Someone once said that travelling “leaves you speechless, then it turns you into a storyteller”. So here is my story of the day my two travel buddies and I took a road trip to the small fishing town of Parternoster in the Western Cape. A day filled with tear-inducing laughter, stunning views and good food.
Prior to embarking on our journey from our holiday accommodation in Langebaan (45km away), we thought it would be a good idea to put in a load of washing, whilst forgetting to redirect the water drain pipe into the bath. This particular washing machine has a tendency to make a sound similar to one I imagine the Loch Ness Monster makes upon waking from its slumber. We were therefore more than eager to get out of the house and on our way. Happily we made our way to Parternoster, only to realise our mistake 20km down the road. Returning home, we sprinted to the bathroom like mad chickens. Luckily the floor was bone dry and after securely placing the drain pipe in its allocated spot, we embarked on our journey once more.
Parternoster is known to be one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa. This salty little town is in the vicinity of Vredenburg, just 145km North of Cape Town. It makes for an ideal day trip. In my opinion, Parternoster is defined by just two words: windy and picturesque. Upon arriving, we parked our car on the side of the road and walked up and down the main road which is crammed with quaint little shops and restaurants sporting a sea view. In the streets we saw plenty of young men selling crayfish, some no bigger than the average hand and others absolutely enormous! Locals did, however, warn us to abstain from these illegal crayfish vendors, or else we would attain a hefty fine.
My favourite shop was most definitely Die Winkel op Paternoster. Besides the beautiful leather bags, authentic Veldskoene and homemade preserves; what captured my heart was a little packet of deliciously sweet, syrupy koeksisters. Between the three of us, we polished off the entire packet of golden deliciousness right outside the entrance to the shop. In fact, they were so scrumptious that we even walked right back inside to buy some more—for later of course. After browsing at all of the little shops we returned to the car and made our way to the Seekombuis just inside the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, a mere 7km away. From the parking lot this little restaurant doesn’t look like anything to write home about. But just wait until you walk through the little entrance that has probably seen better days. Seekombuis is exactly that: a kitchen right on the beach. If it was any closer it would be in the sea. Captured by the view, we eagerly made our way to die kerk (as they call it), which is an old fishing boat overlooking the bay and by far the best table on offer. Perhaps it was compliments to the view, but that afternoon I ate the best fish and chips I have tasted in my life!
After lunch we continued to sit on the beach with our toes in the sand and a glass of ice cold wine in hand, as we admired the heavenly blue water before us. I even spotted a school of dolphins cheerfully playing in the distance. After much excitement, we hastily retrieved a pair of binoculars from the car to get a better look. And so the scrutiny began… First my incredible spot was demoted to submerged rocks, and then—to my disgrace—seaweed! To this day I am still convinced that they were indeed dolphins. But then again I guess even if they weren’t, for those precious few moments, those submerged rocks created so much joy in my life, that if anyone ever asks, I will not hesitate to tell them that they were without a doubt, most definitely dolphins.
In the end, the Three Musketeers started on our journey home. We left Parternoster with fiercely knotted hair, sandy feet, full tummies and warm hearts. On our way out we passed a windmill that had clearly worked very hard some few years ago and read “Dead as a doorknob” in Afrikaans. I guess that is quite an accurate description of how we all felt after our memorable adventure In Parternoster. Without a doubt, a bucket list destination!
Contact Details for Places Mentioned Above:
- Die Winkel op Paternoster, Cnr of St. Augustine Road and R45 (Vredenburg Road), Western Cape, 022 752 2105
- Seekombuis, Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, Tietiesbaai, Paternoster 7380, 072 258 9041