WILD CAMPING, Groenrivier (2)


Easter Weekend 2022

When a long weekend is approaching, it’s a definite sign for us to pack the 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 gravel … and in my opinion, the scenery is much better than those on the highway.
Our view from our camp site at Groenrivier

Paying sites:

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.

Free sites:

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.

Our tent and shower tent

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!

Our little camping village on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean
You know you’re wild camping when you need to cook water over the fire
But with gas, we could also prepare some of the meals during the weekend

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!

Berto with two of the crayfish he caught
We were fortunate that there were poles on our site (for unknown reasons) and that became the washing line for wetsuits

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.

A pretty star-like beach succulent

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!

A full moon hanging over our camp site

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 passed 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.

Brunch – a mixture o sausages, onions, tomatoes and left-over meat of the previous evening’s braai
The meat of the mussels, periwinkles and crayfish are ready to be added into the seafood paella
Bread rolls on the fire
A proper camping fire

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!

The full moon makes its majestic appearance
Full moon
Our camping fire burned till late in the night

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.

Silhouette of our tent and car in the early morning light
The full moon hanging over the Atlantic Ocean early in the morning

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!

Categories: South African Break Aways

49 comments

  1. Briljant. Wish I was there

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m not surprised you decided to go back there! The beach, fresh seafood, sunsets and full moons… it looks like paradise!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a fun weekend, away from the modern world and all its noise and drama. That baby is going to grow up to be a naturalist. So nice that the parents still feel able to carry on and include such a small infant. Good for them! I am interested if you have ever seen the so-called green flash when the sun sets in the ocean? I can’t say I ever did. There is something special about a night beside the ocean. I still remember the sound of waves on the beach where I was in boarding school in Cambodia. It is very soothing. And you had the full moon. Brilliant!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Like you said – away from the noise from the modern world … that’s my favourite type of break away! Oh yes, that little baby boy is going to be a nature lover – just like his mom and dad! No, we have never seen the “so-called green flash” – maybe not on this side of the world? But it sounds like something spectacular! Absolutely, I love listening to the waves breaking against the rocks – literally a few meters away from our tent. Thank you for your lovely comments Carolyn – while typing this post, I just felt like going back there now!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I just have to gate-crash on Corna’s blog to say, yes, I once saw the green flash – on the other side of South Africa, as my brother and I perched high on a huge rock in the Tsitsikamma Marine National Park watching the sun go down. Such a magical moment and really just a flash – over in less than a second and forever in my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s awesome Tannie Frannie! I didn’t know it existed here in our part of the world … maybe I should just spent more time looking at the sun setting, it truly sounds amazing! Thanks for letting us know 💌.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful and funny moonphoto!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a wonderful weekend get together with all your friends. I can’t believe how organised you all are and that you have got wild camping down to a fine art. As always the food looks superb and those crayfish and mussels for the seafood paella! What a clever idea to ‘catch’ the moon in photos too! Hope this weekend is good too, it’s forecast to be really nice here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Marion 🌸. I think, after a couple of wild camping experiences, we should have everything under control … and it helps when you know there are more friends that will probably have the stuff you forgot at home 😁. You know, I think seafood paella in a setting like this, is probably the best meal ever! We enjoyed the ‘catch the moon’ photo’s – it was really fun and the younger ones taught us a couple of things!
      I’m happy to hear the forecast for the weekend is good there by you … you deserve some good weather after a long winter!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fantastic location! I always enjoy your food photos; and what a great outdoor kitchen. 🙂 I can see why you’d want to return; time and time again. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Looks like fun! You are prepared, a shower at a wild camping site!

    Liked by 2 people

    • There is always that element of fun when wild camping … we’re almost becoming children again! Oh yes, one needs to shower and if you have the shower tent and warm water, why not? It is maybe a little bit more of an effort – but it’s always a fun experience!

      Like

  8. Fabulous location, as everyone has said…and lucky you all got on with that many people and no fallouts! You must all be very good friends. The full moon added to your great experience, no doubt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolutely – THE best location on the West Coast for wild camping! We know these friends for many years … some were little kids when we first met them and they are now young adults. So yes, we came a long way! We will have to try and remember when the next full moon is – it seems that’s a great time for camping!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lekker!! Bly ek weet nou ook van Groenrivier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, ek dink nie Groenrivier is meer ‘n “bes bewaarde geheim” hier aan die Weskus nie … ons is altyd verstom om heelwat GP nommerplaat motors hier te sien 😄. Dit is ‘n lieflike ongerepte plek – en ons deel dit graag met ander provinsies!

      Like

  10. What a fantastic location for wild camping! Nothing makes you feel like a proper, real-world, adventurer quite like wild camping – a night under the stars where the raw realism of it all makes it seem like you’re part of some secret club. I am glad to see you had a great time. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Julle het behoorlik laer getrek daar op die Namakwa Weskus! Lyk na n fees!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha 😄, “laer getrek” … nou klink ons soos die Voortrekkers van ouds! Ek hou daarvan – dalk is dit hoeka soos hulle dit gedoen het daardie jare!
      Jy’s reg Dries, dit was ‘n fees … ons gaan dit mis, maar hopenlik gaan ons ander lekker dinge binnekort kan geniet!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wonderlike foto’s – ek kan behoorlik die geure van julle buite-kombuis ruik!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a great way to spend a weekend! By the look of it you are super organised! The meals look delicious, and always taste so much better around a camp fire!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. What a beautiful place you chose for your weekend with friends. I can see what a great time you had, with good food, good company and that stunning coastline – plus dogs, sunsets, moonrises and more!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your lovely comments Sarah! Definitely one of our favourite places for wild camping … and yes, with good friends, it’s even better! The rugged coastline of the West Coast always provides stunning scenery and we would love going back there (again) ☺️.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Dis darem maar lekker om so in ‘n lekker groep vriend te gaan kamp, Corna! Dis so pragtig daar! Ek was nog nie in daardie omgewing nie. My man hou nie van kamp nie en sal dus seker nooit daar uitkom nie. Julle kos lyk heerlik (soos gewoonlik) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ja, soms is alleen kamp lekker – dan kan ons doen net wat ons wil … maar saam met ‘n groep vriende is daar altyd lekker pret (en ander hande wat ook graag kosmaak)! En jy weet mos, ons eet altyd lekker op so ‘n kamp naweek!
      Dis nogal ‘n rit om tot daar te kom – selfs al ry mens met die teerpad tot by Garies. Die grondpad is nie altyd in ‘n goeie toestand nie (seker weens al die kampeerders wat daar ry 😉), so dit kan nogal ‘n missie wees om tot daar te ry net om te sien hoe dit lyk!

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  16. This looks like a lovely spot to go camping with friends over a long weekend. I love your camping setup and the food looks delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s indeed perfect for wild camping Linda! And with friends, even better 😁. I always laugh when we set up camp … the first question is normally, where will we prepare the food (on the fire that is) … and once that is decided, the tents are set up around the “outdoor kitchen”! Wild camping is definitely one of our favourite things to do … but with winter coming, we might look at other accommodation for a weekend away!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lovely, lovely, lovely, Corna! And the best part about it is your saying it’s changed very little in the past 200 years! I once camped on the beach at the Lost Coast of California, but it was so windy that I didn’t even try setting up my tent & just slept in my car! Your experience looks like a whole lot more fun! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Lisa 🌸. Don’t you just love a place where little has changed over the years! We have camped a couple of times in strong winds next to the ocean … and then you need more hands than what is normally available to set up your tent (as well as a very strong tent)! I think, over the years, we learned how to enjoy camping … even when the weather is not playing along! Have a great Sunday, take care 💌.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Amazing – and look at Berto catching crayfish 🙂 The food looks so good and you really are converting me to the idea of wild camping!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha 😄 – Berto is diving crayfish since he was in high school … but even he admits the water is now getting too cold for an “old man”! Wild camping is really fun (if you’re prepared … and have a nice bed & mattress) – it’s great to just break away from all the luxuries … but maybe not for too long!

      Like

  19. Lovely, lovely trip Corna. Moon in the palm of your hand eh, what more could one ask for? Some wonderful detail shots throughout, particularly the succulent and the patterns of those early morning clouds. Periwinkle is a great word by the way, I hope I have an opportunity to use it in a blog one day ha ha. Crayfish on the beach sounds so damn idyllic. About as far away a scene as one could get from windy, rainy Edinburgh today. Not that we’re complaining, just two different worlds 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Leighton – wild camping is always an enjoyable trip! We had so much fun with those full moon pictures … we will have to remember to try that again 😉. Well, you will have to get to the seaside to use the word ‘periwinkle’ again – when I was younger, my dad used to caught crayfish and I always collected periwinkles on the rocks (and I’m still doing it now when Berto is catching crayfish) … wonderful childhood memories!
      Hope the rain and wind makes place for sunny weather in Edinburgh soon – is that even possible?

      Liked by 1 person

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