Tag Archives: beach

The Beach, Ice Cream and a Festival at Surfers Corner in Muizenberg (2016-10-16) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 16 MAR 2017

It is difficult to deny that the South Peninsula is a particularly beautiful stretch of Cape Town’s surrounds, and in fact, South Africa in general. If you are a surfer or are looking to become one, then Muizenberg Beach’s Surfer’s Corner is probably the spot that you should be – that is if you don’t mind all the sharks in the water!

Funnily enough, despite my main work office being out in nearby Westlake, I hardly ever make the effort of visiting out in that area, so it was thus particularly pleasurable to find myself putting aside some time to visit the Muizenberg beach stretch with my girls for the first time come October last year.

So I guess I had better blog about it then.

As luck would have it, for their very first visit to the famous Muizenberg Beach, Jessica and Emily got to watch some good surfing action, courtesy of a surf competition that was currently on the go.

Also, they got to see a blue bottle (Portuguese man o’ war) for the very first time, which on learning that these things sting and that it hurts when that happens, immediately added it to their ever growing list of reasons not to EVER swim in the sea!

The little coloured changing huts/storage units were of course a big hit, as was the very messy (but delicious) softserve ice cream grabbed from the venerable (and super interesting in terms of vintage decor) Majestic Cafe.

Which just by the way, happens to be the oldest shop in Muizenberg – having opened its doors way back in 1937!

Ice cream. Cones. Sun. Small kids.

Right. As you might imagine then, I was very, VERY grateful for the (architecturally quite beautiful mind you) public amenities that allowed me to get rid of some of that sticky residue that the girls seem to literally manage to get everywhere!

And then the bonus: What we didn’t know was that the day that we had decided to visit this part of Cape Town also happened to be the start of the 2016 Muizenberg Festival – which kicked off right in front of us with a loud parade lead by a giant silver fish puppet being accompanied by a large costumed crowd, and some VERY enthusiastic drummers.

In other words, quite the loud affair.

So, a great vibe and colourful sight indeed, but unfortunately also a completely overwhelming in terms of noise experience for the girls (Emily in particular) – all of which meant that we had to quickly cut our visit short, hightail it out of ground zero, jump into the car, and try and navigate our way to nearby Kalk Bay before the route closed because of the ever approaching parade!

A pity, but I guess then the perfect excuse for another visit in the nearby future – especially since I would love to take Chantelle to the brilliant seafood restaurant Live Bait (which I’ve had the pleasure of eating at for a business lunch before).

She would appreciate that I think.

Also, if you do decide to visit, take your camera along (if you are not going to surf). There is plenty of nice photogenic things to snap away at…

Also, just in case you can’t quite pinpoint where I am talking about on the map – a map:

Related Link: Muizenberg | Wikipedia | Muizenberg Festival

Playing in the Sand at Gordon’s Bay Beach (2016-12-08) Photo Gallery 31 DEC 2016

December saw me take the girls down to the beach a lot. Like just about every evening. However, thanks to the magic that is scheduled posts, I’m not at Gordon’s Bay main beach this evening.

No, instead I am currently sitting with my feet up on the beach at Gouritz (outside Albertinia, just before Mossel Bay) – enjoying a well deserved getaway with my girls, Chantelle and her folks.

Not a bad way to see out 2016 I reckon.

Nevertheless, you will have to wait until I’m back home before I start posting pictures of the lovely Gouritz, so for now the last pictures of 2016 up on my site will be of my girls and I having fun on our home beach over the course of December.

Oh, bonus fact. Did you know that Gordon’s Bay has a dedicated helipad area for rescue helicopters?

Well, now you do.

Happy New Year! :)

Gordon’s Bay Beach with the Girls (2016-11-15) Photo Gallery 28 DEC 2016

Both of my girls are comically afraid of the sea. I’m not sure if Emily shares the fear because  of Jessica, but regardless, both my girls are terrified of the incoming water.

They are more than happy to run around and play on the sand, or perhaps venture into the sea when it is only at most low ankle height, but the minute any wave higher than their ankles comes rolling in, they are out of the water screaming blue murder.

So, with a beach bound December holiday coming our way (we’re off to Gouritz), I’ve been hard at work trying to convince them that the sea is not so bad. (If you can call going to the beach as often as possible ‘hard work’!)

Pleasingly, it appears to have been working in that I can now at least get them into knee-high water with me (though they cling to my hands like limpets), and I have managed to convince them to wash their hands in the water by themselves, every time we pack up for the night.

I’ve kind of run out of time now, so I’m hoping that I’ve done enough that I can at least kind of enjoy the sea/beach at Gouritz without hearing the screams of two little girls every minute and a half!

We’ll see, we’ll see…

A handy map as always, just in case you want to check out my home beach while you still have a couple of vacation days left:

Things to See in USA: Muscle Beach Venice in Los Angeles Travel Attractions 16 DEC 2016

The city of Los Angeles’ Venice Beach is certainly a ‘colourful’ area to put it mildly (at least that’s what I thought when I strolled around there earlier this year), but despite its many eccentricities, there is no denying that this cultural hub is a global destination, registering millions of visitors each and every year.

Outside of its popular promenade, multitude of street performers, buskers and hustlers, handball courts, paddle tennis courts, skate dancing plaza, volleyball courts, bike trail and of course interesting businesses on Ocean Front Walk, Venice Beach is also home to probably the most famous beachfront gym in the world – Muscle Beach Venice.

The original Muscle Beach that started it all, was established just south of the Santa Monica Pier in 1934 – just 3 km up the beach from where Muscle Beach Venice currently stands, itself having started out when the first Venice Beach “Weight Pen” was installed in 1951 – eight years before the Santa Monica Muscle Beach closed due to administration problems.

While the original Muscle Beach (considered the birthplace of the physical fitness boom in the US during the 20th century) was really an area that became popular with gymnasts, wrestlers and local strength athletes (in fact, it was simply known as Santa Monica Beach Playground for the first couple of years, with the ‘muscle’ term only gaining traction come 1940), Muscle Beach Venice established itself almost from the start as the popular home of bodybuilding, thanks in no small part to the opening the first of an eventual nationwide chain of weightlifting gyms by famed pioneer gym chain operator, Vic Tanny.

Muscle Beach did a lot to popularize and legitimize fitness and bodybuilding competitions, and today functions as both a hub for weightlifting and fitness businesses in the area, as well as a popular tourist attraction.

(A lot of famous people/personalities have been regulars there, so you kind of understand the tourist appeal: e.g. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Trejo, Chet Yorton, Dave Draper, Larry Scott,  and Crips co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams to name but a few!)

The current facility consists of an open playground with a gated area that encloses weight lifting equipment, with a second area which is a sand box with gymnastic, rope climbing, and acrobatic bars.

And yes – if you are brave or ripped enough, you can in fact buy a day pass and work out with the pros if that’s the kind of thing that you are into…

(Naturally, bodybuilding is a lot of work. There are probably easier ways to get a little in shape – the guys behind dietsinreview.com certainly seem to think so.)

I visited this place in July this year, and honestly, it felt a bit weird seeing these people strutting about, pushing weights, and doing their thing – all for the attention of everyone around them! Seriously, posing for photos with random strangers is as much a part of the workout routine as are the actual weights!

Anyway, here’s the map if you want to place it in the world:

Related Link: Muscle Beach Venice | Wikipedia | Venice Beach

Catching Sight of Table Mountain from Bloubergstrand (2016-11-27) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 01 DEC 2016

Following a lovely morning spent at the Century City Natural Goods Market, followed by a trip to Canal Walk for some Lindt chocolate from their newly opened boutique shop, we decided to cool down with a trip through to Bloubergstrand, in the hopes of securing a lunch spot at perennial favourite, The Blue Peter Hotel – and of course to give the girls a chance to play in the sand by the sea for a bit.

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Of course, at this point any local would have already rolled their eyeballs at this plan, because anyone from the area would immediately point out that on such a gorgeous, wind free summer’s day, there is literally a snowball in Hell’s chance of actually finding a table at the iconic Blue Peter!

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They would of course be 100% right.

So no Blue Peter Sunday lunch for the Lotters then, but that’s okay, because there was plenty of space for us on the nearby (but popular) Little Bay beach, where we were rewarded with the most beautiful view of the iconic Table Mountain.

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Nice right?

This classic view of Cape Town’s beloved mountain is of course absolutely stunning, and something rather special to see if you don’t normally come out this way – i.e. like us.

(Plus, as a massive bonus, we even got to enjoy the famous Silver Falcons do two formation fly-bys over the beach while we were there!)

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We are working hard at getting the girls more comfortable with the sea (in preparation for our December trip to Gouritz), and amazingly, despite the icy cold Atlantic water which feels like ice blocks on your skin (thanks Benguela Current!), the girls allowed themselves to get wet and in the end had an actual ball – both going so far as to strip right down to their undies!

(We really should plan our beach visits better – you know, bring with costumes etc. At least we had the presence of mind to apply sunscreen to the girls in the morning!)

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The kids had a blast, we were left with a quaint collection of mud painted rocks and shells to bring home, and of course, mommy and daddy managed to soak up some sun as well.

Not a horrible way to spend a Sunday afternoon out and about then!

A handy map to where we were:

Related Link: Bloubergstrand | Blue Peter Hotel

Kitesurfers at Melkbaai Beach in Strand (2016-11-05) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 19 NOV 2016

Having enjoyed a good day out that started off with some yacht watching in Gordon’s Bay harbour, followed by a couple of hours’ worth of driving around the Elgin Valley and taking in some of the sights of the Open Gardens Weekend, the girls and I decided to cap off the Saturday with some KFC sprinkle pops for supper whilst watching the kitesurfers at Strand’s main Melkbaai beach.

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After chillling in the car, eating our KFC pops and marvelling at the kitesurfers doing their thing in the water from afar, I succeeded in convincing the girls that what we now needed to do was step out of the car and head in for closer look.

We were a little lucky in that although the wind was blowing rather strongly, it wasn’t whipping the sand around too much, meaning that we were able to walk a fair stretch of the beautiful pristine beach without being completely sandblasted to bits.

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Of course, with both girls being so mysteriously petrified of the sea at the moment, they pretty much clung to me like limpets, making the stroll a bit of a lesson in patience and deep breathing exercises, but we did get to see some pretty cool kitesurfing up close, not to mention the odd washed up jellyfish or two!

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Eventually the two of them found themselves rather enjoying the outing, loving the thrill of watching the kitesurfers doing flips and all manner of tricks in the waves, as well as the playful lifeguards milling and playing around in front of the Strand Surf Lifesaving Club HQ.

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Right, so now it’s just getting the two of them a little less petrified of the sea – we are after all going away to Gouritsmond for this upcoming December holiday period!

As always, a handy map to the beach if you too want to go kitesurfer watching:

Related Link: Strand

Running on the Sand of Strand Beach (2016-09-24) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 15 OCT 2016

Having just enjoyed a rather unexpected midweek getaway in Swellendam towards the end of September, we returned home just in time for first me to fall ill on the Friday, and then Chantelle follow suit on the Saturday. As you might imagine then, the weekend was a bit of an indoor affair, though I did venture out on Saturday afternoon in order for the girls to stretch their legs with some play time at the main Strand Beach, also known as Melkbaai Beach.

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If you didn’t know that already, Strand has about 5 kilometers’ worth of white sandy beaches, which is probably why it is such a popular weekend destination then for beach fishermen and rock anglers, and of course holidaymakers come season time!

Melkbaai beach is one of the safer beaches for swimming and fishing, and of course there is more than enough to do in the area, including an Olympic-sized indoor pool which is centrally heated and is open all year round.

Naturally, water sports like surfing, sailing, power boating, paddle skiing and board sailing are also a pretty big thing in the area.

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Anyway, the girls and I were just there to stretch our legs for a bit, and so with a Jelly Tots chocolate slab as lure/motivator, I soon had the two of them running up and down the beach and getting rid of some their pent up energy!

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As you can see from the pictures that I snapped when the girls gave me a chance, it was actually a pretty overcast day – which was nice in the sense we had plenty of space to ourselves then! :)

(Also, because that’s how these things work, by the next day both of them were struck down with the same illness that was plaguing Chantelle. Poor babies…)

Anyway, here’s a handy map to the beach if you too want to go exploring:

Related Link: Strand

Stroll along the Mostert’s Bay Section of Strand Beach (2016-09-09) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 03 OCT 2016

The Strand (Afrikaans for ‘beach’) is technically a seaside resort town on the eastern edge of False Bay, geographically between Macassar and Gordon’s Bay. It’s main attraction is of course the magnificent Melkbaai Beach which is known as one of the best and safest bathing areas in the country.

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However, as you head past the Pavillion complex towards the east, you’ll find yourself now walking along first Blake’s Beach and then Mostert’s Bay, both popular fishing and dog walking stretches of the beach area.

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Strand is super interesting in that despite it not appearing to be a wealthy area in the slightest, it features a stunning array of beautiful and interestingly designed high-rise apartment buildings which dominate the Golden Mile, Central, and Platinum Mile sections of the iconic Strand Beach Road that stretches the entire length of the beachfront.

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I’ve mentioned this before, but the nice thing about living so close to beaches whilst working from home is of course the ability to stretch one’s legs come lunch time by heading out for a sandy stroll – which is exactly what I ended up doing one recent Friday afternoon.

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For a change, instead of leaving my phone in the car, I forgot it in my pocket – which now means that I have a whole lot of photos for the blog again!

And of course, a map:

Related Link: Strand

Ice Cream at Herolds Bay (2016-06-26) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 18 JUL 2016

The second day of our Garden Route weekend away at the Far Hills Country Hotel was off to a good start. Having enjoyed looking at the beautiful scenery  and surfers of Victoria Bay, we hopped back into our car and followed Monty and Cheryl  out towards Herolds Bay, a small coastal village that is popular with George residents as a holiday camping destination.

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Originally known as Sandstrand, the village of Herolds Bay took its name from the first Dutch Reformed minister (and avid angler) who held office in George in 1823, Tobias Herold. (The first permanent known Herolds Bay resident was a Mr. Thompson, who survived a shipwreck in 1920, and took refuge and permanent residence in a cave for a period of eight years!)

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Situated in a sheltered rocky coastal cove, Herolds Bay is a popular holiday destination for the locals, and has managed to retain a quaint sense of still being a small coastal hamlet. It features a beautiful flat beach with some great waves for swimming, and of course some stunning scenery to go along with it!

Lush indigenous coastal Fynbos create a natural haven for birding enthusiasts and nature lovers, there are plenty of hikes and walks to be attempted, and oh yes, the tidal pool is a pretty popular spot too! (Plus, if you are into golf then it is worth noting that Herolds Bay is also home to the Ernie Els Signature Golf Course at the adjacent  Oubaai golf resort.)

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Despite the slightly overcast sky, we decided that some ice cream would be the perfect beach treat, and judging by the lines surrounding the multitude of ice cream vendors next to the beach, we certainly weren’t the only ones with this thought!

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Naturally, the girls raced through their ice creams in order to head down for some play time in the sand, which was perfectly okay with us as it gave us even more time to just sit and admire the view of this picturesque little Garden Route coastal stop!

Also, a map if you are also looking to get there someday:

Related Link: Herolds Bay