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Beachwalk in Paternoster


Kerith tells us about a great weekend getaway on the wild West Coast

Escape to a wonderful place
When the traffic and the noise of city life in Cape Town is dragging you down, isn’t it comforting to know that there are so many incredible places to escape to over the weekend, most not more than a 2 hours’ drive outside the city. At the forefront is Paternoster. The first glimpse of Paternoster by visitors along that long Vredenburg road is certain to take your breath away; a shimmering cove tapered by pristine white beaches. A village of whitewashed cottages resembling polished river pebbles speckled along the landscape.

Fresh fish for overworked Capetonians
Once noted only for the fishing, Paternoster has become a refuge for overworked Capetonians seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life. Named after a Latin prayer, Paternoster (The Lord’s Prayer) may seem like the answer to the average city slickers prayers. It has experienced some development since its rediscovery as a holiday destination, however it manages to maintain its west coast charm, and functionality as a fishing community. Indeed there is nothing quite as satisfying as lounging on your stoep, gazing out to sea in wait of the fishing boats return to shore with the days’ catch. A dash down to the slipway with crumpled bank note in hand can almost guarantee one fresh fish for supper. Mmmmm, with lemon butter and a crisp glass of Chardonnay, heaven!

Take that someone special to soak in some sun
For those who prefer their fish served on a silver platter, there are number of eateries in the village that are more than willing to oblige. I discovered one after minutes of painstaking searching. The bistro in question is located in a 108 year old renovated fishing cottage on the seafront and one could not ask for a more spectacular view. Open for breakfast, lunch and supper, the cosy Voorstrandt restaurant offers its guests sumptuous yet unpretentious meals. Enjoy a lazy breakfast on the deck while the kids run amok on the shore. Take that someone special to soak in the last rays of sunlight as that west coast sunset stuns you senseless. The atmosphere is intoxicating whatever time of day.

A more robust workout for adventure-seekers
You might be one of those weekenders who prefers a more robust workout other than a leisurely stroll along the beach, do no fret! The Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, bordering Paternoster, with its flattish strandveld is ideal for an afternoon ramble. Perhaps your meander veers towards Tietiesbaai, perhaps you might bump into the Cape Columbine lighthouse majestically perched upon an outcrop in all its whitewashed splendour.

Visits to the reserve during the August to October months are ideal if you wish to catch a glimpse of the fynbos’ spring awakening, and the flowers are a glory to behold. As are the whales, that continue their migration along this coastline in spring in search of a safe-haven to rear their calves.

Drifting home
Alas, it is Sunday afternoon and time to return to the city. Monday morning is looming on the horizon. What a relief it is to know that the homeward journey is brief and un-congested by traffic. As the familiar sight of Table Mountain silently welcomes you home along the R27, you take comfort in the knowledge that your next weekend extravaganza will be equally rejuvenating.

Incredible coastal places to disappear to over the weekend: Paternoster, Western Cape

©Text: Kerith Platts

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