09 August 2015

Kommetjie - Seaside Wander

Slangkop Lighthouse, Kommetjie
Kommetjie - this village appears so far removed from the hustle and bustle of the suburbs closer to the city of Cape Town, that it feels as if one has entered into another world of laid-back seaside living. With it's rocky shores, beautiful Slangkop Lighthouse,  the Kom Cat Walk and village pubs that offer live music , it makes for an interesting outing.,  
Bird Life is prolific along the rocky shores and a variety of species can be seen - ideal for keen bird watchers to while away a lazy morning or afternoon while inhaling the fresh sea air. Sometimes, the tables are turned and the birds watch the photographers!

 Drive down Gladioli Way and park in Benning Drive - this gives you a walk to the left, all along the shore. The Boardwalk is at the end of this walk where you meet up with the Slangkop Lighthouse. This lighthouse was commissioned in 1919 and became fully automated in 1979. Unfortunately, the lighthouse is not open to the public over week-ends so if you wish to enjoy the steep climb to the top, you need to visit Monday to Friday 10.00 to 15.00 hrs (closed 12.00 - 12.30) 

Kommetjie is synonymous with surfing as this village just happens to be the first landfall on the African continent for swells generated in the stormy 4000 km stretch known as the "Roaring Forties" The result? Waves in all shapes and sizes, all year long. Whilst there were only a handful of surfers out today, the beach becomes very crowded at times as the surfers flock to get their adrenalin fix!
Long Beach is a particular favourite with all surfers and the village has produced National Champions. With great surf on your doorstep, kids must learn to love the sea and those waves from an early age! What's more, they all appear to be very polite in greeting strangers to their turf.

The views are stunningly beautiful across to the mountains towards Hout Bay and especially so on a sunny day. Even with moody, grey skies, their is is a feeling of calm and peace here. 

For those wishing to really get back to nature and enjoy more than a few hours here, there is an interesting tented camp called Slangkop Tented Camp very close to the boardwalk. Ideal for watching sunsets while nestled between the Milkwood trees.

There are, of course, many other B&B's around but this one has something unique in it's location which struck a chord with me!
Further inland we chanced upon the Skilpadsvlei Conservation area. This wetland was drained and filled in during the 1940's - thankfully, it has now been restored and is a breeding ground for the endangered Western Leopard Toad. A local resident very kindly offered us some information on this area and said that the residents have to rescue these toads during mating season when they are often found on the roads nearby! There are 2 log seats close to the vlei - sit quietly and listen for the toads. We did not hear them - perhaps, a very busy night had left them a little tired or they were prepping up for another night of raucous mating!    
By now we were thirsty and hungry, so following local advice we headed to Fisherman's for a cold beer and something to eat. It turned out to be a good choice as the musician was entertaining the patrons with some amusing lyrics, sung to well-know tunes. Besides singing and playing his guitar, he also gave us a wonderful rendition of Baker Street, played on his saxophone..
All in all, a great afternoon out!

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