I recently spent a week exploring the Cape West Coast, something I have wanted to do for some time; a possible bucket list item (see my first post in the series here). Equipped with my Ford EcoSport, a nifty little suburban SUV, I was ready to explore the backroads and dirt roads, the tarred roads and, in some cases, no roads at all as the West Coast welcomed me with open arms.
In this second of three posts I reflect on my travels between Lamberts Bay and Port Owen.
After having spent some time soaking up all that is Muisbosskerm late Tuesday afternoon (you really need to check out my first post for more on this), I arrived at Grootvlei Guest Farm, my layover for the evening. This oasis of luxury and comfort was just what I needed after a long hot day. A 4-star guest house, Grootvlei caters for all types of tourists, and is frequently used as a wedding venue.
Located a mere few minutes walk from the Atlantic ocean, Grootvlei offers the venue I stayed at as well as an “On the Dunes” venue, which I was fortunate enough to have access to. Got to love the warm hospitality of West Coast folk!
The “On The Dunes” venue is spectacular, set amidst the dunes fronting the Altantic ocean. On-going conservation efforts of the dune vegetation has seen the return of small game to the area. The West Coast at its most pristine!
The next morning I was up for an early morning outing to Bird Island in Lamberts Bay. Located just 100m off the shore, it offers a unique opportunity to see the blue-eyed Cape Gannet up close. Bird Island is one of only six sites around the world where Cape Gannets breed and is the only breeding site easily accessible to the public. Well worth a visit.
After a hearty breakfast at Grootvlei, I was back in my EcoSport and continued out of Lamberts Bay on the same dirt road I had come in on. Thanks to the 200mm ground clearance on the EcoSport, the dirt road presented no problems and allowed me to experience my surroundings, worry free.
And boy was I handsomely rewarded!
I spent around two hours at Verlorenvlei, having found the peace and tranquility I was so looking forward to from my West Coast Adventure. In fact, after the third car driving past stopped to ask if I was ok (how does one really answer that question?), I decided it was time to move on. I was heading towards Elandsbaai, where I had been told, the fishing boats were lowered into the sea via cranes at the harbour. My interest, she was piqued.
The seaside town of Elandsbaai is a hotspot for surfers, seafood connoisseurs and birdwatchers alike. The many soil types in the area ensures prolific flora during the spring months, which I was about to experience first hand.
A tapestry of brightly coloured wild flowers was in full bloom and especially abundant in the vicinity of the harbour side of town.
I spent a good two hours exploring the harbour at Elandsbaai, as life continued at its own pace. Having found the cranes that lowered the fishing boats into the sea, I was eager to chat to some of the locals. I came across Jonny, a born and bred Elandsbaai resident who has been fishing these waters all his life. He shared a little about life along the West Coast but was rather baffled by the concept of blogging. All in a days exploration and conversation!
Leaving Elandsbaai I felt as if I had been injected with the very essence of the Cape West Coast, having experienced the locals first hand in conversation. I was heading to Port Owen further down the coast where I would lay my much excited and inspired head that evening.
Join me in my last post in which I explore the final leg of my adventure, from Port Owen to Langebaan, including the legendary Paternoster.
For more on my Cape West Coast Adventure, see this little video I made of the trip, up on my YouTube Channel.