Tag Archives: garden route

Elephant Dung Paper at the Scarab Art and Craft Village in Sedgefield (2017-07-11) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 10 APR 2018

Just across the road from Sedgefield’s super popular Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market grounds stands another, even more colourful entry into the weekend market scene – The Scarab’s Craft Market at Scarab Village.

Leaving the fresh produce and eco-friendly themes for the Wild Oats Market to pick up, the Scarab’s Craft Market instead doubles down on being the source of the best authentic, handmade craft to be found along the Garden Route.

The musical, colourful, welcoming market is held beside the titular Scarab Art and Craft Village, which itself is also home to more than just a few super interesting stores.

Beads, exotic plants, stone art, ornate light fittings, wooden crosses, owl boxes, woodcraft furniture, and my personal favourite, craft paper made from Elephant Dung can all be found as you flutter between one artsy shop and the next.

There is an outdoor red roof venue which you can hire, there is a small diner ready to see to any hunger pangs that you might be experiencing, and there is a small, octopus under the sea themed kids play area for the little ones. (Which the girls of course enjoyed).

Oh, and Sedgefield’s very own little craft brewery also just happens to be situated in the village…

Sadly for us though, our short Sedgefield stop didn’t quite fall over a weekend, so we missed out on experiencing the vibrant atmosphere that surely must be on display here come each and every Saturday – which I guess just means we need to make our way back there sooner than later then! ;)

Related Link: Scarab Village | Scarab Paper | Sedgefield

Mosaic Sculpture Hunting and Paragliding in Sedgefield (2017-07-11) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 28 MAR 2018

In 2010 Sedgefield became the first African “Cittaslow” or “Slow Town”, joining the global movement that promotes quality of life and resisting fast-lane lifestyle. The town takes this denomination seriously, and because of this, remains a leisurely, tranquil little Garden Route stop, worth paying a visit to if you are looking for a quiet escape in the area.

We spent two nights in Sedgefield as part of our lovely June Holidays breakaway last year, primarily because I, having spend large swathes of my holidays there as a child with my grandparents, wanted to show off this beautiful little slice of the Southern Cape to Chantelle and the girls.

That of course then meant going for a decent drive about town drive, hunting down the public mosaic art pieces scattered throughout the village (these days  Sedgefield associates itself a lot with mosaic art work, and pleasingly, the girls seemed to rather enjoyed this miniature ‘treasure hunt’), taking them to see the beaches, the Island, the art and craft markets, and of course stopping for a nibble or two along the way.

We also drove up the back of the town, following the steep dirt roads up the hills that are home to Sedgefield’s more rural farm areas. The route that we took on this particular day lead us all the way to the Sedgeview Paragliding Site, launchpad for all the paragliders that you often see floating above in the skies over Sedgefield.

(Annoyingly though, when we did get to the site, no paragliding was taking place – the wind conditions only played along again once we were back in town! Gah!)

Oh, and I took some pretty pictures as always…

I have a soft spot for Sedgefield, and honestly, I kind of think that this special place rather deserves it anyway.

Related Link: Sedgefield | Sedgeview Paragliding Site

Roosterkoek and Smoor at Veepos Padstal in George (2018-01-04) Farm Stalls | Photo Gallery 12 MAR 2018

I mentioned earlier that we were forced to tack on a short stay in George over the December holiday period, during which we hired a Volkswagen Tiguan to do a bit of driving about in (our car was in the shop for repairs).

Now December holidays is not great for our usual tactic of just randomly rocking up at places because of the sheer number of people out and about (visits to Victoria Bay, Herolds Bay, and Redberry Farm confirmed this hypothesis), but pleasingly we did stumble upon one place that seemed rather deserted – the newly established Veepos Padstal.

(And by newly established I mean that we had literally stumbled upon them on their very first day of business!)

On a hill, off the highway, and right outside George Airport, the Veepos Padstal (or Cattle Outpost Farm Stall for us English readers) has been setup by the team who also own/run the small Bargain Nursery next door.

Consisting of three neatly arranged, converted shipping containers, the farm stall has a collection of small pretty things for purchase, as well as a few drinks and some local produce on sale. The main attraction is however their roosterkoek menu, as well as their particularly delightful milkshakes – in fact, Chantelle couldn’t stop gushing over just how much she enjoyed her peanut butter brittle shake!

Once you’ve finished your snack and taken in the tranquility and views of the surrounding area, you can leisurely saunter over to the nursery if you so want, though if you have small children they’ll undoubted clamor to use the toilet, and in the process fall down the stairs and graze their knees, thereby starting a whole chain reaction of unhappiness among everyone.

(Or at least that was our experience in this neat little nursery).

So, all in all, a surprisingly peaceful (and pleasant) little stop.

“Hartskos”. I rather like that little tagline of theirs.

Related Link: Veepos Padstal | Bargain Nursery | George

Staying at the French Lodge International in George (2018-01-03) Accommodation | Photo Gallery 06 MAR 2018

Last year’s December holiday was pretty nice, kicking off first with some beach time at Pinnacle Point in Mossel Bay, followed by some more R&R in Gouritz for New Year’s. Sadly for us though, our ten year old Hyundai Accent developed a problem (lost power thanks to a blown coil), which then meant an unscheduled extension to our holiday with a trip through to George – the nearest town with a proper Hyundai Service Center available in it.

That of course then meant that we needed to source accommodation in the middle of the December holidays – not exactly the easiest thing in the world to do!

As things turned out though, we managed in the end to find space at the French Lodge International, a charming African-themed guest house situated right along George’s York main street (which coincidentally is also a delight thanks to the fact that it has a decent run of Christmas street lights strung up down the length of it!).

Owned for ten or so years by a charmingly helpful Frenchman with a penchant for motorbike safaris, these days the French Lodge International (complete with small replica Eiffel Tower out front) consists of the main building (which houses a number of the larger rooms) and a whole lot of smaller, more private thatch roof rondavels – all of which are centered around a large pool that quite truthfully, saw a LOT splash time from myself and the girls over the course of our short stay!

In short – our family sized room, the breakfast, the free WiFi, the convenient location, and the French Lodge International’s super friendly staff were all great, making for a good, comfortable stay.

As for George itself, we hired a nice Volkswagen Tiguan from a local care hire company AutoHireSA, did a lot of driving around, visited a lot of nice places (as is our norm), and did our best to put our minds off the fact that the rather expensive R6,000+ repairs were going to take much longer than what we could afford to stay.

Luckily for us though, my Dad was on hand to help us out by driving all the way from Bellville to come and ferry us and our luggage home! Talk about Uber service! ;)

Related Link: French Lodge International | George

Staying at The Gull in Sedgefield (2017-07-10) Accommodation | Photo Gallery 03 FEB 2018

The last leg of our brilliant June/July holiday breakaway saw us spending two nights based in Sedgefield, a personal favourite stomping ground of mine, thanks to having grown up with grandparents living in this gorgeous sleepy little town.

In terms of accommodation, the Internet had come up with a suggestion of The Gull as a suitable sleepover spot for the four of us, and pleasingly, on arrival it was great to learn that for a change the Internet had most certainly not lied to us.

Built right on the edge of the sand dunes of Myoli Beach, The Gull offers fantastic self catering apartments, all nicely furnished, rounded off with a beautiful garden setting and access to a tiny little gym – in case you are not so keen on giving up all your hard earned gains just because you find yourself on holiday for a change!

In addition to the beautiful surroundings, an unexpected bonus was finding ourselves right next to the quirky PiliPili Xtreme Sports Centre and Bar, whose restaurant area spills out onto the beach sand and is lit up by a great big bonfire seemingly each and every night.

Useful if you crave some pizza and beer and don’t particularly feel like heading out for the evening!

It was a comfortable stay, we were well impressed with the great (and super friendly!) service, good furnishings and fantastic location – easy to recommend in other words! :)

Related Link: The Gull | PiliPili Xtreme Sports Centre and Bar | Sedgefield

Mozart Cake and Memorabilia at Nibbles Bistro in Sedgefield (2017-07-11) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 27 NOV 2017

Seeing as we had happily been spending the day driving around, spotting mosaics and exploring the lovely little Sedgefield on the final leg of our June Holidays road trip, I decided that a suitable reward (in terms of cake and refreshments) was now very much in order for the girls and one super patient Chantelle.

Having just completed a short drive on The Island, we emerged (after dodging some bulldozers and diggers working on one of the roads) at the door of Nibbles Bistro, standing in the middle of the small Mosaic Market which itself is neatly tucked in between the Scarab Arts Village and the super popular Wild Oats Market location.

In addition to its welcoming outside seating area (hard not to love all that colour), the interior is actually well worth meandering through, primarily because all the walls are literally covered from floor to ceiling with all manner of for sale sports, music and movie memorabilia.

(Note, these memorabilia products are in fact sold by some other online company, the name of which has unfortunately now completely escaped me. It has something to do with golf, I’m sure. Anyway, if someone could drop me a line with the name it would be much appreciated!)

All this of course then means that there is no shortage of conversation fodder around the table – which could either be a blessing or a curse depending on how annoying your significant other is in terms of popular culture knowledge!

If I remember correctly, we ordered a couple of cakes to all share, the girls had hot chocolate and I had a nice coffee, with the star of the show for me being a piece of very delicious Mozart Cake – the first time that I’ve ever encountered this particular cake, much to the eye-rolling surprise of Chantelle.

The cafe was rather busy on the day that we were there, so service wasn’t that great (in fact I can remember to having become slightly annoyed with matters), but with that said, the cake was delicious, the food menu looked good, and the atmosphere was pretty laid back – so exactly what one would expect from this self declared “slow town” then! :)

Worth popping into then in other words.

Related Link: Nibbles Bistro

Springbok and a round of Golf at the Mossel Bay Golf Club (2017-03-19) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 14 NOV 2017

Back in March, Jessica and I spent a long weekend away with my folks up at Pinnacle Point Estate in Mossel Bay. Unbeknownst to me, my dad packed in my golf clubs (and by “my golf clubs” I mean a bag filled with clubs donated to me and periodically upgraded every time my brother or dad buys something new), with the intention of putting in a day of golf over the weekend.

Which is exactly what we then did.

The Mossel Bay Golf Club itself is over a hundred years old, having been first established back in 1905 when the course was still positioned at the old aerodrome. The current golf course location came about in 1924 (after the Mossel Bay Municipality made the land available to the club), with its current form the result of a big 1999/2000 re-development that pumped new life into the golf club through the establishment of the surrounding Mossel Bay Golf Estate.

The rebranding and new, modern club facilities worked, with the club now enjoying a very healthy membership and often cited as a major tourist attraction for the town.

Seeing as I only play a round of golf probably once or twice in a year, I was really appreciative of the fact that by some miracle the weather played its part, leaving us to enjoy a cloudless, and, more importantly, windless day, all of which combined rather nicely with the golf course’s already picturesque nature.

That said, I hadn’t even set foot on the course yet before an official pointed out that without a proper golf shirt I wouldn’t be allowed to play. Cue a hasty jog to the Pro Shop situated in the clubhouse, a quick discussion with the helpful store clerks, a rushed swipe of the credit card, and finally the emergence of myself wearing something that was very definitely NOT my usual black.

As with a lot of coastal golf courses, the Mossel Bay golf course is of course very pretty, but for me the icing on the cake was definitely the herd of springbok that happen to call the course home. These guys are obviously very used to all the golf carts and angry men brandishing metal/carbon clubs, because they just lazily move about the various fairways, chewing grass, going for a gallop, or just wistfully looking out towards the sea.

I didn’t get close enough to exactly touch one, but they were definitely close enough to admire!

As for the golf itself, it was as always a mixed day, with the number of okay shots equalling the number of bad shots, with just the occasional great shot thrown in to ensure that you don’t wrap your clubs around a tree or toss them over the next convenient cliff.

(I’m speaking for myself of course. Dad had a pretty decent round on the day).

Nevertheless, it was loads of fun. The customary lunch break was had, I zoomed about in a golf cart, and I hit a lot of balls as hard as I could – seriously, what’s not to enjoy about spending a day doing this?

Also, because Ryan wasn’t there, I actually got the chance to take a few photos without being shouted at or triggering stares of annoyed contempt the whole time! (To be fair though, he just doesn’t like me wasting time if there are other people on the course. Or at least I think that’s the reason that he gets so annoyed with me every time that I whip out the phone when playing a round of golf with them).

So, the photos then:

In summary, the Mossel Bay golf course is a really pleasant course to play, well suited to casual players like myself and which definitely features some really nice views to take in. That said, from listening to my brother and dad speak about it over time, it certainly sounds like Mossel Bay can get a bit windy out there at times!

(Also, we didn’t just forget about Mom and Jessica for the day – a thank you involving supper at The Sea Gypsey was definitely well received!)

Bonus: In case you are wondering why we didn’t just play at the spectacularly picturesque Pinnacle Point golf course (which by the way, I have played before) seeing as we stay on the estate, the reason is twofold. Firstly, I’m such a casual golfer that the difficulty level of the Pinnacle Point championship golf course makes for an even more frustrating outing that what it should be, and secondly, Pinnacle Point asks a much higher fee to play – as a non club/association member, that visitor fee – around R800 – often feels just a little too steep for my liking.

Related Link: Mossel Bay Golf Club | Mossel Bay

The Cold, Fossilized Sand Dunes of Myoli Beach in Sedgefield (2017-07-11) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 10 NOV 2017

The final leg of our June Holidays road trip saw us spend two evenings in Sedgefield, a particularly favourite spot of mine seeing as I had spent countless school holidays there with my grandparents as a small kid.

As it so happens, the small town of Sedgefield is also home to the highest fossil sand dunes in South Africa – and by sheer chance our accommodation was pretty much right next to some of these super interesting geological formations.

We were staying at The Gull, right next to the PiliPili restaraunt and Afrovibe Adventure Lodge, but more importantly, right on main entrance to Myoli Beach – a popular wave riding beach and of course just one of Sedgefield’s five stunning beaches.

In other words, perfectly positioned to head out for a walk along the sand and get a better view of the famous petrified sand dunes.

(Interestingly enough though, given the time of year that we were visiting, the sand of Myoli beach was beyond frigid, meaning that without shoes an evening walk in the sand very quickly became quite a painful endeavour – so much so that all my girls, including Chantelle, basically flat out refused to join me on any of my walks!)

Bordered by a series of parallel fossil sand dunes that run between Kaaimans River in the west and Brenton on Sea in the east, Sedgefield is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and an extensive coastal lake system, meaning that there is plenty of water all around.

Over time, and we are talking millions of years here, the lower layers of a sand dune, thanks to the combined pressure from the layers above and the dissolved minerals like calcium carbonate present in the plentiful ground water, work together in cementing and compacting the sand into sandstone, with the layers often visible as ‘epoch bands’ within the resulting formations.

The result is stunning, ochre coloured, wind eroded, twisted rock formations, dramatically rising out of the sand around you.

We were unfortunately not in Sedgefield long enough to give me an opportunity to do the famous Gericke’s Point beach walk and get a better view of THOSE fantastic examples of fossilized dunes, but the nevertheless, the ones at Myoli Beach (and its sister, adjacent Cola Beach for that matter) certainly didn’t disappoint.

So perhaps well worth taking a look around at your surroundings the next time you find yourself playing in the surf on one of Sedgefield’s spectacular (but not necessarily safe for bathing) beaches.

Also, a handy embedded Google map, just in case you can’t quite place where Sedgefield is on the map.

Related Link: Sedgefield

Putt Putt at FantaSea at The Point in Mossel Bay (2017-03-18) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 01 MAY 2017

In March Jessica and I joined my Mom and Dad for a long weekend away at their place in Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay. As it turned out, Mossel Bay was quite the hub of noise and chrome for this particular weekend, seeing as it was time for the annual Buffalo Rally to descend upon this popular seaside resort town.

In other words, the roads were more than a little bit busy – I don’t think that I’ve ever seen quite as many bikes and bikers assembled in one place!

The Saturday of our little breakaway saw us head down to Mossel Bay, first for a stop at the rather impressive Toucan material shop in the industrial part of town (Mom was to knit Jessica a jersey), before heading back towards The Point in the hopes of finding somewhere not completely overrun with bikers so that we could enjoy some lunch.

This was of course completely hopeless, and thus we found ourselves pulling off for a round of putt putt at  Fanta Sea @ The Point instead. (This was of particular excitement to Jessica seeing as this would officially be her first ever go at the game of putt putt!)

True, Fanta Sea looks more than a little tired in a slightly rundown kind of way, but that doesn’t seem to bother the kids one bit – no wonder what with putt putt, ice cream, splash pools, jungle gyms, takeaways, and even a skate park all on offer!

Despite not having  a kid sized putter for Jessica to tackle the course with, she had loads of fun trying, and to be fair, so did Mom, Dad and myself – I genuinely can’t remember the last time that I played a round of putt putt!

With our tight game of mini golf over and done with, we finished up by rewarding Jessica with some colourful ice cream as a treat.

Sadly, the ice cream wasn’t quite as good as the putt putt.

So in summary: It’s maybe a little tired looking, but in all honesty the kids don’t really care – putt putt is always fun!

Related Link: Fanta Sea @ The Point