Travel Journal

Africa's Beautiful West Coast

(Tuesday 14 April 2009) by Dopps Family
Stop 3: West Coast:
We took the R27 highway along the Atlantic coast from Cape Town to Langebaan where we stayed 2 nights in a nice holiday house self-catered style. The roads up here are long and wide, to allow for other cars to pass you on the one-lane roads even while cars are coming from the other direction and everyone is doing 120kph assuming you are kind enough to move over and drive on the extra wide shoulders. It is customary to move over so others can pass and everyone usually acknowledges the courtesy by flashing their warning signals a couple times. This is definitely something we don’t do in the States – especially when going over 75mph on one-lane roads.
We spent one day exploring the West Coast National Park and saw lots of Ostrich from a distance, termites building fresh mounds and some pretty birds. While driving outside the park on the regular roads we saw Zebra, lots more Ostrich (and much closer) and some small antelope (springbok). Apparently Ostrich are raised like cattle around here – similar to turkeys in the States – but I haven’t tried any Ostrich “schnitzel” yet. Our last night in Langebaan we enjoyed a home-cooked meal on an indoor braai – similar to an American BBQ. It was very tasty and we hope to cook more on the braai during our vacation.
The next couple nights we spent in Paternoster, a little fishing village on the beach. We luckily found vacancy for R350 per night (our cheapest yet) but without any catering facilities. So we settled for eating out which isn’t hard to do. We read and were told about a very traditional and authentic beach restaurant called de Strandloper which serves a 10-course meal but located back in Langebaan (but well worth the drive back from Paternoster). This place has to be visited to truly experience the ambiance and authenticity of a South African meal where the bread is baked fresh in barrel ovens with hot coals, the fish and meat cooked over an open pit of hot coals and the pots of lamb and fish bubbling all day over wood fire pits, including yummy crayfish and delicious mussles. For pre-evening entertainment drunken and naked men where sliding on their bellies down the large rocks into the ocean (just like walruses). Unfortunately the kids got tired and so we left after the eight (or ninth course, couldn’t keep track).


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