Posts Tagged ‘unusual architecture’

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.

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.

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.

Papendorp plus.

I left Strandfontein on Friday morning as I had decided that R125.00 per night over weekends was a bit steep for me and to rather head for Lamberts Bay further south along the west coast. I had heard from numerous other campers that Lamberts Bay and Elands Bay caravan parks were not too great and quite expensive but thought there must be some interesting photographs to be had in the area so would take the chance.

About 7 km’s from Strandfontein I came across the  small settlement of Papendorp situated overlooking the Olifants River Estuary. With future recognition as a RAMSAR site the wetlands of the estuary are an important habitat for migratory birds.

Entrance to Papendorp.

Entrance to Papendorp.

The Olifants River Estuary earmaked to become a RAMSAR site.

The Olifants River Estuary earmarked to become a RAMSAR site.

This old building used to serve as church, school and community hall.

This old building used to serve as church, school and community hall.

Grave yard overlooking the estuary.

Graveyard overlooking the estuary.

Fishing boat.

Fishing boat.

Residents of Papendorp derive their livelihood from fishing.

With its own unique character Papendorp makes you wonder if time has stood still since the first people who came to live here. Fishing nets are still made by hand and visitors can experience the salty taste of home made “bokkoms” – salted and dried by the locals. Things might change quite a lot in the future when Papendorp officially is declared a RAMSAR site and already a guest house has been built and they are now busy building 6 or 7 chalets.

More vineyards. Vineyards.
Wine Route.

Wine Route.

I was amazed as I drove towards Lutzville  and Vredendal to see  mile after mile of vineyards. I had had no idea that quality wine was produced in such vast quantities in the area. In fact Vredendal is home to the largest wine cellar in South Africa and has a number of boutique wineries and a dried fruit depot.

Sishen Saldanha railway bridge between Lutzville and Vredendal

Sishen Saldanha railway bridge between Lutzville and Vredendal

sss

Giekwa Ratelgat Conference Centre.

This shot is a bit of a sneaky one as I took it on my way down from Kamieskroon to Strandfontein and just love the shape of the building. It is situated a couple of km’s north of Vanrhyansdorp.

Developement just north of Clanwilliam.

Development just north of Clanwilliam.

My turn off to get to Lamberts Bay was at Clanwilliam so I thought to have a quick look round and that was a huge mistake. The town was  busy and I have never seen a worse main road in  my life. It was incredibly narrow and had a really bad surface with many, many potholes. It was a nightmare!!. I also took a wrong turn trying to get to one of the caravan parks and had to try and execute a 3 point type turn with the caravan behind me. I am not the most expert at reversing and turning so it took me a while to extricate myself from that mess. When I did find the park I was given a price of R150.00 with no concessions.

The drive from Clanwilliam down to Lamberts Bay via Graafwater went off with out any problems and I arrived at Lamberts Bay just before lunch.

Lamberts Bay Harbour.

Lamberts Bay Harbour.

Lamberts Bay looks really interesting and I want to write a few posts in the next couple of days and also show you around the caravan park. The stories I had heard about it were spot on.

A look arournd McDougalls Bay.

I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning walking round and talking to some folk in McDougalls Bay. Again everyone was friendly and prepared to go out of their way to help me. One guy even offered to give me some 4×4 driving lessons when I told him there are certain places I don’t take the Pajero as I don’t know much about 4×4. Think I might just take him up on that!!

Plots in McDougalls Bay, belonging to mine managers in the area, date back to 1855 and it is believed to have been the holiday resort of the rich. In 1960 there was renewed interest in the bay and plots could be hired from the municipality but only removable structures could be erected. This changed in 1986 when the bay was resurveyed and tenants could get ownership of their plots.

A guy called Jack Carstens found the first local diamond at a place called Oubeep just south of McDougalls Bay 0n 25 August 1925 but it was only in the 1970’s that the mining of diamonds from the sea started.

McDougall Bay taken from the North side.
McDougall Bay taken from the North side.

img_0596

Apart from the rough beauty of the place 2 things really struck me – one was the number of houses and plots  on the market and two some of the unusual architecture. It seemed as if every third or fourth  house is on the market and when I popped in at the local Seeff Office and spoke to Beverly Jackson I was given a list of all the properties and sites that are for sale.  I count 44 plots and about 27 houses listed by Seeff alone. There are also quite lot of B&B’s and Guest Houses in the area.

The price of houses range from about R450,000 to just over R2,500,000. One that caught my eye was this one below.

House for sale.
House for sale.

It is listed as being newly built but here is also a sign above the front door that reads 1894.

The Koi pool area.

The Koi pool area.

This house is on the market for R1,800,000 and consists of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 garages, a Koi pool, is also fully furnished  and  has a bachelor flat attached. Wonder what that would go for in say Yzerfontein?

Yesterday evening on my walk I met one of the real local characters, George who is/was a diamond diver, and I want to do a full post on him. Even his house is fascinating so thought I would start here with some of the unusual architectural  aspects of McDougall Bay.

img_0580
The house that George built.
img_0590
Ben’s Den

I have seen something similar near Hangklip.

Bigger is better?
Bigger is better?

This one is on the market for R1,530,000 and has 4 bedrooms and 31/2 bathrooms.

Colourful hey?
Colourful hey?

No ja well fine!
No ja well fine!

img_0586
On the market for R1,200,000

Netting harders.
Netting harders.

Spotted these 2 bobbing around in the bay netting harders. They were out the whole morning and I saw them pull in quite a few. I have been told that the fishing in the bay is very poor but I aim to try and disprove that in the near future. If there are harders around there must be other fish in the water.