbaai. (Nothing lost in translation!).
    The patron is probably tubby Williams' gay,thinner,younger brother if the music is anything to go by. Port of Call in Tietiesbaai! We reckon Richard must have sent him his tapes! Super,super lunch of fresh Hake and Calamari wash down by the usual bottle. (s)! Outside tables on old rowing boats looking out over the most beautiful bay you have ever seen. So if you look at the photos we have obviously saved the best till last. I will admit this was a total accident.
    The area around is a nature reserve but people come down and camp in proper overland conditions! Looks like fun but predominately Africaans. ( large,rotund, close cropped hairybacks!) A stunning coastline with plenty of crayfish to catch but very little fishing apparently.
    Back to the house and a long windy walk along the beach .Found another dead Cape Fur Seal sadly,but we have seen quite a few- no teeth marks though!
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West Coast District Municipality

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