2012 Weekly Summary #1: 8 Jan 2012 – Cape Town to Brittania Bay


So, here we are – one week into the foundation year EXPEDITION Project 2012. As you will have become used to in the lead-up to our first expedition in 2011, we will still be summing up the week’s events each Sunday: highlights, lowlights, talking points, accommodation, food, people, projects…everything really!

Before we get going it may be important to tell you about our first-week goals:

  1. Focus on The TOURISM Project – it is the holiday season in SA right now and the west coast needs a tourism boost for all things from accommodation, restaurants, and activities. Our interviews, photos and surveys will be geared around this (FYI we have 16 project categories in total and we will be touching on all of these during 2012)
  2. Sustainable Seas Trust Sea Pledges – as we are on the coast and in fishing territory we felt it important to try and create awareness, collect sea pledges and educate charitable donations. This is is a partnership with SST (Sustainable Seas Trust) and MSC (Marine Stewardship Council).
  3. Establish the correct interview questions needed and the best diary cam techniques

31st Dec 2011

Our first night (well, the first before departure was at Devon Valley Hotel in Stellenbosch) – TOWN # 1. This was chosen due to it being located just around the corner from our lead sponsor – Place in the Sun (Distell Wines) – in order to set off from the base of one of the sponsors that have made our foundation year trip possible. The afternoon of the 31st Dec 2011 was spent doing interviews and photo shoots with ShowMe Cape Town and ShowMe Stellenbosch. ShowMe has sponsored our SMS campaign as well as supported via advertising and online articles.

The day raced by and in no time Roger was off to collect Maddy Savitt from Cape Town International, flying in from London to start the 2012 expedition with Roger. Maddy’s speciality is working with charities and in particular, she will be assisting in sourcing link-ups with charities based in the UK. Much like Roger, Maddy has a passion for Africa, travel, meeting new people and experiencing new things. All of those passions will certainly become a reality in 2012. New Year’s Eve at Devon Valley Hotel – Roger and Maddy began orchestrating week number one.

1st Jan 2012

Day 1:

08h00 and while everyone tossed and turned feeling hangovers kick in from New Year’s Eve madness Rog and Maddy met with Firestarter director Warren for the first film shoot of 2012 and the first of The EXPEDITION Project 2012. We set up the GoPro got a few departure shots and were on the way…Day # 1 here we go…

The longest stretch of driving we would have to do for a while was the first-day trip – Stellenbosch (via Cape Town CBD) to TOWN # 2 – Langebaan: 130 Kilometer and about a 1h30min drive. Our first port of call was Makarios B&B. Our sponsored dinner for the night was at Kontiki on the Beach – a great local and tourist beach bar hang-out. After a delicious local seafood pot and a few Savannas watching the sun go down on our first day, we resigned to our accommodation for the night. Makarios is a very comfy and welcoming B&B – highly recommended.

2nd Jan 2012

Day 2:

Rog and Mads interviewed the owners of Makarios over breakfast (see the interview here) then packed up and headed for TOWN # 3 – Saldanha Bay. Saldanha Bay is the deepest natural harbour in Africa and there are lots of plans in action at the moment for expanding the bay and making more use of the natural resources. Strandloper Guest House was happy to accommodate us for two nights in a room overlooking the bay and harbour.

3rd Jan 2012

Day 3:

Over breakfast, we interviewed the owners of Strandloper Guest House (see interview here).

Jaques had a lot of interesting information to give us and had a wealth of knowledge of the area and the west coast in general.

4th Jan 2012

Day 4:

Before heading for TOWN # 4 – Vredenburg, we had a boat trip arranged to learn a bit more about the area, fisheries and historical Saldanha. Onto Vredenburg via the Weskus Mall for lunch. Sponsored lunch was provided by Spur and coordinated by Ge-Anna (Marketing Manager for the Weskus Mall). The Weskus Mall is a new development that has unfortunately taken a lot of activity away from Vredenburg’s main road. The mall has therefore been greeted with both support and criticism. While Langebaan and Saldanha focused on tourism and the fishing industry and the local Iron Ore mines, Vredenburg has a quiet charm about it, however, it is clear it is in need of a tourism boost. The major thing that came out of the interviews we conducted with people was that there is not enough to do in Vredenburg, with the only main attraction, the cinema, being shut down only recently.

5th Jan 2012

Day 5:

Staying in Vredenburg we then moved on to Southern Anchorage Guest House in order to get some more info on the town itself and how it may have changed over the years. Seema was very informative about the area and it was interesting to get information from the perspective of a non-native South African. She and her husband relocated to South Africa 14 years ago and it was useful to get an entirely objective view of the country and how she felt it was running (see interview here).

6th Jan 2012

Day 6:

Our next stop was the much anticipated Paternoster TOWN # 5. Resembling a Greek fishing village, littered with white matching houses and old-school fishing boats on the beach, its turquoise water and white sandy beaches transported Mads and Rog back to one of their favourite international destinations – the Mediterranean. We were planning on camping at Titiesbaai (haha – I know we laughed too) municipal campsite, however, mid-set up we got a call from our lovely Lucille in Brittania Bay to say she had found our accommodation in St Helena Bay – TOWN # 6 – for the night. Backpakers converted from an old fishing boat – that was Groenveld Coffee Shop and Backpackers – very cool. Jacque is a cool guy and a very relaxed host, after giving him a Sea Pledge we did some work overlooking the frolicking seal and the bay’s rolling waves. Next up Shelley Point for dinner. Shelley Point Hotel, Spa and Country Club is a family-style resort with two pools, a golf course, a tennis course, a kids club two restaurants, two bars and a full spa. We had dinner at Antonios, one of the two restaurants and opted immediately for the local steak speciality. Yum!

7th Jan 2012

Day 7:

After chatting to Shelley Point General Manger – Alan and Operations Manager – Jason, they managed to twist our arm to stay with them for a night…haha…not much arm twisting needed! The ideal time to re-group (the art of what we plan to do each week to re-assess what we have done so far and what we plan to do. This is integral in keeping the project on track and most importantly alive!). We got some great Place in the Sun evening shots and squeezed in an interview with on-duty manager Jason (see interview here). We were pleased to hear the green plans and initiaves for the resort including de-salination plant, solar and wind power and energy/power saving conversions and staff training. Shelley Point employs 150 local staff and is the second highest employer in the area.

8th Jan 2012

Day 8:

So long Shelley Point, hello Brittania Bay – TOWN # 7 – and Dolphin B&B. Perched on the rocks overlooking where we had just come from, Dolphin B&B is an ideal whale-watching spot and sundowners location. Another good Place in the Sun shot coming up this evening! But not before the delivery of our sponsored supper – Swiss Bistro and Deli are preparing a seafood platter feast. What a great accompaniment to a glass of Place in the Sun Sauvignon Blanc.

…of the week:

  • Towns of the week – Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Langebaan, Sladanha Bay, Vredenburg, Paternoster, St Helena Bay
  • Accommodation of the week – Devon Valley Hotel, Makarios B&B, Strandloper Guest House, Scorpio Guest House, Southern Anchorage, Groenveld Backpackers, Shelley Point Hotel, Dolphin B&B
  • Food of the week – Kontiki on the Beach, Makarios, Strandloper, Scorpio, Southern Anchorage, Shelley Point, Swiss Deli
  • The highlight of the week – Friday night at Shelley Point, St Helena Bay
  • Lowlight of the week – Maddy spent the day ill in bed on Sunday 😦
  • Quote of the week – Question – “What would you like to change in Vredenburg?” Answer – “Change”
  • Sign of the week – Bogey Boulevard
  • Meal of the week – Antonios ‘House Fillet’ at Shelley Point
  • Comedy moment of the week – Maddy opening the passenger door in windy St Helena Bay harbour only to watch the 4×4 windscreen sunshade get whisked from the car and disappear off into the sea

Week 1 – check!

See you next week fans!

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