Sunday, June 13, 2010

elands bay and the wild west coast (june 5-7)

I left Cape Town on June 5, and drove a couple hours to just outside Elands Bay. The lodge was right on the edge of a bird reserve, on the water, and was pretty much out in the middle of nowhere, Western Cape. It was cold, but beautiful.

Right next to my nice, but affordable lodge was a sort of higher-class retreat area called Vensterklip with a lodge, delicious restaurant, access to many activities, and a little bar. I went kayaking (they call kayaks canoes here, so I was expecting it to be a canoe…), which was a little rough because I wasn’t expecting there to be holes in the bottom of the boat. Despite sitting in a pool of freezing water, the sights were beautiful and it felt great to move along the water in such an incredible setting. After a short, wet kayaking trip, I was glad to get back to the fireplace in the lodge. We tried to go to a renowned all-you-can eat seafood restaurant in Lamberts Bay called Muisbosskerm, but sadly it was closed for the night. Instead, we went to another seafood restaurant called Isabella’s, on recommendation of the woman who owned the lodge. It was some of the best seafood I’ve had – linefish, snoek, calamari, and mussels.

Elands Bay was really my first experience being in real Afrikaans country – street and business signs were in Afrikaans, not English as in Cape Town, and the people around us largely spoke Afrikaans to one another. We also drove by a few townships, where I assume many of the population are farmers or fishermen. A regular at Vesterklip informed us that we were now in the “wild west coast,” where lawlessness runs wild.

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