We all need a special place in our lives that allow us to restore our mind, body and soul… To me, the “West Coast” is one of those places…
We would like to take you on a drive through Velddrif, Port Owen & Laaiplek.
We traveled from Cape Town on the R27 to Velddrif. (about 1hour 30min). We crossed the bridge over the Berg River after we passed the Cerebos Salt Factory on our left.
The salty air combined with the smell of fish made us aware of our destination…holiday cottages decorate the riverbanks of the Berg River.
The local artists, who get inspired by the beauty of the ocean, the calming flow of the Berg River, Bokkomlaan and so many unique settings, are constantly at work. To view some art pieces from Artists like Iris Tolken & Mariette van Jaarsveld you can visit the Arts & Crafts Section.
This “Padstal” (stall) welcomes you to Velddrif! Here one can buy a variety of fresh fruit and the traditional “Bokkom” .
In Pelican Harbour, these “Bokkoms” (dried salted Herring) were hanging outside on a wooden structure. When we go to “Bokkom Laan”, we will tell you more about this process.
In the background is the Cerebos Salt Factory.
The swamp that once separated Velddrif and Laaiplek, has been developed into a residential area called Port Owen.
Port Owen’s Modern style is totally opposite to the cultural fisherman’s cottages that are endemic to the West Coast.
From Port Owen Yacht Basin we could see Laaiplek Harbour . The wetland before us, is home to a big variety of bird species.
Rooibaai is in a natural canal situated between Port Owen Yacht Club and the fishing harbour.
Of all the yachts at anchor this was my favorite!
This cottage is one of many, found in this area. If you enjoy living at the coast….this is the way to go!
These fishing boats are what the locals use for their daily catch. Even though I have no experience in fishing, I could imagine the joy of a good catch!
These fisherman were very busy…getting ready to go out fishing? or perhaps discussing a good catch? A regular sight at this Bay.
After spending time watching the fisherman…the birds in the bay…and just enjoying the peace and quiet…we drove on to Laaiplek.
This artificial mouth and harbour entrance was build when the natural mouth of the Berg River silted up to such an extend that even small fishing boats could no longer reach Velddrif.
The birdlife in the habour is amazing…
I watched these birds for quite sometime… how they would dive into the water, disappear for a while underwater and then suddenly appear with a catch…
In the background is a fishing factory. This factory processes the fishing vessels catch. These fishing vessels anchor in the harbour between catches.
It seems as if this boat is getting a make over! Hope we will be so privileged to see the end result.
This boat was crying out to me…I don’t know it’s history, nor it’s future… I hope there is a happy ending…
From here we went to visit the S.A. Fisheries Museum. The Museum was originally in Houtbay and later transfered to Laaiplek.
Being quite late in the afternoon, we hoped that we would find the museum open…
The signboard is small, but what we saw inside was HUGE!
Luckily the Museum was still open. We got to know a lot about the fishing industry in the area. I will post a separate article on the Museum at a later stage (keep on following the posts).
Looking back in the mirror… I realize that this visit has come to an end! Always a sad feeling to any visitor….
This house was named to the T ! “Hemel op Aarde” (Heaven on Earth) surely the feeling I got while visiting…
If you enjoyed the visual tour and are considering visiting this part of the “West Coast” click here for more information on Where to Shop, Eat or Stay…