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West Coast National Park

Only a few days have passed since my last blog, reading through it again I realized that It had invoked something in me. It placed me outside my home and firmly into my imagination, imagining the ocean, the long open road, the top of the mountain, or next to a river. Lost in my thoughts I remembered a quote I once heard – “The imagination is the golden pathway to everywhere.” I think it is appropriate because our imagination is all that we can really rely on during this period. For this reason, I have decided to take to my laptop once again and embark on a journey, I like to invite whoever reads this to join me and possibly invite your friends and family to join us too.

will always hold a special place in my heart

When I think of long road trips I am transported to my childhood, I remember a time when waking up at 3 am was a normal thing to do. It was always so exciting to me as my earliest memories go back to a place called Paternoster. I’m not certain exactly how many Capetonians know about Paternoster which is situated up the west coast, but it always felt like we were the only people camping there. It is my earliest memories of falling in love with the ocean and therefore will always hold a special place in my heart. Recently I had had an opportunity to go back for the first time in many years. Loads has changed since those many years ago, loads more houses, restaurants, guest houses and even some roads. I was pleasantly surprised by the way the place still had the same feeling even though there was so much development. I wondered around the small little town and eventually settled at one of the restaurants after a walk on the beach and having a look at the restaurants on offer. Looking over the cool Atlantic, enjoying seafood which had probably been swimming not too long ago in the very ocean I was looking at. Leaving Paternoster, the next day I dove into my memories of other trips up the West Coast, here are a few of my favorites.

Yserfontein

Heading up the coast this is one of the first little towns you will pass by, if you are not looking out for it you can easily miss the turn-off. Like most little towns up the west coast, they branch off the main road with little more than a road sign indicating its existence until you actually venture off and investigate further. Unfortunately, I haven’t spent enough time in this little village, just enough to know that I would love to go back and spend some time in one of its many luxurious holiday homes and even more time along its beautiful coastline.

Yzerfontein
Yzerfontein

Darling

Some time back I did a blog on this beautiful little town, something about the area just made me fall in love with it completely. It might be the delicious beers, spectacular yet inexpensive wines, the delectable olive and wine pairing, or maybe just the gorgeous countryside. If that’s not enough any South African can appreciate the home of Evita Bezuidenhoudt where you can look back on the ridiculousness of the Apartheid regime. It’s quite possible that my children will one day go there and have a hard time believing how bad it really was.

West Coast National park

Tour guides have weird jobs, we go around from one beautiful place to another showing tourists some of the best parts of South Africa. Some of these places are enjoyed more by tourists than locals to my surprise. West Coast National park is not one of these places. I never knew that so many locals line up in order to see the wildflowers in full bloom, If you are amongst the few who has never seen it, it is truly a sight to behold. The abundance is unimaginable fields upon fields of these flowers batter your senses leaving you not knowing where it begins and where it ends.

Wildflowers in West Coast National Park

!Khwa ttu

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit this unique experience on more than one occasion. I must admit though that I had never even heard about the place before visiting it for the first time. I was however really impressed with the way the San and Khoi people have been represented here. Even though these people were the original tribe of South Africa, there is very little evidence that they once had dominion over the land. Fortunately at !Khwa ttu there is a strong sense of history which is told by some of the remaining few descendants of this nearly extinct tribe. This definitely gave me a better understanding of the tribes.

Pointing these places out I now realize that the long road up the West Coast is almost never-ending, In fact, if you follow the road far enough you will end up in Namibia, I have no doubt in my mind that there are hundreds of hidden little gems dotted along the coast. Unfortunately, I have not had the pleasure to head up all that way but one day I will but for now, I’ll end with a place which is dear to my heart as well

Elands Bay

Elands Bay is one of those places that you would not necessarily go to for a luxurious seaside villa with all the comforts of a modern holiday. In fact, I’m not even sure what the internet is like there because when I am there I disconnect. There are no amazing shopping centers nearby. I think the closest supermarket is about 30 Km away. What makes this place so special that makes it this close to my heart and saving it for last?

Road to Elands Bay

I remember sitting on the beach mesmerized

Nothing beats my childhood memory of this place. I could not have been older than 8 when I went there for the first time. I remember the beautiful sunset after walking what seems like an eternity with my older cousin, uncle as well as my cousins who were closer to my age. I remember playing on the rocks when a massive wave swept over and began to suck us in, my cousin and uncle swam behind us and prevented us from probably drowning that day. That same day as the waves grew and grew I remember sitting on the beach mesmerized, everything else about that time becomes a blur. I remember so vividly that it could have been a memory created yesterday was the waves and its absolute perfection, I remember people surfing and riding those waves so amazingly. I honestly have no concept of how long I sat there but I remember telling my father that very day that I wanted to start surfing. I of course only started years later but I believe this is the moment that set my love for the ocean in motion. I have been back to surf this spot and its every bit as amazing as I remember it.

Surfer Waiting for the tide to come in

The locals there will tell you “Die Weskus is die beskus” ( The West Coast is the Best Coast)

I have to agree

2 Responses
  1. Loved to dive into your memories … guess all these experiences and the exploring of your beautiful country made you the kind human being you are!

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