Posts Tagged ‘whales’

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.

Doringbaai

8km’s south of where I am staying at the moment, Strandfontein, lies the little fishing village of Doringbaai or as it was originally know Thornbay. Dooringbaai is well know as an area for whale watching. Southern Right whales enter the bay to calve from May to November and can be seen breaching and swimming  with their calves in the protected waters. There are also wonderful hiking trails on both sides of the village offering excellent whale viewing opportunities. Unfortunately for the 2 days I was in Dooringbaai there was a massive sea running and no chance of any whale spotting.

There is not really a whole lot to write about Doringbaai so hopefully the photographs and captions will give you an idea of the village.

Central to Dooringbaai is the Light House and Harbour area so I spent quite a lot of time there having fun looking for different things to photograph.

The harbour and lighthouse.
The harbour and lighthouse.
The lighthouse was commisioned in 1965.
The lighthouse was established  in 1963.

As mentioned there was a massive sea running while I was there so took these to try and illustrate.

The noise when the waves smashed into the rocks was like thunder.
The noise when the waves smashed into the rocks was like thunder.
I would hate to have been hit by one of the waves.
I would hate to have been hit by one of the waves.
As the wave dissapated it left this fine mist.
As the wave dissipated it left this fine mist.
Would not have liked to be on the old jetty.
Would not have liked to be on the old jetty.
How that building was still standing I have no idea.
How that building was still standing I have no idea.

In amongst all the mayhem of crashing waves I found this succulent near the lighthouse.
In amongst all the mayhem of crashing waves I found this near the lighthouse.
Staying with the nauticle theme is the local restaurant and pub.
Staying with the nautical theme is the local sea food restaurant and pub.

As I was wandering around I met up with Peter and Michelle who run the very interesting looking self catering establishment called Thornbay Accommodation. Peter is an ex diamond diver who also ran and managed the local concessions. He and Shirley arrived in the area from Durban about 30 years ago and were first based in a caravan at a place called Die Punt just on the north side of he Olifants River. He knows my friend George from McDougalls Bay and in fact it was in Dooringbaai that George  started as a diamond diver. What a small world.

Thornbay Accomodation.

Thornbay Accomodation.

Welcome to Thornbay!!The octopus was created by Lachlan, also an ex diamond diver, from Lamberts Bay.

Welcome to Thornbay!!The octopus was created by Lachlan, also an ex diamond diver, from Lamberts Bay.

I had a look round inside and was very impressed with all that was offered to make one’s stay  comfortable and  enjoyable . Just loved some of the pieces hanging on the wall.

Anyone for crayfish?
Anyone for crayfish?
Fish?
Fish?

Sail away!

Sail away!

All in all I really enjoyed Dooringbaai even though the weather was not great. As it is only about 350 km’s from Cape Town it would be a great spot to just get away from all the hustle and bustle of  of city life and just relax. The area boasts many activities such as swimming, fishing, quad bike and 4×4 trails, wineries and restaurants.

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