Tag Archives: garden route

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

Walking in the Garden Route Botanical Gardens in George (2017-03-20) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 08 APR 2017

As it turns out, George, the administrative and commercial hub of the Garden Route, is home to its very own botanical garden, namely the relatively new (in terms of garden age) Garden Route Botanical Gardens.

Opened in 1998 and situated on the grounds of the old van Kervel Gardens (itself proclaimed a Nature Reserve by Nico Malan in 1986), the Garden Route Botanical Gardens is now managed by the Garden Route Botanical Gardens Trust, who together with local NGOs, residents, volunteers and George Municipality, have slowly but surely transformed the overrun and alien infested nature reserve into a green space worth visiting for anyone interested in the natural flora of the region.

Seeings as this particular botanical garden isn’t nearly as well funded as its official and much older SANBI national botanical garden sisters, it has a much more wild and unpolished feel to it, making it very different to any other botanical garden that you may have already experienced here in South Africa.

The gardens are home to a large forested area, through which you can amble along the so-called mushroom meander or head out on a much longer day hike.

There are wide open pet friendly stretches of lawn for those of you who are dog owners, a newly completed eco center building (which I’m not sure is operational yet), a onsite herbarium and nursery, the very eye catching medicinal mound (complete with two beautiful mosaic memorial benches at its summit), a large lily covered dam featuring a well positioned bird hide, a large shaded picnic lawn area with a bandstand/gazeebo for good measure, and of course, loads of walkways to explore.

The gardens also host the local parkrun, has access to the state forest mountain bike tracks, and even has a hidden geocache for those treasure hunters out there!

After dropping Jessica and my mom off at the Getafix Garden Cafe tea garden out in front of the main entrance gate for some play and rest time (for reference, Jess and I joined my folks for a long weekend away in Mossel Bay back in March), my Dad and I set off on a bit of an exploratory mission, cameras in hand and completely unprepared for walking about under the blazing hot sun.

Plenty of photos were taken, flowers admired, pathways walked, and vistas appreciated, making for quite a successful little mission in my opinion then.

(Truth be told, if it wasn’t for the fact that mom and Jessica were waiting for us back at the cafe, dad and I would probably have missioned about for at least another hour or two!)

As always, my little Huawei P9 phone did its best to capture a few of the sights on the day, though of course completely failed to capture anything remotely useful in the dappled light of the mushroom meander forest walk!

Well worth a visit if you are looking for somewhere green to stretch your legs in George then.

Related Link: Garden Route Botanical Gardens | Facebook

The Boardwalk of the Pied Kingfisher Trail in Wilderness (2016-06-26) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 20 JUL 2016

The Pied Kingfisher Trail is situated in Wilderness in the Western Cape, South Africa. The 11 km long trail is popular with birdwatchers and makes for an ideal morning hike that should take about 3-4 hours to complete. It is an easy going flat circular trail that begins at the Ebb and Flow South Rest Camp in the Wilderness National Park.

However, with two little girls, one toddler and a baby, we weren’t really interested in all that, now were we?

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Instead, with our hunger and thirst now satisfied, we next struck out for the popular boardwalk section of the greater Pied Kingfisher Trail, a pleasant walk all along the edge of the Touwsrivier.

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Access is easy enough (you can jump on the boardwalk directly from Waterside road), and the result is an easy, pleasant stroll along the water’s edge and through the reeds – affording you some great bird-watching opportunities in the process!

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The views are great and for the kids it is a big adventure, meaning that this little stroll definitely has something for everyone!

(And from there, it was back to Far Hills Country Hotel for a bit of a rest break following the day’s activities, before we once again headed out for some well deserved supper and play time at the classic George Geronimo Spur!)

Related Link: Pied Kingfisher Trail

Beer at Cocomo Restaurant in Wilderness (2016-06-26) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 19 JUL 2016

Having enjoyed all the stunning coastal scenery afforded to us by first Victoria Bay and then Herolds Bay, we next headed into Wilderness, with the intent to go for a stroll along the Touwsrivier boardwalk with Evan and Natasha. However, it quickly became apparent that by this stage the kids were more than a tad hungry, forcing us to redirect and find a place to grab a bite.

Luckily for us, Monty came up with a brilliant suggestion in the form of Cocomo Restaurant, situated literally right in the heart of the Wilderness Village!

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If you love music then you’ve definitely come to the right place, as this laid-back restaurant goes all out with the musical theme, with old vinyl records as placemats and featuring live music sessions 7 days a week!

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They are known for their great pizza (which the girls thoroughly enjoyed), but like any South African restaurant, their food selection covers pretty much everything that you might want.

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Also, I enjoyed one of the best tasting craft beers that I’ve ever drunk in South Africa, the Mossel Bay produced Glenhoff Lager (from South Cape Breweries)!

Related Link: Cocomo Restaurant

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