Saturday, May 7, 2011

Exploring the West Coast

I wasn't very optimistic this morning when we hit the West Coast Road on our way to Jacobsbaai. The West Coast road at the best of times is nothing more than a straight boring road going nowhere. Halfway on our way to Jacobsbaai I was already dreading the return against the southeastern that was predicted for the day. Going there with the southeastern in our back was quite nice though, it pushed against my reluctance to be on this road. I didn't pack my proper camera either, I wasn't expecting to see anything worthwhile snapping. I've been on one or two trips on the lower part of the West Coast before, but it is as if I am disappointed every time and then I promise never to return. This morning was different because the three Musketeers were going on a breakfast run and seeing that one of the three comes from this part of the world, I was believing that at least one of us would enjoy it. It was when his knowledge and experience of this area came to our rescue that we eventually arrived 3 hours later than anticipated back home because we were really exploring and discovering the West Coast.

At Langebaan we turned off from the West Coast Road and just before the town we took a very short gravel road further up the coast towards Saldanha. Saldanha is really a very sad looking town, but here we went to the 3.1 km artificial breakwater which protects the deepest and largest natural harbour in South Africa. At the end of the breakwater is a natural array of rocks with a huge population of sea birds. This area used to be fenced off, but today we walked in and appreciated the quietness and views that this little forgotten island presented to us. This area is called the Marcus Island Reserve and is not visited by many people, if any at all. Suddenly I wished that I had brought my real camera along, so what you see is what I took with my little point-and-shoot. We spend about an hour in this little reserve and suddenly the 'road to nowhere" proved me wrong.

From Salhanda we took another gravel road towards Jacobsbaai. At Jacobsbaai we had breakfast at one of South Africa's famous singer's restaurant, Die Weskusplekkie. I never thought that I would ever support Steve Hofmeyer in any way, but we were hungry and we had to eat. The food was better than his singing and filled our stomachs at least, but only after we had to order more toast. Feeling satisfied about our West Coast trip we headed back to Cape Town, but via Hopefield and Malmesbury to avoid the boring stretch of road we came on. We didn't want to hit the southeast head-on on the West Coast Road either. This was a little bit of a detour but still worth it. Who knows, I might do the West Coast again. I am pretty sure after today that there are plenty more places to discover.

Just before we reached Cape Town I made quick stop to take a picture of Table Mountain with that familiar cloud cover which forms when the southeastern is blowing. Yet another memorable trip, but always good to be home again too...especially if you are forunate enough to live in Cape Town.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a well researched post. I enjoyed the trip - thank you for joining me on this ride.