Dwarskersbos Holiday Resort.

I wanted to call this post Dwarskersbos Caravan Park but to be honest there is not one sign anywhere that says caravan park, in fact I drove past the entrance 4 times before I found out that this was the caravan park.

The entrance to the resort. There is not 1 sign that informs you as to what is behind those gates.

The entrance to the resort. There is no sign that informs you as to what is behind those gates.

Information board next to th office.

Information board next to the office.

What I don’t understand is that it says no pets and yet there were 2 dogs allowed, one being the yapping little pooch next to me. Actually I think the owners made more noise than the dog by shouting and screaming at the poor thing continuously.

Lay out of the resort.
Lay out of the resort.

There are 121 camping sites, 5 rondawels, 12 chalets and also 23 holiday type houses on 99 year lease hold. Sites 1 to 10 are closest to the sea in fact the gap between sites 2 & 3 is a gated entrance which is keep locked at night.

The security gate leading to the beach.
The security gate leading to the beach.

Security is pretty good but I think they need to sort out some method of keeping the gate locked during the day – maybe keys for people staying there –  to stop anyone from walking in from the beach.

My set-up from Monday to Thursday.
My set-up from Monday to Thursday.
My set-up from Friday to Sunday.
My set-up from Friday to Sunday.

I could not believe it when I got back to camp on Friday afternoon to find 2 tents, 4 adults, 2 young children and a very yappy little dog on site 3 right on top of me, bearing in mind there were about 90 other sites they could have chosen. It has been painful to say the least. The shouting and screaming at the poor dog, the smoke from the fire blowing into my caravan and one guy snoring  so loudly it sounded as though he was in my caravan.

One of the 99 year lease hold homes. They can only stay in them for 10 months of the year.
One of the 99 year lease hold homes. They can only stay in them for 10 months of the year.
Some of the chalets.
Some of the chalets.

The chalets don’t look to bad and range in price from R261.00 out of season week days to R450.00 in season over weekends. There are also luxury chalets which are about 50%  more expensive.

None of the sites are grassed but do have trees for shade.
None of the sites are grassed, just hard sea sand, but do have trees for shade.
One of three smallish ablution blocks.
One of three smallish ablution blocks. 2 toilets and 3 showers.
One of the showers. No lock and nails for clothe hooks but pretty clean.
One of the showers. No lock and nails for clothes hooks but pretty clean.

I was surprised to see quite a few of the people staying in the chalets, which have their own toilets and baths, making use of the campers ablution blocks and making quite a mess.

Overall I would give the caravan park a rating of 3 out of 5 but at R107.00 per site per night it is not that cheap. There is a new manager,Fritz, who has only been there 4 months and from what he has said to me I think there will be  improvements in the future.

Dwarskersbos.

After a 5 week break I am now back on the road to continue my voyage of discovery round the coast of South Africa. I ended off at Vensterklip, just outside of Elands Bay , and am now at Dwarskersbos which is the next coastal town on the road south and  about 160 km’s from  Cape Town.

Dwarskersbos – a kersbos is a candle bush and dwars means across (pushed over by the wind) – is situated in the centre of the  St Helena Basin and  about 12 km’s north of Laaiplek on the R27.

This is a Kersbos consisting of 3 or 4 bushes clumped together.
This is  Kersbos consisting of 3 or 4 bushes clumped together.

The town was founded in 1920 on a Sandveld farm  called Dwarskersbos owned by the Smit family and even today most of the original farm is still owned by them. On the 23rd August a huge tidal wave, thought to be caused by the Tulbach earthquakes,  submerged most of the town. In 1974 Dwarkersbos got electrical power and in 1983 a new development was started next to the caravan park on the northern side of the town.

Lay out of the older part of the town.
Lay out of the older part of the town.

As you can see all of the houses are on the seaside of the R27 road and it was only recently that a housing development was built on the other side of the road.

There are some pretty big holiday houses.
There are some pretty big holiday houses.

I am guessing that there are about 300 houses of which at least 2/3rds are holiday homes.

IMG_1774
Original boundary poles to the south of the town.

The beaches go on for miles north and south of the town.
The beaches go on for miles north and south of the town.

Quite a house for a holiday home.
Quite a house for a holiday home.

Some unusual architcture. I waited to see if there might be a damsel with long hair at the top window.
Some unusual architecture. I waited to see if there might be a damsel with long hair at the top window.
This is the development on the other side of the road. All the rooves are covered with thatch.
This is the development on the other side of the road.
In the background is the only general dealer in the town
In the background is the only general dealer in the town
The only restaurant in town which is up for sale at R2.5 million.
The only restaurant in town which is up for sale at R2.5 million.
Another pretty large home.
Another pretty large home.
Inventive people - is this the latest South African TV arial?
Inventive people – is this the latest South African TV areal?

There is massive development taking place on the north side of the town.

There is massive development taking place on the north side of the town.

I think one could negotiate pretty good deals right now.

I think one could negotiate pretty good deals right now.

vvv

Yes, No, Maybe?

For most of the year there are probably only 300 or 400 hundred residents in the town but I am told that come the holiday season the place is packed to the rafters. Whales can often be seen near the coast and attract many visitors and the town has become well known for its fishing and other water sports. There is also excellent bird watching at the famous Rocher Pan, with its over 150 bird species, which can be reached via a walking trail from Dwarskersbos.

Noordhoek Farm Village.

I have decided that while I am stuck in Cape Town, earning some money to finance my journey around the coast of South Africa, I will have a look at some of the interesting places that form part of the mother city.

I stay in a caravan based at Chapmans Peak Caravan Park which is on Noordhoek Road just below Chapmans Peak Drive and one of the places just across the road from me is the Noordhoek Farm Village.

Noordhoek Farm Village.
Noordhoek Farm Village.

The village is a must destination for all visitors to Cape Town and, when Chapmans Peak Drive is open, is en route to Cape Point and Simonstown. It is also well supported by the local community and people from in and around Cape Town especially over weekends as it is a wonderful place for the whole family to have a bite to eat and do some shopping  while the kids have a ball in the enclosed play area.

Scarecrows.
Scarecrows.

Its almost as if these three are inviting you in to have a look around.

The local information office.
The local information office.

There is plenty of parking and one of the first places to pop into is the information centre where you can get season tickets to all the nature parks and they have lots of interesting brochures and maps of the area.

There is a nursery right next to the parking area.
There is a nursery right next to the parking area and you can also have your car washed whilst you shop and eat.
Part of the shopping complex.
Part of the shopping complex.

You can have a look at some of the speciality shops for art, antiques, clothing, jewellery and African crafts. There is also a boutique wine shop and you can even pamper  yourself at the beauty salon.

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De Noordhoek Hotel.

If you really fall in love with the place you can stay over at the recently opened De Noordhoek Hotel.

Entrance to the Cellars area.
Entrance to the Cellars area.
The Food Barn bakery.
The Food Barn baker and deli.

The bakery and deli used to be part of the Food Barn restaurant but has now become a separate entity although still owned and managed by the The Food Barn.

One of the art galleries.
Noordhoek Art Gallery.

Clothing shops.
Clothing shops.
The village is renowned for the culinary skills in three of South Africas top 800 restaurants
Café Roux.

The Toad in the Village Restaurant.

The Toad in the Village Restaurant.

The village is renowned for the culinary skills in three of South Africa’s top 800 restaurants

Unfortunately the children’s play are was closed for renovations when I was there but there are lots of things to keep the kids safely occupied for a good few hours.

The best advice I can give is to make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to have a good look round and have a bite to eat at one of the fabulous restaurants. You wont be disappointed.

Yzerfontein 2

I spent about a week in Yzerfontein and stayed at the caravan park which is situated on the northern side of the village. This was one of the better sites I have stayed at and is also  next to the main beach.

My set-up and some of the local cats.
My set-up and some of the local cats.

Most days I walked across the beach, through the village, and down to the fishing harbour and spent time chatting to and taking photographs of the fishermen and their boats. They were all professional fishermen and from what I saw and heard they live pretty tough lives as there are many days they can not go out or times when the fish are just not biting.

A view across the bay to the harbour.
A view across the bay to the harbour.

The one crew I met up with were camping at the caravan park and  were all from Gaansbaai on the south east coast near Hermanus. They ranged in age from early 20’s to the skipper and owner of their boat, Rosalie, who was 63. They had come through to Yzerfontein as they had heard that the snoek were running big time and the fishing in Gansbaai was poor.

The crew of Rosalie with some of their catch.
The crew of Rosalie with some of their catch.

They went out at about 6 every morning and would would come back at about 2 in the afternoon.

Once back at the harbour it was hitch the boat abd then find a buyer for the catch.
Once back at the harbour it was hitch the boat and then off to find a buyer for the catch.
They were catching upwards of 200 snoek everyday and found a buyer who was also from Gansbaai.
They were catching upwards of 200 snoek everyday and found a buyer who was also from Gansbaai.
They were fortunate in that the buyer would take the full catch everyday.
They were fortunate in that the buyer would take the full catch everyday.
Even after the catch was off loaded they were not finished for the day as the boat had to be cleaned.
Even after the catch was off loaded they were not finished for the day as the boat had to be cleaned.

At the end of the day.

At the end of the day.

One thing I can tell you is that these guys known how to cook snoek on an open fire as they kindly gave me a piece to sample. It was delicious.

Have a close look at the person closest to the camera.

Have a close look at the person nearest to the camera.

Yep that is a woman and one of the very few that go out and catch snoek.

Yep that is a woman and one of very few that go out on the boats and catch snoek.

Nine months ago Alida had been working as a pharmacist in the Gauteng area but was now working full time as a professional fisherman and from what I was told  was darn good and held her own against any of the men on the boat which was named after the TV series.

One that didn't get away.

Alida with one that didn't get away.

As I said in my previous post Yzerfontein it is definitely one of my favourite spots and I am going to go back there to complete my journey down the west coast of South Africa and am hoping that I might be lucky and get some good photographs of whales to share with you.

Yzerfontein walk about

In June, after I had refurbished my little Sprite caravan and before setting off on the first part of my west coast journey, I spent a week at Yzerfontein to make sure that I could cope on my own and that I would enjoy doing it.

Yzerfontein is about 80 km’s from Cape Town and  over the years I had probably driven past at least 10 times and not turned off the high way to have a look round. I had been there once before with my parents as a child and did not remember it at all.

On a clear day you can see forever.
On a clear day you can see forever.

This is a shot of Cape Town’s Table Mountain taken from Yzerfontein.

This  seaside village is renowned for its unspoilt beaches, including the pristine 16-Mile Beach which stretches north to Postberg Nature reserve near Langebaan and  the main beach has been awarded  blue flag status.

Yzerfontein main beach.
Yzerfontein main beach.

Laid out and developed in 1936 by a gentleman by the name of Abraham Katz, Yzerfontein is a popular week-end and holiday resort and has quite a few retired folk living there permanently. There is plenty to do apart from the swimming, surfing, boating and just lazing in the sun.

Father and son enjoying some rock fishing.
Father and son enjoying some rock fishing.

Whales
Whales

In spring the bay is the  destination for not only dolphins but also Southern Right and Humpbacked whales as they arrive to calve and one can watch from various elevated vantage points when they come close inshore. There are some spectacular displays of wild flowers, bird watching, hiking and Yzerfontein is renowned for its sea food. Snoek, crayfish and perlemoen are available, in season, at some of the restaurants in the village.

Snoek fishermen hitching up in the harbour after a long day on the water.
Snoek fishermen hitching up in the harbour after a long day on the water.

What  struck me as I wondered round the village was the amount of really posh looking houses that have been built as holiday homes and some that, in spite of the economy, were still being built.

Some of the houses accross the bay in the older part of Yzerfontein.
Some of the houses across the bay in the older part of Yzerfontein.

If this is the holiday home I would love to see the residential home.

If this is the holiday home I would love to see the residential home.

A house in the newer section to the south up for sale for R5,000.000
A house in the newer section to the south up for sale at R5,000.000

Walking trail along the coast.
Walking trail along the coast.
You can run into some interesting animals as you walk. I am pretty sure that is a Dassie.
You can run into some interesting animals as you walk. I am pretty sure that is a Dassie.
The beach at the newer part of Yzerfontein.
The beach at the newer part of Yzerfontein.

Cute hey!

Cute hey!

All in all I loved Yzerfontein and if I was asked to pick a place where I would like to stay on the west coast this would be it. I loved Kleinzee and Hondeklipbaai but for me they are just too far from Cape Town whereas from here you can be in central Cape Town within an hour.

I am going to do another post about Yzerfontein as I met some  interesting people involved in the snoek fishing industry and got some really good  photos.