Melkbos to Table View.

Well here I am back out on the road again to continue my voyage of discovery round the coast of South Africa and have just discovered that there was still 1 post I needed to do to complete my trip down the West coast so here it is.

Melkbosstrand still has an old established feel to it. There are modern shops and some pretty upmarket looking houses but overall it has not really been developed to the extent of such as places as Big Bay just 10 km’s down the road towards Cape Town. As usual I am going to let my photographs do most of the talking.

Old style house on the beach front
Old style house on the beach front
One of the more modern houses next to the beach.
One of the more modern houses next to the beach.
The beach front which offers safe bathing and apperently good fishing.
The beach front which offers safe bathing and apparently good fishing.

As one leaves Melkbosstrand and travels towards Cape Town you drive along next to undeveloped beaches, where I saw quite a few fishermen with lines in the water, you have to ask yours self how long will it last and especially as you arrive at Big Bay.

I first went to big bay about 40 years ago and there was pretty much nothing there apart from a parking area, a small shop and not much else. It was a very popular spot for surfing in those days and also a great place to go to for a braai (BBQ) above the road in the picnic area or at the beach.

Wow has it all changed over the years. It is now a massive sprawling mass of houses, developments and shops and apart from the actual beach area is not recognisable.

Big contingent of life gaurds there - not to mention the "car" gaurds.
Big contingent of life guards there – not to mention the “car” guards.
Some of the shops where there just used to be one small cafe.
One of the shopping centres  where there just used to be one small shop.

Big Bay with Table Mountain in the background.
Big Bay with Table Mountain in the background.
You can still buy on the beach at Big Bay but it is going to cost you big time.
You can still buy on the beach at Big Bay but it is going to cost you big time.
One of the developments next to the beach.
One of the developments next to the beach.
One of the developments in the area we used to picnic in years ago.
One of the developments in the area we used to picnic in years ago.

Moving on a bit closer to Cape Town is Blaauwberg.  It was a place I used to visit frequently as I had friends that lived there. Looking at Blaauwberg today, while there has been growth and quite a lot of change,  it has still somehow kept its character of the past.

"Ons Huisie" resaurant is on eof the most famous attractions of Blaauwberg.
“Ons Huisie” restaurant is one of the most famous attractions of Blaauwberg. Great sea food.
Another well known attraction in the area. I remember, years ago, going to some great "dinner dances" here.
Another well known attraction in the area. I remember, years ago, going to some great “dinner dances” here. The old place is looking really good these days and also has great sea food.
A reminder that the sea can be a dangerous place.

A reminder that the sea can be a dangerous place.

The last stop on my west coast journey before reaching Cape Town was Table View which is one of the fastest growing areas in the greater Cape Town area. Most of the housing developments are a few km’s from the beach area and are growing at an incredible rate

An hotel going up right on the beach front.

An hotel going up right on the beach front.

Some of the old and new developmets along the beach front.

Some of the older and new developments along the beach front.

A final shot from Table Tiew of Table Mountain and the wreck of the bulk carrier Seli  which went aground just off Table  View beach in a gale on the 8th September 2009.

A final shot from Table View of Table Mountain and the wreck of the bulk carrier Seli 1 which went aground just off Table View beach in a gale on the 8th September 2009.

Well, sadly, (for me anyway) that is the last of my posts on the West Coast of South Africa and I have now just started on my journey up the Western Cape south coast. I am at the moment staying in the Strand / Gordons Bay area and am going to slowly make my way up the coast to such places as Rooi Els, Hangklip and other small towns as I move toward Hermanus.

I hope that many of you who have been following my travels up to now will continue you to do so in the future. I love getting feedback and comments and watching the number of visitors to the site grow by the month. In fact I have been staggered by the numbers as I thought, when I started out, that it might be looked at occasionally by family and friends, but I have been getting visitors from all over the world  in ever increasing numbers.

See you on the other side of Cape Town.

7 Comments

  1. Michael on February 7th, 2010

    Lovely shots of Blaauwberg. Have such happy memories of Ons Huisie when Walter and Chi-Chi owned it. Did a fabulous seas food supper there for about 100 people in 1973 for R15 per person!
    Childhood memories of going to The Blue Peter to have scones and tea on a Sunday afternoon. A friend if my father’s – Count Blahowski – was the owner and he had a large standard poodle called Moustache.
    In later years, Maddy and I used to spend weekends there.
    It was owned by Allan Bell who was the Chairman of Gilbeys – wonder who owns it now, so pleased to see that it is so well kept.
    Lovely also to see the old house on the beach front at Melkbos, such happy memories of going there too as a child.
    Thanks PBD – hope you are enjoying your trip down the Overberg Coast and look forward to more pics from you.
    Much love
    Michael

  2. pbdphoto on February 7th, 2010

    Hi Michael – Nice to hear from you on the blog. Yes those were the days when money had some kind of value and quality was always striven for.

  3. Hanlie on February 10th, 2010

    My dad likes to tell the story of how he had 300 pounds in 1959 and was advised to buy 10 beach front erven in Melkbos for 30 pounds each. He bought a car instead. Our lives would have been much different if he’d bought the land instead!

    Ah, the many happy hours spent at the Blue Peter!

  4. Brendon on February 12th, 2010

    I remember that little cafe at Big Bay. I used to surf there as a kid, and that cafe used to make killer hot chips.

    Anyway, I think that shopping area with the strip of restaurants – I think its called Eden on the Bay, is an awesome development. Its easy to romanticize the Big Bay beachfront, but it really wasn’t that great. It had become really run down and dodgy, and the grass area was riddled with broken glass and chicken bones. With the new development they’ve kept alot of grass, and given it a great vibe. People flock there to eat and with good reason. Its pretty awesome.

    But the housing developments are another story. I’ve grown up around that area, and it makes me angry what they’ve done to it in the name of a quick profit.

    Apparently the land was sold off to “previously disadvantaged” buyers – which in reality just translates to businessman who are friends of the politicians. At any rate, the land was sold way below market price and the result is all those crappy mass units and complexes. Really quite sad because that land had so much potential, and in the right hands whatever was going to be developed there could’ve been made so much better.

  5. pbdphoto on February 12th, 2010

    Hi Brendon – I was thinking back to before your time when the grass areas above the road were clean and tidy. It was an awesome place for a braai and then down to the beach for a swim.

  6. P-J Hannabus on September 15th, 2010

    Peter Gordon was in the army with me in 1973, and ended up playing a 1 man band at the Blue Peter in the 70’s-80’s. I have taken notes from your blogs, which are so helpful & truthful! The commercials dressup the sites terrifically, and when one gets there….your bubble bursts!
    My West Coast trip , this October, has been planned after studying your blogs over & over!
    My ’79 4-berth Jurgens will give me good service, I trust. Have decided on Leentjiesklip as a base to explore Saldanha, Lambert’s Bay, Langebaan, Darling etc. for 2 weeks.
    You are doing a great job, keep it up !

  7. pbdphoto on September 15th, 2010

    Hi P-J glad you have found some useful stuff on the site. Just remember the comments are my opinion and not everyone agrees with them. Leentjiesklip is great but can be pretty windy. Try and get one of the sites that has bushes and offer a bit of shelter form the wind (also a bit of privacy) They do also have sites with private ablutions.



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