Forth week review here we go…one month down and we are almost done with stage one – West Coast, Western Cape.
23rd Jan 2012
Lamberts Bay to Doringbaai
We’re not going to lie it was rather nice to move onto the real west coast as we left Lamberts Bay and reached Doringbaai. And Doringbaai didn’t disappoint – it really felt like the first quaint west coast town we had reached. Not too small, not too big and with loads of charm. We checked into Thornbay Accommodation only a stone’s throw away from the sea. Roger immediately settled in for a chat with owners Michelle and Peter to get a low down on the area.
24th Jan 2012
Busy day…Maddy was unfortunately still not feeling 100% so Roger met with Alberta at Fryers Cove in Doringbaai harbour to hear about how and why Fryers Cove has the first and only 360-degree ocean view wine tasting room. After a chat about the history of this very unique wine, it was time to meet with Suzanne Du Plessis to hear about the conservation initiative operating in the area of Doringbaai and Strandfontein. Surprisingly it was great to hear that there is in fact plenty going on including social and environmental projects. Alternative energy is actually a hot topic in the area for good and bad reasons. Unlike the Paternoster community who are rather anti the Wind Farm setup due to the impact it may have on tourism in this scenic area, the people of Doringbaai and Strandfontein are very pro wind power and solar energy, providing, of course, the government subsidise and support the implementation of this. After a busy day, we enjoyed a sponsored meal at The Cabin Restaurant located at Die Anker B&B. Fresh hearty meals with very friendly service!
25th Jan 2012
After a couple of nights at Thornbay we moved on to Die Anker for a night. Great views (fantastic sunsets), friendly staff and excellent food.
Next up Roger met with Peter from the Doringbaai social development office – his office is actually the only one on the west coast that deals with sustainable fisheries and is an advisory of fishermen. Partial private and government-funded, Peter spoke knowledgeably and enthusiastically about providing positive solutions to the fishery crisis, Since Oceania, the biggest employer in the area, closed down – fishermen had no choice but to take matters into their own hands (or nets) with regards to providing for them and their families, unfortunately, this lead to dog eat dog methods. Enter Peter and his cooperative advisory. Assistance is provided in the form of planning, ethical practice and money and produce-management.
26th Jan 2012
Doringbaai to Strandfontein
After another great breakfast at The Cabin Restaurant, it was time to move on to Strandfontein, another gorgeous little town. We checked into Van Eeden Accommodation and had a friendly chat with owner Henda. After a quick walk around town including the magnificent Strandfontein beach, we headed back to have dinner with Henda – a hearty west coast ‘boere kos’ – steak, potatoes and veg!
27th Jan 2012
Every journey has its bumps in the road and for us, it was a slight setback with a bout of tonsillitis. We had to pop over to nearby Vredendal in order to find out why Maddy had still not been able to shake off or tonsillitis. After another visit to a GP, a blood test and three jabs in Maddy’s ass, we headed to the Spur for lunch so that Mads could have a well-deserved milkshake for being a brave girl! On the way back to Strandfontein we stopped off at the Radio Namaqua office to see if they would be interested in featuring us one of their broadcasts. Luckily, they did! We set up a meeting with the station producer for Monday. Back to Strandfontein so that Mads could get some R&R.
28th Jan 2012
Strandfontein and Papendorp
After a delicious breakfast with Henda, we presented each other with a few gifts to say thank you for the hospitality and then moved on to Sea Breeze for the weekend. From Sea Breeze, we would experience what happens in the small west coast towns of Papendorp and Strandfontein at weekends. As this was a sunny Saturday – the beach seemed to be the popular choice. Nothing like a bit of people-watching. After checking out the locals we decided to chat to a couple of lifeguards and we were pleased to hear that Strandfontein Beach had recently been awarded Blue Flag status. We learnt further that they had also observed that sea temps had been changing and whale sightings had extended due to this. A home-cooked meal in our self-catering apartment proved difficult as Maddy had to test out her ‘Masterchef’ skills by using the minimal supplies we had!
29th Jan 2012
Full English breakfast at Sea Breeze was followed by exploring Papendorp and then time for the Australian Open Final – glad we watched this as it ended up being the longest final in history! Another home-cooked meal and Maddy’s R&R time had been successful. We were now ready to tackle the new week ahead!
…of the week:
- Towns visited this week –Doringbaai, Strandfontein, Papendorp
- Accommodation sponsored this week – Thornbay, Die Anker, Van Eeden, Sea Breeze
- Food sponsored this week – Cabin Restaurant, Van Eeden, Sea Breeze
- Highlight of the week – Mads recovering from her bout of tonsillitis
- Lowlight of the week – Mads being ill for the week!
- Quote of the week –
- Meal of the week – Rump Steak at Cabin Restaurant, Doringbaai
- Comedy moment of the week –
See you in a week…