Archive for the Fishing Category

Gordon’s Bay.

Gordon’s Bay, a picturesque coastal village just a few km’s from the Strand, is set against the steep slopes of the Hottentots Holland Mountains and is one of the 3 towns that form the Helderberg Basin. This Mediterranean style sea side village is home to the South African Naval College and only 50 minutes from Cape Town and just off the N2 high way.

I asked a few of the locals where the Strand stops and Gordon’s Bay begins and all said the start of Gordon’s Bay is at the new harbour or Harbour Island.

Harbour Island
Harbour Island

The new harbour
The new harbour
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There are lots of shops and restaurants situated in the harbour.
You can also try your luck fishing off the horbour wall.
You can also try your luck at fishing off the harbour wall.

Pleasure trips on luxury yachts and cruisers are available for charter from both harbours.

Looking accross the bay one can still see the famous ships anchor with GB on the side of the mountain which has been there for many years.
Looking across the bay one can still see the famous ships anchor with GB on the side of the mountain which has been there for many years.

As one drives into the centre of Gordon’s Bay through the narrow streets you will find many street cafes, bars and restaurants and if you are a seafood lover this is the place to be.

Trawlers Sea Food Restaurant int he centre of the village.
Trawlers Sea Food Restaurant in the centre of the village.

The SA Naval College is situated in the old harbour area.
The SA Naval College is situated in the old harbour area.
Fishing boats in the old harbour.
Fishing boats in the old harbour.

There are some interesting restaurants in the old harbour and this one is called
There are some interesting restaurants in the old harbour and this one is called the Happy Oyster.

Gordon’s Bay is  known for it’s safe bathing with both the Main and Bikini Beaches attracting thousands of happy sun worshippers on weekends during  hot summer days. Bikini Beach is a Blue Flag Beach and is situated next to the old harbour.

Bikini Beach blue flag status.
Bikini Beach blue flag status.
Bikini Beach.
Bikini Beach. This was taken on a weekday so only a few lucky locals were there.

I am sure that early on Gordon’s Bay was more of a holiday town with not many people actually living there. Now days, what with the high way and fast cars many people live here and commute to work in Cape Town. There are some some really amazing houses that have been built on the beach front and on the side of the mountain  offering some spectacular views over False Bay looking toward Cape Town. On a clear day Table Mountain and the mountain ranges round Cape Point are clearly visible.

Some of the houses right next to Bikini Beach.Houses right next to Bikini Beach.

House built on the side of the mountain. Hopefully they don't allow building any higher.
Houses built on the side of the mountain. Hopefully they don’t allow them to build  any higher.

A new structure built high above the bay. The next shot gives you an idea of the view they have from this point.

A new structure built high above the bay. The next shot gives you an idea of the view they have.

I don't know about you but I would find it difficult to leave and go to work.

I don't know about you but I would find it difficult to leave and go to work.

Gordon’s Bay, as is the Strand, is only ten minutes away from the Helderberg Wine Route and brewery and a 15 minute drive over the Spectacular Sir Lowry’s pass takes you to the fruit route at Elgin and Grabouw. The village is on the scenic coastal route to Hermanus and the whale route. During September and October whales can be seen in False Bay. For the more active there is a walk above the village on the Danie Miller trail and you can explore the historic cannon and Foogon wheel walk at Sir Lowry’s Pass or have  a dip in the Crystal Pools in the Steenbras Valley.

The Strand.

Well here I am at the start of the second part of my travel adventure to try and cover the coastline of South Africa from Alexander Bay, on the West coast, all the way to Kosibay on the East Coast in my little old Sprite caravan. So far I have completed the journey all the way down the west coast to as far as Tableview and am now heading up what I will call the Western Cape South Coast and starting off again  at the Strand.

The Strand (the beach) , also known as the Gem of  False Bay, with it’s endless white beaches, is situated about 50km’s east of Cape Town at the foot of the Hottentots Holland Mountains and along with Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay forms part of the picturesque Helderberg Basin.

In 1714 the Strand was founded as a holiday and fishing resort, it’s main attraction being “the strand”,  consisting of 5 km’s of sandy white beaches lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean in False Bay. The beach is recognised as one of the best and safest bathing areas in South Africa

5 km's of safe bathing in the warm Atalantic Ocean.
5 km’s of safe bathing in the warm Indian Ocean.
Having fun on the beach
Dylan Frick having fun on the beach

The beach front promenade is lined with restaurants, pubs and coffee shops as well as entertainment areas, such as Dune Park, with putt-putt (mini golf), water-slides, tidal pool and a heated Olympic size swimming pool.

Putt-putt (Mini Golf) at Dune Park
Putt-putt (Mini Golf) at Dune Park

Waterworld.
Waterworld.
One of the many beach road cafes.
One of the many beach road cafes.
The beach road goes on for km's and has some pretty impressive buildings along the way.
The beach road goes on for km’s and has some pretty impressive buildings along the way.
More modern buildings linning the beach road.
Modern buildings lining the beach road.

This one reminds me of a design I have seen from somewhere overseas?
This one reminds me of a design I have seen from somewhere overseas?

The Strand is basically split into two parts –  The beach-front area and 2 or 3 streets back, away from the beach, is a small business section and many of the older housing properties – but most of the action takes place along the beach front.

The Strand Pavillion.
The Strand Pavilion.

Some of the shops housed in the pavilion.

Some of the shops housed in the pavilion.

Next to the Pavilion there are trading stalls which are open 7 days a week.
Next to the Pavilion there are many trading stalls which are open 7 days a week.
You can even buy fish for your supper there.
You can even buy fish for your supper there.

For the sporting enthusiast Strand offers a wide variety of organised sport such as golf, tennis, bowls, rugby and squash and on the water-sport side there is surfing, sailing, powerboating, paddleskiing, boardsailing and of course fishing and diving. It is close to the wine route  and there are many interesting places nearby to be explored.

All in all I enjoyed the 5 days I spent here and in Gordon’s Bay but I can tell you that over a hot summer weekend the place really gets packed out with beach lovers and holiday makers so that even 5 km’s of beach doesn’t feel like quite enough.

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.

Ganzekraal Caravan Park.

I suppose I should call it by the name on the info sheet I was given which is – Ganzekraal Holiday Resort and Conference Centre but I was mostly interested in the caravan park. I have heard and read so many conflicting reports on the place that I was keen to have a look round and see if I should spend a few days there.

Ganzekraal is situated just off the R27 from Cape Town, about 20km’s from where I was staying at Yzerfontein, so I decided to take a drive and go and have a look round and see if it was really as bad as some people had said it was.

Sign board to Ganzekraal.

Sign board to Ganzekraal.

Security entrance.

Security entrance.

The security lady was pretty friendly and gave me all the info sheets with prices and terms but did tell me that I had only 20 minutes to have a look around. I presume the reason for that was that she saw the fishing rods in the Pajero and they charge an entrance fee if you just want to go in and fish.

A site virtually on the rocks.

A site virtually on the rocks. From the looks of the ground a popular site.

The camping area is divided into 2 sections – a lower section very close to the rocks and an upper section which is a bit further back and higher but gives you a really nice sea view.

Lower section with nicely grassed stands.

Lower section with nicely grassed stands.

Lower section ablution block.

Lower section ablution block.

To be honest the facilities were not great here but looked much neater and cleaner in the upper section block.

Stands on the upper section.

Stands on the upper section.

One of the big problems is that there are no trees or bushes to offer any kind of shelter from the sun and wind and boy was it blowing the day I was there.

One of the showers in the upper ablution block.

One of the showers in the upper ablution block.

As you can see not bad at all and they have obviously done some maintenance work.

Overall I thought the park did not look that bad but I sure would not like to be staying there when the wind is blowing. The one thing which I was told, and this  was confirmed by all I spoke to, was to avoid staying there over weekends as the place gets packed out,  is very noisy,  has a rowdy element and is not very pleasant. I also thought the  pricing  pretty steep at R120.00 in and R115.00 out of season and no pensioners discount. That and the wind factor put me off wanting to spend a few week days there.

Conference Centre building.

Conference Centre building.

Couldn’t have a look round as it was all locked up.

One of the chalets that are available.

One of the chalets that are available.

There are three different prices for the various chalets that all sleep six ranging from, in season, R490.00 to R610.00 per night. Some looked really nice while others, like the one above, appear to be a bit run down.

One of the nicer looking chalets with a stunning view

One of the nicer looking chalets with a stunning view

Walk way down to the beach.

Walk way down to the beach.

One of a few fishermen I saw.

One of a few fishermen I saw trying his luck off the beach.

To be honest I was quite tempted to spend a few days here as it has a rugged charm about it but unfortunately the day I moved down from Yzerfontein was really hot and windy so gave it a miss and drove on down to Melkbosstrand.

Leentjiesklip Caravan Park

Langebaan has 3 caravan parks – one right in the centre of the town and two next to the lagoon. I had a look at the one in town on a couple of occasions and have never actually seen anyone staying there which is quite surprising as it is very sheltered, the sites are grassed and the ablutions did not look too bad. Of the two on the lagoon I would definitely choose Leentjiesklip.

Leentjiesklip Caravan Park.
Leentjiesklip Caravan Park.
Good security at the entrance.
Good security at the entrance.

There is no security from the beach at the front but I did not see anyone who was not supposed to be there. It would be a real shame if they did have to  put up a security fence.

Park office.
Park office.

The manager of the park was very friendly and helpful. After chatting to him and other mangers of municipal caravan parks it sounds as if they have an extremely frustrating job trying to get funding and approval for general maintenance and staff.

My set-up which was as close to the lagoon as I could get.
My set-up which was as close to the lagoon as I could get.
Typical area of the park.
Typical area of the park.

As you can see some of the top stands have level concrete areas but all the stands below the road are grass. It does blow pretty hard and there is not much shelter on offer.

One of two ablution blocks.
One of two ablution blocks.

The ablution blocks are not bad and I know that they are busy improving them for the upcoming season.

There are also sites that have their own private ablutions but are quite expensive.
There are also sites that have their own private ablutions but are quite expensive.

Childrens play ground.

Children's play ground.

Permanent residents?

Permanent residents?

There are a number of permanent residents who live in mobile homes within the park boundaries. I put the question mark there as there is talk  that in the not too distant future the municipality is going to sell out to developers. To be honest I think that this area is better than many of the areas that have already been developed and has the best beach frontage to the lagoon. It will be very sad but I think inevitable.

The beach area i front of Leentjiesklip.

The beach area i front of Leentjiesklip.

Tried fishing off those rocks a couple of times with no luck.

Came across this diver on one of my evening walks who had just speared a 2kg Blacktail fish.

Came across this diver on one of my evening walks who had just speared a 2kg Blacktail fish.

This is the way to go camping - pure luxury.

This is the way to go camping - pure luxury.

Also a great way to catch up on some work!!

Also a great way to catch up on some work!!

Met up with Deon, closest to the camera, and Hannes catching up on some work. Deon is Managing director of a company called Omnilog in Krugersdorp and bought the motor home as he has to travel a lot to see clients and feels it more cost effective to flying and having to stay in hotels. Besides that he loves camping.

Sunset over the lagoon.

Sunset over the lagoon.

This is a photograph I took the last time I was at Leentjiesklip a few months ago.

All in all I have enjoyed my two stays at Leentjiesklip Caravan Park and it will be a sad day when they close the park. Maybe sense will prevail and it will survive but I seriously doubt it.

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