Travelling in South Africa, especially Cape Town can be quite rewarding to an adventurous and free spirited person. It caters to the needs of every kind of person, be it a nature lover chasing waterfalls, a surfer looking for the best waves, a person looking to embrace various cultures, we have it all.
This week I decided to book a weekend getaway to a town I never visited before called Elands Bay. This is town is situated on the west coast of South Africa, a mere 2 and a half hour drive from Cape Town. As its name hints at, it’s a town in a bay along South Africa, which you find quite alot of when travelling South Africa.
The journey started on Friday after work when my friend and I left Cape Town at 5pm. Late, but that meant we didn’t have to take unnecessary leave for our two day vacation. Driving the roads to the west coast is pretty straight forward, well marked and easy to navigate, although if driving in the dark doesn’t suit you, you might want to leave earlier while there is still light out.
Arriving at our accomodation just outside Elands Bay, at a place called Vensterklip guest farm and restuarant, was a sight for sore eyes. It was this well kept farm that exuded a peaceful presence and we were met by gracious staff that were willing to go the extra mile to make us feel welcome and comfortable. On our way to the cottage named Pelican, we happened to walk past the restuarant and even though we weren’t hungry, we were drawn by the ambience of the place to join in on a Friday meal.
After dinner, with the advice of our host, we went star gazing. It was by pure luck that this spot was where the milky way can be spotted. Star gazing at this spot will go down as one of thee best moments/ memories I have captured with my bare eyes, reason being that my night photography skills needs to improve so I couldn’t capture the moment. Tip, not all memories need to be captured on film, but they should be embedded in your heart and mind so that you can replay the scenes at your demand.
Forward to the morning, the Saturday morning, we managed to leave our cottage by 10. Notice how we didn’t rush to get out the cottage as early as possible and the reason was simple. Life in small towns are super relaxed and that’s why I keep wanting to go back. It feels like time is on slow motion and you can get so much done in such a short space of time which is exactly what we did.
The day started with a drive to Elands Bay beach, were we laid on towels and took in the sound of the ocean. The sound of waves crashing against the shore is what I find most peaceful and relaxing and trying to sleep was next to impossible as I kept being drawn to the sound of the waves.
At this beach, I also found that it happens to be a surfers Paradise and people from Cape Town also drive out to ride the waves there, evident from the many CA registration number plates at the beach. It also was dog friendly as people occasionally had dogs playing with them on the beach, this made me miss my dog back home but I vowed to bring her back here next time.
Next stop, our lunch venue that I heard about from a colleague and it drew my attention from the moment I entered the road. It was a place called Wit Mosselpot, which was colorful from outside depicting waves and rustic and surfer boy kind of vibe on the inside. Staying on the coast, in fishing towns, it was obvious that sea food was going to be my choice of food. I decided on a seafood paella which looked good and tasted good, the only disappointment was the portion of food served for the amount of money paid.
Loving adventure, but probably not the best option after eating a meal, we embarked on a very short hike up to Elands Cave. This wasn’t planned but as it was an activity near by and a heritage site, so it was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed. The short trek up though was worth the walk up, it gave us views of the coastline that blew our minds and made us stop and appreciate the moment and beauty that was before us. Did I mention that this was cave that had paintings dating back to the San people, well now I did.
3pm Saturday, our next destination was set on our GPS and we were ready to take the roads. Location: Lambert’s Bay and it was a 40 minute drive away. The journey though was pleasant and provided us with more spectacular coastal views. Our target though was a cafe for cake and tea that was referred to us by our host, and it was beautiful and had a good atmosphere to relax in. Name: Isabella’s Restuarant and I settled on a bar one cake with a cocktail and my friend a malva pudding served with ice cream and coffee. After indulging our tastebuds, it was a journey back to the cottage in Elands Bay and the scenery still kept us amazed. Landscapes included mountain ranges after mountain ranges and cattle and lagoons.
Back at the cottage, we had time to freshen up, gather our pictures and thouhhts, and prepare for our dinner which we went back to restuarant at Vensterklip for. Seafood was still on my mind and I decided on a scrumptious seafood platter. Thereafter, our last night at Vensterklip, we had to go star gazing again to view the milky lane and it again left us amazed, staring into the sky, wondering what lied in the abyss. It’s a moment you can only appreciate, if you truly sit back and allow your surroundings to take you into a place of peace and serenity.
Sunday Morning: Sadly it was time to leave, but it was with pleasant memories and beautiful pictures captured. I must emphasis that Vensterklip Farm and Guest house was an amazing place to sleep over (I’m not paid to say that).
The road back to Cape Town provids numerous detours such as Velddrif (which we drove through), St Helena Bay (Which we released you should stay at to make the most of area) and Paternoster (which was our lunch destination).
Paternoster was another coastal town, where the light blue waters drew you towards the ocean. The invite was to good to pass, so we stepped out the car and into the beach, allowing the icy yet beautiful sea water to engulf our toes and submerge our feet in the soft sea-sand. What I forgot to mention is that these coastal towns have a multitude of shells displayed on the beach sand, waiting to be picked.
Last stop before our final drive home was for lunch at a restaurant called De Seekat that overlooked the beach. It was here that I decided to treat myself to a new experience and that was eating an oyster. Steak Panini and oysters for lunch was an interesting combo but it tasted so good. What was more interesting was the serene environment, were I could of sit for hours just watching the ocean below. That however embarked the end of our adventure and the start of the final drive home.
Other possible stops on the way back to Cape Town include Saldanha Bay, considered a fisherman’s town (on my list to visit), Langebaan, another famous tourist destination which is probably the most famous west coast destination. It boasts calm blue waters and is compared to Mykonos in Greece. But that review shall wait until I actually adventure out there.
Side Note: When going to small towns, please make sure you carry cash as ATMs may be hard to find and signal may at times be bad to pick up on Yoco machines.
Anyway, I hope that the above is informative and helps you decide where your next adventure is going to be. Until the next journey.