I was looking forward to escaping city life when my roommate Cathy and I went away for a long weekend outside of Cape Town. We decided on two nights by the ocean and two nights in the mountains to see the most scenery in such a short period of time. We got an early start, and took the scenic route - up through the little towns North of the city. We first hopped out of the car for the quintessential Table Mountain photo op in Bloubergstrand.
We continued up the R27, took a right until we hit the R307 and passed through small farms and into the town of Darling, which was very underwhelming considering the amount of attention the guidebooks seem to pay it.
Continuing on, we stopped for a snack and cup of coffee at Beaches Restaurant in Yzerfontein (make sure you use the bathroom, it made me smile!)
Giant sand dunes covered in scrubby brush greeted us at West Coast National Park (R80 to R40 per person entry fee depending on the season). We spotted a turquoise lagoon, and we instantly felt like we were at the French Riviera!
After soaking it all in, we went back in the car and continued to Langebaan to check into our bed and breakfast, Glenfinnian. Our hosts were lovely and the room was very accommodating (but one strange feature was the bathroom hidden away by what looked like our closet doors.) Walking down to the beachfront, we noticed how quite the small town is, and the lack of security fences and gates was a welcome change.
We stood and watched the black outline of kite surfers leaping into the air at sunset. Driftwood’s, a popular local restaurant on the beach hosted us for dinner before we retired for the evening.I woke early for breakfast and wandered into our hosts kitchen. We sat with a young family from Cape Town, an older night shift mine worker, and another Angolan guest that didn’t say much. The sun was shining and our hosts suggested we go exploring, up the coast to Saldanha Bay and the fishing village of Paternoster, drawing us a secret map to a great lookout point. With all her warnings that this was their busy season, we couldn’t help but laugh when we found ourselves on a deserted beach having our picnic lunch.
We spent the afternoon shopping in Velddrif, and then headed back to Langebaan for dinner at Friday Island, a beachfront bar and restaurant with a guesthouse, connected to the Cape Sports Centre complex (great place to rent water sports equipment). Well rested, we hit the road in the morning to continue the second part of our journey - the Cederbergs.