August 30, 2013
Beyond #LoveCapeTown: Popping out to Paternoster
After a brief stint as a science student, Erik Brits decided to focus passionately on bits the of the world that he could actually understand, and now he travels all over the country sourcing interesting stories for Nightjar Travel. However far and wide he travels, though, Cape Town will always be home.
I’m a big fan of #LoveCapeTown. I’ve had the luxury of living in a few other cities so I feel I can make a fair comparison, but every so often I need to get out of the Mother City. Recently, I picked Paternoster as my weekend destination, and before my girlfriend even had time to say “It’s the weekend!”, we were off.
Seaside villages live life at a different pace to us city slickers, and this was immediately apparent when we charged into Paternoster, and nearly bumped into a young man at the first four-way stop. He had jumped in front of our car to ask if we wanted to buy some of the flapping, live crayfish he was holding. I’m sure the looks of utter surprise on our faces were the talk of the dinner table that evening!
Once our collective composure was regained, we transitioned easily into holiday mode, driving 40 in a 60 zone, staring at all the little matchbox houses, staring harder at the gorgeous sunset, and so forth. Paternoster is one of the oldest villages on the West Coast, and has done well to retain its historic charm.
Given the predominant architectural style of seaside cottages, you will find a lot of self-catering accommodation, although we had the luxury of staying at the 5-star Abalone House (which is where the sunset photo comes from). With the industrial activity in Saldanha providing steady traffic in the area, you will be impressed by how much is on offer at the West Coast Mall in Vredenburg, making supplies for self-catering easy to obtain.
Fishing is still the main activity in the village, and this is the place to be for fresh seafood – as long as you avoid buying crayfish off the street when they are out of season or undersized. Don’t forget to explore the local nature reserves. As a matter of fact, the drive through Rocherpan is one of my all-time favourites.