Last Sunday, Guillaume had some time off work for the first time in ages, so we decided to take a casual drive up the R27 and check out the flowers in the West Coast National Park.

Well, let me tell you, a Sunday in September on the West Coast is CHAOS. We arrived at the park’s gate somewhere around 10am, only to find at least 30 cars already queuing to get in (by the time we left a couple of hours later, a new line extended about 200m down the highway). Luckily the wait wasn’t too long, but naturally, we found ourselves constantly stuck in some sort of traffic.

Continue Reading "Why a Sunday in September is no time to visit the West Coast National Park"
addo, travel, eastern cape, addo elephant national park, wildlife, south africa

As I mentioned the other day, my mom and I recently spent a week in the Addo Elephant National Park, just to take a little break from our busy lives.

While we have this long-standing dream of doing the Camino de Santiago together (which I know we will eventually get round to), time and finances haven’t really allowed (just yet), but we both felt like taking a bit of much-needed time out, so decided to do a more manageable local trip instead.

Both avid bush-lovers, we knew we wanted to go somewhere a little wild, but also didn’t want to spend too very many hours on travel… which made Addo the obvious and perfect choice.

Continue Reading "My Addo top 5"
jeffreys bay, beach, supertubes, travel, south africa, shells

At the beginning of August, my mom and I took a little trip up the coast just to get away for a bit and spend some time together. She had recently wrapped up five intense years of political work as a ward councillor in the Overstrand municipality and I was on the brink of starting a brand new job after a few months of trying to make ends meet as a freelancer (more about all of this another time).

In short, we both needed a little breather before stepping into something new.

Continue Reading "Snaps: A morning in J-Bay"
Cederberg, Cederberg Wilderness Area, Algeria campsite, explore, adventure, West Coast, South Africa, travel, gypsified, road tripping, south african road trip, backroad adventures in south africa

The final leg of our West Coast trip was spent at CapeNature’s Algeria rest camp in the Cederberg Wilderness Area.

After stocking up on a few groceries, visiting Strassbergers leather shoe shop and popping in at the Rooibos Tea Factory in Clanwilliam, we headed on into the mountains.

Even though it was a couple of degrees colder here, the skies above were clear. So, we agreed to do the camping thing once again.

Continue Reading "Winter wandering along the West Coast: Cederberg Wilderness Area"
Lamberts Bay, sunset, yo yos, camping, explore, adventure, West Coast, South Africa, travel, gypsified, road tripping, south african road trip, backroad adventures in south africa

On the short (and possibly illegal) drive from Elands to Lamberts Bay, we encountered several cars heavy-laden with surfboards and saw a few stoked-looking bodyboarders changing into and out of wetsuits at Doringbaai.

This spelled only good things for Lamberts, which made Guillaume step a little more firmly on the accelerator.

True as bob, popular surf spot Yo Yos was pumping: 3 Р4ft lines marched into the bay, with a stiff, yet gentle offshore wind combing the perfect a-frame peaks. Surfers whooped as they carved up the playful walls, the sun slowly setting behind them, leaving streaks of incandescent pink, orange, purple and blue in its wake. (This beautiful description courtesy of Guillaume).

We witnessed all of this from the neighbouring municipal camspite, where we were pitching our tent for the next two or three (we hadn’t quite decided yet) nights. Guillaume had gallantly sacrificed his surf to help set up the camp in the last bit of light.

Continue Reading "Winter wandering along the West Coast: Lamberts Bay camping"
Elands Bay, Lamberts Bay, West Coast, South Africa, travel, gypsified, road tripping, south african road trip, road signs, backroad adventures in south africa

After a warm and cosy night at Die Opstal in Paternoster, we packed the bakkie once more and set off bright and early towards Lamberts Bay.

With only 150km to cover, we decided to take it super slow and stop ever so often along the way. Instead of tracing our way back along the R399 via Vredenburg, Guillaume took us on a scenic back road adventure through St. Helena Bay, where the prevalence of Lucky Star branding suggested that this must be the tuna and sardine canning capital of the West Coast.

The chilly morning skies were clear and blue, forming a striking contrast with the rolling green farmlands unfurling to the left and right.

Continue Reading "Winter wandering along the West Coast: Lunch in the Elands Bay cave"
Paternoster, West Coast, South Africa, travel, gypsified, road tripping, south african road trip, atlantic ocean view

At the beginning of June, Guillaume and I set out on a little road trip up the West Coast.

We’d been looking forward to it for a while, as it marked an important milestone for us: the end of our long distance relationship.

After living and working in Riversdale for almost two years, Guillaume was back in Cape Town for good and we wanted to celebrate with a bit of adventure.

Continue Reading "Winter wandering along the West Coast: Paternoster"
Rod's Trail, Betty's Bay, mountains, hiking, overberg, overberg hiking, adventure, travel, explore, fynbos, kogelberg

While the past week or so has been a rather stormy one down here in the Western Cape, I must say, we’ve really been blessed with some particularly pleasant winter weather.

And nowhere is a bright winter’s day more beautiful than in Betty’s Bay. Anyone familiar with that side of the world will know that for 80% of the year it’s a high energy zone – all gale force winds and stormy seas. But when it decides to take a breather and… just… rel…ax, it’s seriously the most exquisite place in the world.

Continue Reading "Snaps: Rod’s Trail, Betty’s Bay"
Cute white alpaca at the Alpaca Loom Coffee Shop & Weaving Studio

It was just before 8am on Heritage Day morning and Marli and I were rushing along Agter Paarl road in an effort to get her to a trail run – that would be starting in about t-10 minutes at Spice Route – on time.

I was still a little groggy and bleary-eyed and not yet able to fully appreciate the picturesque scenery unfolding (at top speed, I might add) around me: spring-green vineyards with hazy purple mountains towering above them, white ducks kicking up concentric waves in otherwise glassy dams, little houses sending tentative columns of smoke up into the blue – preempting the braai fires that would later be lit.

You know, the standard sort of winelands prettiness one can expect from this time of year.

And then I suddenly found myself doing a double take – as though my body responded to what I’d seen before my mind could quite register.

It was a simple black silhouette on a sign post – recognisable in its absolute ridiculousness, unmistakable in its unexpectedness:

“Alpacas!” Marli and I exclaimed in unison.

Continue Reading "An adventure of unparalleled cuteness? Alpaca my bags!"