DECEMBER HOLIDAY (4): Strandfontein & Doringbaai

Our December holiday is long forgotten – so much has happened in the meantime – but it’s always nice to look back and remember the wonderful time we had on the West Coast of South Africa.

After celebrating Christmas at home in Langebaan with my mom, we packed our camping gear again to go camping in Lamberts Bay for a few days. This time we joined Berto’s uncle, aunt, as well as their son and his family (Berto’s cousin). We hadn’t seen them in many years and it was such a great time to just catch up with each other.

We sat and talked by the campfire until late at night – a wonderful time with family. On one of the days we decided to drive to Strandfontein and Doringbaai for some sightseeing.

Strandfontein:

Strandfontein, 300km (186 miles) from Cape Town, is a pretty little coastal village, situated on the West Coast of South Africa at the mouth of the Olifants River.

Safe tidal pool at the beach in Strandfontein

As it was close to lunch, we stopped at the beach and walked to Kommetjie Restaurant. This restaurant sits on the edge of the sea with amazing views.

It was a hot day and I couldn’t resist my favourite childhood drink, strawberry milkshake. After that I moved on to a more ‘adult’ drink, a very refreshing gin and tonic.

Two very different drinks

We each had a different meal, all of which were delicious. I ordered a grilled panini filled with cheese, pesto and bacon. It was served with chips and coleslaw on the side.

Lunch time at Kommetjie Restaurant

After Berto’s cousin’s little one played in the shallow water of the tidal pool and spent her last energy on the swings on the beach, we headed to the next little village.

Doringbaai:

The distance between Strandfontein and Doringbaai is only 8.5 km (5.2 miles). There is a lovely tarred road between the two villages, but we decided to drive a more scenic road along the sea.

The more adventurous road to Doringbaai

The high cliffs offer excellent views of the sea and are ideal for whale watching in season (late winter to early spring).

Sea views between Strandfontein and Doringbaai

Rugged coastline

Doringbaai (it translates to ‘Thorn Bay’) is a small fishing village. The lighthouse, one of the local landmarks, was built in 1963.

Lighthouse of Doringbaai

At the entrance to the village is a restaurant called The Cabin. It was the first restaurant to open its doors in Doringbaai 34 years ago and it is still going strong. That says a lot for a restaurant in such a small place! We just had to stop here to take a picture of the boat on their front porch.

The Cabin’s boat (and free coffee for the driver)

We decided to drive to the lighthouse for a closer look. Unfortunately, it was closed and we could not enter. There is another restaurant at the pier and you can also taste wine here.

Doringbaai Lighthouse

I had to laugh at the information board on the pier … it indicated London (UK) as 9,432 km from here. But if you want to visit the tasting room or restaurant, it’s just around the corner!

London or the tasting room?

From here we drove back to our campsite in Lamberts Bay. It’s always fun to visit the small coastal towns – we’re always surprised with what these places have to offer!

We love the sea:

On a side note, just the other day I had a flashback from my phone about our coastal views. Looking at the pictures, it’s no secret that we love the sea!

Sea views on our travels

In our next post, we’ll take you to a very unique open-air restaurant – don’t miss it!

Advertisement

61 thoughts on “DECEMBER HOLIDAY (4): Strandfontein & Doringbaai

    1. Oh, we love these two villages Mel. When Berto and I was in our early 20’s we camped at Strandfontein a few times and loved it. My mom also worked in the hotel in the 1960s’ (in her 20’s) … so, our family have a long history with this part of the world!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lamberts Bay should actually be at the top of your list when you ever visit SA 😉. The town is named after Admiral Sir Robert Lambert of the British Navy and the Sir Lambert vineyards are just 4km from the sea and produce excellent wines, such as the Sir Lambert Sauvignon Blanc … so you see, Lamberts Bay awaits your arrival Jacqueline 😁. Oh, and I love that you got married at a lighthouse!

      Like

    1. Oh yes, when the sun shines here (probably 300 days of the year), the Atlantic Ocean is always the most beautiful blue colour! I don’t think much has changed here in the last 50 years … and that’s a positive for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I too love exploring small coastal villages and fishing communities. No matter where they are, the charm and magic that these places exude are undeniable, as your post demonstrates. Sounds like you guys had a very chilled day by the sea, with lots of nice food and quality time together. The coastline, so rugged and wild, is lovely. I would’ve chosen the scenic drive between the two villages as well. Your post fortifies once again my resolve to visit South Africa one day, with Lambert’s Bay perhaps topping my list now. I only wish one of us were a driver. Beautiful post, Corna, Hope your week is off to a good start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The West Coast should definitely be at the top of your list if you ever visit South Africa … and I know you’ll enjoy it, especially since you enjoy small towns so much. Just wait until you see the next post where we visited the open air restaurant – you will love it. However, I’m afraid you’ll see a lot more if you can drive to these places yourself (unfortunately, our public transport system is not a priority with our government and you won’t get far with that 🙁). But if you ever come here, maybe we can make a plan to show you that part of the world ourselves! More (and more) sunny weather is forecast for this week, which means I’m all set for the week ahead, thanks! Hope you guys are doing good too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is incredibly kind and generous of you Corna, and a tough invitation to turn down! I fear that the next year or two is going to be swallowed up with our plans to apply for residency (in a certain country 😉 ) and stabilise for a while. If that all goes to plan and we come through the other side, we’ll definitely be ready to approach some ambitious travel projects. SA will surely be on what is a very long list. How to prioritise!?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds very exciting … I look forward to hearing more about “that certain country” at some point 😉. I know, there are so many places we still want to visit, but at the moment it’s just a dream while Berto has to finish his contract (but hopefully we can find some time in between and visit abroad again soon).

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The entire coastline on the West Coast is incredibly beautiful – I just never get tired of it! I think as you get older you appreciate your family more (we do) and it was lovely to spend quality time with them. Do you still enjoy time abroad? Hope you are doing well 🌸.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We got back from California yesterday evening. Our last few days were quite rainy but we plodded on and made the best of it. Sunny but much colder back here in northern England. Hung washing outdoors for the first time this year so spring must be here! Have a good week. M x

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The coastal views on the West Coast are just really spectacular (I know … I say it every time 😉, but it’s true)! Ha, yes the 2 drinks are quite a strange sight, right? But both were nice – one to quench the thirst and the other to enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s just something soothing and peaceful about being close to the ocean, don’t you agree? Watching the rise and fall of the waves and hearing the water crashing against the shore, makes us all dream of pursuing a life by the sea.

    In north Devon, you can find a “surfing for mental health” group which is a great example of how “nature-based interventions” can work. As a family of avid wild swimmers and surfers, I can safely say that time spent near water is the secret of happiness.

    What I love most about the sea is that you can immerse yourself in it, which you can’t really do with green space. You’re present at that moment, you’re looking at something with intention, and whether that’s for two minutes or half an hour, it gives you the benefits at that moment.

    Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely right with your thoughts Aiva! Usually, when we camp by the sea and the only thing we hear during the night is the waves breaking against the rocks … that’s the most beautiful sound to me! That’s probably also the reason why we bought ourselves a house by the sea – to experience the tranquility that only the sea can give you, every day! May you have a blessed week 🌊.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha, yes, you should have fins instead of feet, though I think that wouldn’t work well with all the walking you do. Perhaps detachable fins. I love the sea too but prefer to be on it rather than in it. Salt water cured all my insect bites when I was a kid but I hate the taste of it and it always seems to get in my eyes and up my nose. Milkshake reminded me of shopping trips I used to do with my mum. We would stop in a coffee shop or milk bar for refreshment. My favourite was one called Broadway where they had the best milkshakes. I think even then I preferred vanilla though strawberry was good too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There you go … detachable fins are the way to go! Oh yes, I’m allergic to mosquito bites and my mom used to take me to the beach to get me in the sea water to stop the itching (I forgot about that until you mentioned it now). When I drink a milkshake, it’s always strawberry flavoured. At every opportunity, my brother tried different flavours (and challenged me to do the same), but I always stuck to strawberry 🍓.

      Like

  4. It looks lovely up there. South Africa has such amazing scenery, it’s just a shame that the political situation is so bad, but then you could say the same for many countries, including mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Berto and I both grew up on the West Coast – it has a special place in our hearts. Yes, the political circumstances don’t always make it easy, right? But we are trying to work out a way to enjoy life … you have to!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t mind London … but it’s a bit far 😉. Yes, the rugged coastline is typically West Coast, although there are also long white beaches. It’s such a lovely pristine coast. Thanks Tricia, have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ja, ek dink ook altyd daaraan dat ‘n mens so graag die ongerepte gedeeltes van ons land so maklik in sosiale media deel … en as jy weer daar kom, dan is dit ‘n gewoel en ge-werskaf! Maar gelukkig is die Weskus ‘n lang kusstreek, so ek glo darem nie dit sal (gou) verander nie.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s