Archive for the Photography Category

Pringle Bay.

The first village from Rooi Els on the R44, in the Cape Hangklip area, is Pringle Bay. ( From what I was told Hangklip is not a place but an area and there is Groot Hangklip and Klein Hangklip.)

The villages of Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond share a common history from the ancient heritage of the early Bushmen and Hottentots, to a safe haven for smugglers in the 1800s, whalers in the early part of the 1900s before developing as holiday and retirement villages. There are now quite a lot of people that live and work there permanently (lucky people at that) as shop and restaurant owners, artists and of course estate agents. (I always marvel at the number of estate agents there are in all the small villages that I have been to.) The area is part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve which is an internationally acclaimed conservancy because of the incredible variety of plants found here: an estimated 1650 species of mainly fynbos. In 1998 it became the first UNESCO declared Biosphere Reserve in Southern Africa.

Welcome to Pringle Bay.
Welcome to Pringle Bay.

A copy of an airial photograph of Pringle Bay.

A copy of an aerial photograph of Pringle Bay. Not sure how long ago it was taken.

You ether build as close to the sea as you can or up the side of the mountain to experiance views like this one.
You ether build as close to the sea as you can or up the side of the mountain to experience views like this.
House with a view.
House with a view. It almost looks suspended from this angle.

If you drive through Pringle Bay and take the dirt road that used to go directly to Betty’s Bay you come to a T junction where the road has now been blocked off. There is a short but bad road that leads down to a spectacular beach. ( I am not kidding about the road as I saw 2 cars get stuck and have to be towed out.)

End of the road - turn right to the beach.
End of the road – turn right to the beach.
Stunning beach.
Stunning beach. There had been massive seas so there was a lot of kelp on all the beaches.

A short distance away, as one drives back to Pringle Bay, is the Hangklip Lighthouse which is about a 15 minute walk,  and the small harbour /  launching area for all the various types of recreational boats. The fishing, crayfishing, snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming at Pringle Bay is excellent and I saw many fish and crayfish being brought in on the boats.

Hangklip Lighthouse which is now 50 years old.
Hangklip Lighthouse which is now 50 years old.

An old reminder, near the harbour, to always respect the sea.
An old reminder, near the harbour, to always respect the sea.

Somebody was going to be dining well.
Somebody was going to be dining well.

After a hard days fishing always good to stop in for a cold one at the famous / infamous Hangklip Hotel.
After a hard days fishing always good to stop in for a cold one at the famous / infamous Hangklip Hotel.

The beautiful main beach at Pringle Bay. Unfortunately as stated previously there had been massive seas that week and the beach was covered with kelp.
The beautiful main beach at Pringle Bay. Unfortunately as stated previously there had been massive seas that week and the beach was covered with kelp.
As you can see there are plenty of shops and restaurants to explore as well.
As you can see there are plenty of shops and restaurants to explore.

When I did a post for McDougals Bay last year I took a photo of quite a strange looking house and mentioned I had seen something similar in Pringle Bay. Well here it is!
When I did a post for McDougals Bay last year I took a photo of quite a strange looking house and mentioned I had seen something similar in Pringle Bay. Well here it is!

I think Pringle Bay is a great place and would love to have spent more time there and at Betty’s Bay exploring. Unfortunately they, together with Kleinmond, fall under the Overstrand Municipality who have increased prices at the 2 local caravan parks to such an extent that I could not afford to stop over for even one night. At Palmiet Rivier Park and Kleinmond the price of a stand last year was R75 and now this year they have pushed it up to R240 plus you pay an extra R30 for electricity. (R900 pm for a 10 amp plug.)  Not only that but they have extended their High Season to now be 1st November to end of April.  Most places have December, January and Easter weekend as High Season. Maybe they don’t want campers and caravaners at their parks. Sure looked like it when I went to have a look – a combined total of about 400 sites and 5 people staying there.

Gordons Bay to Rooi Els

I can remember, years ago, when friends and I would take a Sunday drive out to Gordon’s Bay and drive the 20km stretch of road to Rooi Els and then along past Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay and have a braai (BBQ) along the way. It was beautiful then and remains beautiful today.

The first place to go to, as you leave Gordon’s Bay, is up the road to the Steenbras Dam Water Treatment Plant just for the incredible view one gets of False Bay. In the old days one could also drive to the dam itself but that is no longer permitted.

View of Gordon's Bay and surrounds from the Steenbras road.
View of Gordon’s Bay and surrounds from the Steenbras road.
Clarence Drive.
Clarence Drive.

I have travelled this road (R44) to Rooi Els many times but never new it was officially called Clarence Drive. I must  say that along with Chapmans Peak drive in Cape Town I rate this as one of the most beautiful drives I have been on in the Cape Province.

Stunning views.
Stunning views.

This coastline is very popular with rock anglers but is notorious  for the number of fishermen that have been washed off the rocks and drowned over the years.

One of the markers from 1901.
One of the markers from 1901.

“Die see het hom geneem”  (The sea took him)

One of the first places you come to on the drive is The Sundird Restaurant at the mouth of the Steendras River.
The Sunbird

One of the first places you come to on the drive is The Sunbird Restaurant and Pub at the mouth of the Steenbras River. There is also a guest lodge and self catering B&B.

Mouth of the Steenbras River.
Mouth of the Steenbras River.

I remember my folks telling me stories about  camping here when they were both students. There are also  challenging hiking trails in the area.

A view of Kogel Bay where there is a caravan park.
A view of Kogel Bay where there is a caravan park.

Kogel Bay Resort.

Kogel Bay Resort.

Is that not amazing?
Is that not amazing?

Just be aware that the Kogel Bay Park is pretty rough and ready. There is no electricity and the ablution blocks are not great. Also you can not just arrive on a Friday and book in. That all, including payment, has to be done in advance via fax or at the Strand Municipality. I am beginning to wonder if the Overberg and Overstrand Municipalities are trying to make it as difficult and as expensive as possible  to try and stop people camping? Very strange!

On of the ablution blocks.
One of the ablution blocks.

The hot water is heated by gas and as you can see there is a solar panel for some lighting.  I was told that unfortunately the light was not working.

Just a bit futher down the road is the Kogel Bay Day camp which has a great tidal pool.

Just a bit futher down the road is the Kogel Bay Day camp which has a great tidal pool.

There are 2 other day camps such as the one above, Sharks Bay and Klippis Baai, which are very popular for Sunday picnics and braai’s for the family.

The view from the R44 across the beach to Rooi Els.

The view from the R44 across the beach to Rooi Els.

Rooi Els.

Rooi Els.

I have friends who have a holiday house at Rooi Els where I stayed on a few occasions and it became one of my favourite places to go to for a break. It has not changed that much over the years – a few new shops – and there are only a certain number of houses that can be built there. If I remember correctly there are about 180 houses and only about 60 more that can be built there.

View of Rooi Els from the mountain side where some house have been built.

View of Rooi Els from the mountain side where some house have been built.

Clarence Drive (R44) is only about 20km’s long but it has some of the most beautiful views and scenery in the Cape Province and it is truly worth taking some time out and exploring all the stops along the way.

Strand & Gordon’s Bay Caravan Parks.

There are 3 caravan parks in the area – Voortrekker Park in the Strand (the one I stayed at) Kay’s Caravan Park which is also in the Strand and Hendon Park Holiday Resort which is in Gordon’s Bay.

Please be aware that what I express here are merely my own opinions and others may disagree with what I write and show.To be honest none of the 3 are great but I am glad I chose Voortrekker to spend a few days at while I explored the surrounding area.

Security entrance to Voortekker Park.
Security entrance to Voortrekker Park.

While there was a security guard on duty there still appeared to be a lot of cars that just came into the park, had a drive through and then left. There were also break-ins of some caravans, that looked as though they were being stored there, over the weekend.

The office.
The office.

Just a warning if you are planning to stay at this park.  From 4pm on Friday afternoon to Monday morning the office is closed and if you have not booked and pre-payed  security will not let you in. Also you cannot pay directly at the park but must wait for documents which you then take to the Municipality or Pick n’ Pay to pay and take the receipt back to the office. Very strange!

Holiday
Private Holiday Units.

Just to the left as you go in is another gated area which has pretty good looking holiday units. I am not sure if anyone is allowed to live there permanently but it did appear that some were.

Some of the rather tatty looking chalets that are available.
Some of the rather tatty looking chalets that are available.

Chalets are available from R600 in high season to R500 out of season for a luxury 6 berth chalet.

One of the better grassed sites.
One of the better grassed sites.
My set-up at Voortrekker Park.
My set-up at Voortrekker Park.
The ablution block.
The ablution block.
Inside was kept clean and tidy and there was plenty hot water.
Inside was kept clean and tidy and there was plenty of hot water.

All in all I enjoyed my stay at Voortrekker Park and of the 3 parks I looked at would definitely vote it as my no. 1 of the area.  Contact No is +27218504169.

The next park that I went and had a look at was Kay’s Caravan Park (+27218531129) which is also in the the Strand. To be honest this is more like a park with mostly permanent residents and only has about 18 stands for casual campers.

Entrance to Kay's Caravan Park.
Entrance to Kay’s Caravan Park.

One of the permenant wooden structures in the camp. These buildings are realy close together and I would hate to see what would happen in the event of a fire.

One of the permanent wooden structures in the camp. These buildings are really close together and I would hate to see what would happen in the event of a fire.

Some of the 18 sites that are avaiable for casual camping.

Some of the 18 sites that are available for casual camping. I have seen worse.

The ablution block which looks worse than it actually is.

The ablution block.

The last park I went to have a look at was Hendon Park in Gordon’s Bay and potentially it should be the best of the three. I found it really strange that while both parks fall under the same municipality they seem to operate on different  dates as to when high season starts and finishes. Most places don’t offer discounts to over 60’s during high season so although the basic prices for Voortrekker and Hendon are the same I got a cheaper rate at Voortrekker because they were not charging high season rates.

Security entrance to Hendon Park.

Security entrance to Hendon Park Resort.

Camp sites which are right next to the beach.

Camp sites which are right next to the beach.

Ablution Block whic was locked and barbed wire fenced so I could not have a look.

Ablution Block which was locked and barbed-wired so I could not have a look.

Brocken fence next to river and open to the beach so not too sure about  the safety aspect.

Broken fence next to river and open to the beach so not too sure about the safety aspect as people can just walk in off the beach. I would also worry if I had children with me.

There are some nice looking chalets which range from R850 in peak season to R560 out of season.

There are some nice looking chalets which range from R850 in peak season to R560 out of season.

Something is not quite right here  At Voortrekker there were at least 6 or 7 sites being used the whole time I was there but at Hendon Park there was nobody there on the day of my visit and when I drove passed over the weekend there was just 1 lonely looking caravan parked in a lot of empty space.

As you will see I have given  contact numbers for the parks as I have been getting a lot of e-mails asking me about bookings and prices. Please contact them directly for information.

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.

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