Easter Weekend 2022
When a long weekend is approaching, it’s a definite sign for us to pack our camping gear and head off to the West Coast for some wild camping!
Some of our regular readers will remember that we went on a wild camping trip in December 2020 at Groenrivier on the West Coast (you can read about it here), and we could think of no better place than to go there again.
Groenrivier is more or less 490km (304 miles) from Cape Town and on the West Coast of South Africa. There are two routes to travel to Groenrivier:
- You can either travel on the comfortable N7 highway (tarred road up to Garies, the closest town to Groenrivier). From here, just follow the gravel road of 70km (43 miles) to reach Groenrivier.
- Or you can travel along the coast (like we did). Some roads are tarred and others dirt … and in my opinion, the scenery is much better than those on the highway.
Some camp sites at Groenrivier are free, while there are others where you will have to pay a small fee. The paying sites belong either to the Namaqua National Park or a private farm. Some may have ablution facilities, but that’s basically it.
While on the free sites, there is nothing – you will have to bring along everything you might need … tent, water, wood (for a fire), gas, toilet, shower facilities and of course food and drinks. And that was our preferred way of camping this Easter weekend.
We were 17 friends camping together … well, one of them being a baby of only 4 months! I think it takes a brave mom and dad to wild camp with their first baby!
The crayfish catching season also came to an end during Easter Weekend. Every morning, the men (and one very brave girl) have put on their wetsuits to dive into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean to catch crayfish – which were then enjoyed right there on the beach. This must be the best way of eating crayfish!
Each permit (per person) only allows for 4 crayfish to be catch, but fortunately we were a big group and everyone could enjoy at least one or two crayfish. We used the left-over crayfish for salads and a seafood paella … nothing will go to waste during a crayfish weekend!
On the free camping sites, pets are welcome to enjoy a camping weekend with their owners. There were four dogs on our camp site and they had a royal time of exploring and running on the beach.
While enjoying a walk with the dogs on the beach, I had the opportunity of taking some photo’s of this pristine coast … nothing much has changed here over the last couple of hundred years.
As always, the sunsets on the West Coast are just so beautiful to watch! And we were fortunate to enjoy our camping weekend during full moon … what more can you ask from nature!
On the Saturday of our long weekend, Berto and I volunteered to drive to the nearest town, Garies. As mentioned in the beginning of this post, that involved a drive of 70km (140km there and back) … on a gravel road. We took some of the garbage bags with us to throw away in town (what you bring in, you must take out) and also bought more wood, fresh water, ice and (of course) cold beers.
On the road, we drove past the Groenriviermond Lighthouse – it dates back to the 1980’s and is a rather deserted 17.2m concrete structure that is used as a navigational aid along the West Coast.
By now, you must be aware that no camping post of ours will be complete without showing a few food pictures … one must eat, you know! There were a few chefs around and almost everyone got an opportunity to prepare something during the weekend.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, we enjoyed a full moon long weekend. It was fascinating to see the moon coming up over the hills … and the younger ones insisted on “catching the moon” photo’s!
On the morning we all had to leave, we woke up early. While enjoying a last cup of coffee next to the fire, we watched the world waking up. Beautiful cloud formations decorated the sky, while the moon was now hanging over the ocean, greeting us until a next time.
We enjoyed a wonderful long weekend with friends while camping wild … nature filled us with new energy. As for our little fellow camper of 4 months … he was the sweetest baby – definitely a wild camper in the making!