12/29/2007

The West Coast

It took us a little longer than expected to get out of Groot Winterhoek - don't as me how we lost the trail, but it turns out sometimes you need a trail to get across a river. Anyway we were pretty happy to get across the wheat fields of the Swartland and out to the West Coast. We had a nice breakfast at a cafe in Piketsberg on the way. Finally we made it out to the legendary Eland's Bay which Sila had read so much about in the surf mags. Approaching the beach:
No swell today but perfectly formed tiny waves. There were kids wading around in the tide pools playing with large succulent lobsters. We will secure our crayfishing permits upon return to Cape Town, for sure. The beach at Eland's Baai was purple with shells.
We had a gin & tonic at the Eland's Baai Hotel and waited to see if surf would increase as the tide changed. Not so much. So we hopped back in the beetle to head north to Lampert's Baai, the West Coast's biggest fishing village and last real town. They had a pretty sweet harbour, which cost us R2.30 to enter. That's 33c US. I can't believe the toll-taker guy is collecting his salary everyday. Anyway,
Lampert's is a cool little town, there is a lot of tourism but fishing is still the heart and soul of the place. It was nice to see that people seemed generally employed and happy here. There is a lot of fish packing/freezing work as well. These guys had a pile of either octopus or fish innards - didn't get close enough to tell. What are they doing with them?
Beautiful fresh Snoek for sale. I wanted to get a cooler and bring some fresh fish home, but Sila said no.
Sila wanted one of these, but I said no:
Keeping things fair in the marriage, see?

A few km's south of Lampert's Bay on the extremely bumpy unpaved coast road is a strange little restaurant with walls built of tumbleweeds and brambles (Muisbos = Mouse bush). Muisbosskerm Restaurant is a prix fix barbeque extravaganza of all-you-can-eat West Coast seafood, South African traditional dishes such as the waterblommetjie bredie, and for an additional R75, two lobster tails. Will have to get some waterblommetjies as they taste like artichoke, although Sila wouldn't eat the bredie because of the mutton. He's still scarred over his mom's old ram Rocky that used to beat the crap out of him and Liam. Anyway going to try an artichoke dip or something with the water lilies. You can sit around the braai area and watch the cooking: Or you can sit on the beach and watch the fish prep:
Drinking cold beer or wine. Did I mention it is standard to get a glass of ice to put in your white wine here? No kidding.
From the beach:
Cutting the heads off our tasty lobsters:
Sun going down:

Future guests will absolutely get a visit to Muisbosskerm. Sorry Mom we didn't know about this place when you came to visit.

3 comments:

amber said...

Sorry, I would have been on his side and gotten the boat instead of the fish!

Fault Rocks said...

Maybe if you already had about 5 rotten POS hulking vessels to your name, your husband woulda said no.

Erin K. said...

I'll stay out of the boat vs. fish debate! Great pictures - loving all the updates and backpacking photos.