A Wondrous Weekend at the West Coast
After endless months of 'LOCKDOWN' my photographer companion, Vernon and I decided to 'lock up and go' at the first relaxed regulations. The unspoilt West Coast was calling us. Paternoster was chosen as our central point of accommodation and we booked at Azzurro, a small cottage for 2.
We departed from Cape Town on a Saturday and took the west coast road heading for Saldanha Bay as our first stop. We visited the harbour with its kaleidoscope of colours, marine life and fishing boats. As photographers we simply adore harbours with all its activities and perfect weather was an added bonus to our photographic skills.
Saldanha Bay Harbour
A Kelp Gull keeping guard on a mooring post
An oblivious seal sound asleep
Kelp Gull Profile against the aquamarine backdrop of the ocean
Juvenile Kelp Gull at Saldanha Bay Harbour
After Saldanha Bay we were on our way to Jakobsbaai. On the way I spotted a Black-Headed Heron in combat with a juvenile mole snake. The snake was a substantial size and we were amazed that it won the fierce battle and the entire snake was swallowed!
A Black-Headed Heron with its catch of the day - a mole snake
We admired the picturesque little village, Jakobsbaai situated on a rocky shore with tiny beaches.
Paternoster was our final destination and we checked in at a quaint white-washed fisherman's
cottage, Azzurro situated in Mosselbank street, a stone's throw away from the beach. The charming
cottage was perfect for our needs and we had seafood braais every evening. To our amazement locals
were roaming the streets selling fresh seafood to the visitors. I questioned a fishmonger about the freshness of his crayfish and he answered: ' Madame, look he is still dancing!' The crayfish were gigantic and delicious. We were fortunate to have a taste of abalone as well. One afternoon at low-tide we went to look for fresh mussels off the rocks and were lucky to find enough for a meal. The next day locals supporting their families directed us to the beach to get fresh fish from the boats and we were introduced to 'Hottentot Fish' that was sold 5 in a bunch. Needless to say, another seafood delicacy on the braai!
Azzurro a quaint fisherman's cottage
Mussel Shells at the beach of Paternoster
Hottentot Fish sold in a bunch
Hottentot Fish on the Braai
Shopping at Paternoster
A Rocky Horizon from the beach at Paternoster
Entrance to Paternoster with all the directions needed!
A Scenic View of Tietiesbaai
A Surfer at Paternoster Beach
A resident's dog chasing its ball
A happy doggy with its ball
A sunset with pastel painted skies
We had such a great time at Paternoster that our weekend got stretched out to an extra day or two. St. Helena Bay and Velddrif were our last villages to explore. The harbour at St. Helena Bay was completely deserted with no fisherman or any fish in sight - a grim sight of a severe 'LOCKDOWN' impact on the fishing industry.
Fishing Trawlers moored at St. Helena Bay Harbour
At Velddrif we drove along Bokkomlaan admiring birdlife in the adjacent Berg River. Flamingo's, Black-Winged Stilts, Herons and Egrets were in abundance. We took some photographs and visited the notorious Velddrif Hotel situated on the banks of the Berg River - an ideal location for bird photography.
Leaving Velddrif for Paternoster I could not miss the Bokkom Stand at the exit. I have never tasted a Bokkom and this was my chance.
A Black-Winged Stilt
Bokkoms at Velddrif
The West Coast Weekend was an unforgettable adventure with incredible memories!