My folks have had fractional ownership to this property in the stunning Pinnacle Point Golf Estate near Mossel Bay for nearly a decade now. All of a sudden, the Gordon’s Bay Lötters are making a lot more use of this great holiday opportunity, with 2018 seeing the girls and I paying a visit four times in the year!
Needless to say, I have a lot of photos of the estate (and Mossel Bay) now lying on my hard drive, patiently waiting for their turn to be sorted and then uploaded. So, without further ado, this particular set comes from the March visit, which saw Jessica, Emily and me join Mom and Dad for a nice long weekend break.
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Right, first batch done.
Following a delightful December holiday stay in both Mossel Bay and Gouritsmond, this year kicked off with us having to leave the Hyundai Accent in George for repairs, returning home to Gordon’s Bay with the kids, and then Chantelle and I heading back up to George once the car was finally ready for collection. Now not wanting to just drive up and drive back down again in one day, the two of us decided to instead make a date of it and spend the night over in Mossel Bay – which was just as well really because it introduced us to the very lovely Diaz Beach Guest House.
Hard to miss and genuinely a stone’s throw from the super popular Diaz Beach, the Diaz Beach Guest House is a slickly run operation with secure parking for its guests, and rather nicely equipped rooms. Cool, comfortable and the perfect base from which to explore the beach (or if you are more like Chantelle, to enjoy an afternoon snooze in).
For the kids, other than the beach, you are literally next door to the excellent Da Playhouse indoor playpark (great for the smaller kids), as well as the heated indoor pool and super fun tube rides of Waterworld, while for the adults there are plenty of opportunities for a nice cold drink with a view, given all the hotels stretching along the beachfront in front of you.
As for Chantelle and my little getaway, ostensibly to collect our car, well we made sure to fill it with things like breakfast at Tredici in Swellendam, fish and chips as The Sea Gypsy Cafe in Mossel Bay, strawberries and ice cream at Redberry Farm in George, and milkshake and roosterkoek at Oude Post Bistro in Buffeljagsrivier.
Oh, and a delightful stroll along the lovely Hartenbos waterfront area (a first for Chantelle – she’d last been there as a kid), complete with mini doughnuts and a busking native American Indian in moccasins and a feathery headdress/war bonnet.
Apparently (according to Chantelle) his music is absolutely spellbinding.
So in other words, all lovely stuff.
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(Oh, but it wasn’t entirely all good news. The car fix was expensive, a good couple of thousand, and on checking out of the guest house, I walked up to my car only to say hi to a VERY deflated tyre. Final nail and all that I suppose…)
It’s kind of nice, this year the girls and I are getting to see quite a bit of Mossel Bay thanks to mom and dad’s place in Pinnacle Point (in particular because they managed to secure an additional week to their share, making the window of opportunity that much larger), though sadly for Chantelle, the cake business pretty much always prevents her from tagging along!
For example, these past June school holidays were especially nice – the girls and I managed to go up for a week (but only once the school concerts finally concluded of course), with the visit made that much better thanks to Riley and his two little boys also joining in for the fun.
Despite the season, we actually had some great weather and the week quickly flitted by, filled with golf cart explorations, short walks and plenty of card games. Soft serve ice creams at The Point, putt putt at FantaSea, play time at Da Playhouse, heck, even a surprisingly good round of golf at the Mossel Bay Golf Club (where I somehow managed to split a ball in half!) all happened during the course of what was a particularly enjoyable week.
The girls and I finally got to explore the lush Harry Giddey Park, drove along the picturesque Outeniqua Mountain Pass, saw the old Post Tree, observed the fish and boarded the caravel in the Bartolomeu Dias museum complex, and in general just enjoyed a really relaxed, good time away from home.
Oh, and the girls and I even got spoiled with some whale antics in the bay on the final day of what can only be summed up as a successful school holiday family getaway.
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(Sure, mind you, it is worth mentioning that the last day wasn’t quite without its frustration. Angry people and hectic protests on the N2 shut down the main road out of Mossel Bay, and so after patiently waiting for most of the day to see if they would calm down, I eventually bit the bullet and followed the dirt back-roads to get out. Still, even that little bit of unpleasantness was in no way enough to detract from the good vibes overall!)
I’ve mentioned them before, but heading down to the harbour to enjoy some fish and chips at the Sea Gypsy Cafe in Mossel Bay has become somewhat of a family tradition whenever we all find ourselves up in the area. Thus, my weekend away with the girls, my folks and my brother Ryan back in March this year ended on that exact note.
Situated just outside the main harbour entrance, right across the small Biblia house, the Sea Gypsy Cafe is a lively spot with both an indoor and outdoor eating setup, a place where the vibe is good, the beer always flows, and fish and chips appear all around you.
Unless of course you ordered something else that is.
Historically I’ve always gone for the classic fish and chips, but recently Dad has converted me into grabbing one of their baskets instead, which contains a nice mix of fish, chips, crumbed mushrooms and calamari.
All ready to be washed down with some fantastic Glenhoff beer (that they have on tap). Spoiler alert: it is all rather good.
They have a good view over the bay (Santos beach is just across the water), the food is quite ‘lekker’ and in general it is a pretty good place to meet up with friends and spend an afternoon catching up.
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And then if you are anything like us – it is back into the car and on the road for the good 4.5 hour long drive home. Which on this occasion was a lot longer thanks to all the stop and go controls in place. (Am rather enjoying the new N2 road surface though!)
Extra Credit: I mentioned the little Biblia house across from the Sea Gypsy Cafe near the start of this post. If you are aren’t familiar with the group, BIBLIA is a Christian non-profit organization that sees to the spiritual and overall well-being of seafarers coming into South Africa. While their home base is the Cape Town harbour, the movement claims to have a presence in every major South African port, meaning that they should be a reasonably familiar sight for you to encounter when visiting any of SA’s larger harbours.
Now that she is more or less old enough to play, I suspect that this might now become a thing whenever I find myself down in Mossel Bay with the eldest munchkin in tow – putt putt at Fanta Sea at The Point.
This particular round of mini golf happened as part of our lovely December holiday getaway, though funnily enough, Jessica and I had actually already played at Fanta Sea back in March. Thing is – all of a sudden the joint was sporting a burst of color and a whole lot of upgrades since we last were there, plus this time around we had both Chantelle and Emily to watch us in action!
(Also, it was believe it or not, quieter than what it had been in March – that Buffalo Biker Rally of the Nomads Motorcycle Club sure knows how to pile the people in here at Mossel Bay! I suspect though that we were somewhat lucky, perhaps most of the Christmas holiday crowd had already packed up and headed off before we finally made the time to come down for a game.)
Anyway, as I mentioned last time, the downside to playing at Fanta Sea with smaller kids is that they only have the adult length putters available, making it pretty difficult for Jessica to play 100% properly – and near impossible for Emily who is still way too small. (Not that that stopped her grabbing a putter and trying of course!)
The weather was good, the putt putt rather nice, and pretty much everyone put in one or two quite excellent shots. I can’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure that my mom managed to sink the most hole-in-ones on the day.
I can’t remember having a particularly good day at the office though – maybe I should have worn a pair of my lucky socks…
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Fanta Sea at The Point is actually a great spot for families with young kids. Putt Putt, skateboarding, a jungle gym play area, light meals, splash pool, car rides, ice cream – there is more than enough here to keep the young ones happy for a fair bit!
Thanks to dad’s amazing fractional ownership of a luxury house in Pinnacle Point Estate (out in Mossel Bay), we end up visiting that area quite a lot – which isn’t a bad thing given that it is of course the start of the famous Garden Route of South Africa!
Last year March saw Jessica and I take a drive up for some alone time with Granny and Grandpa, and while we did jam our long weekend full of outings and activities, we also spent an inordinate amount of time zipping about the estate in the golf cart and taking photos – with Jess adamant on spending time either behind the wheel or behind the camera!
Of course, the thing about Pinnacle Point Estate is that there isn’t exactly a lack of photo worthy subjects.
With so many beautifully designed (if monochromatic) luxury houses dotted along the estate, and given our lack of actual camera equipment (i.e. no zoom), a lot of Jessica and my drives were simply dedicated to pretty house hunting, the result being a lot of neat photos grabbed from the process.
Apart from all the pretty home, there is of course then the photogenic natural aspect of the place, the birdlife, the landscape, the seascape, the caves, the fynbos, the Oyster Bay beach, and the cliffs – not to mention the other man made additions such as the photogenic clubhouse and its restaurant and newly-completed spa, the cliffside boardwalk, the magnificent golf course, the resort’s circular pool, etc.
So basically a never ending stream of pretty things to grab a photo or two of then.
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Bonus: The guys over at Pinnacle Point Estate commissioned a promotional video to be made, the end result giving you a rather good idea of what the place looks like (not to mention offers):
Pinnacle Point Estate is pretty easy to find actually – just head straight towards Tsogo Sun’s Garden Route Casino and you’ll stumble right through their front door (or better put, entrance booms)!
I think that it was my folks who originally introduced us to the Sea Gypsy Cafe, one of their favourite spots to tuck into some fish and chips whenever they are down in Mossel Bay (which, given their Pinnacle Point holiday home, is relatively often).
For some or other unknown reason it has now managed to also wiggle its way into being a bit of an institution for both Chantelle and myself, so much so that we now tend to pop in for a bite to eat almost each and every time that we too find ourselves in the general area!
So anyway, two weeks ago Chantelle and I left the kids behind with her folks in Bellville in order to spend the last bit of our holiday driving up to George, where we would then fork over R7,500 to collect our car that had been forced to stay behind for a week at the Kia/Hyundai Service Center for repairs. (More on that story later, I promise. In essence though, it revolves around old spark plugs and coils, just in case you were wondering.)
With the fixed Accent now back in our possession, Chantelle and I opted to not sleep over in George again, but rather drove our two cars down to Mossel Bay for a change of scenery. After spending a lazy day around the Diaz beach area, we did a bit of a ‘taking in the sights of Mossel Bay’ drive out and about, before heading down towards the harbour for a spot of supper – selecting the aforementioned Sea Gypsy as our restaurant of choice for the evening of course!
Situated on Quay 4 along the harbour wall, the bright blue Sea Gypsy and its gorgeous views of Mossel Bay’s beaches and surrounds is admittedly looking rather tattered these days. (Though to be honest it’s probably always been a little… weathered. It just seems to be getting more and more noticeably so with each and every subsequent visit!)
Anyway, looks/first impressions aside, we grabbed an outdoor seat next to the wall, ordered our food, watched some seagulls, engaged in small talk, witnessed a woman awkwardly trip over the foot of one of the benches, and then finally tucked into some pretty good hake and chips. (The calamari was okay at best).
Still, the views were pretty amazing.
(Also, being in the South Cape I very obviously had a Glenhoff Draught to accompany my meal, because as I’ve now very firmly established for myself, I REALLY do enjoy their brew.)
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Seeing as sunset was now upon us, we hopped down the road to The Point, now thankfully devoid of most of the crazy holiday caravan crowd that descends upon Mossel Bay each and every December holiday season.
Thanks to the smokey haze stretched across the sky (from a massive fire in the Albertinia area), the sun looked particularly fiery as it worked its way ever lower, with me managing to capture this particularly cool photo featuring the iconic St. Blaize Lighthouse in the background:
I’m pretty chuffed with it actually.
As for the rest of the evening – we spent that wandering about Hartenbos while listening to a Native American busker doing his thing.
Related Link: Sea Gypsy Cafe
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:
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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.
When it is whale watching season in Mossel Bay, a drive to The Point followed by a short stroll up to the Cape St. Blaize Cave viewing platform can quite often result in some good shore-based whale watching moments. (I known, because we’ve seen some great ones from there in the past. That said though, the adjacent parking lot down below is pretty good for lazy whale spotting as well!).
However, if it is not quite whale watching season then what you are left with is an important, and coincidentally one of South Africa’s oldest, archaeological excavations instead. (Well, technically, you also have the cool Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse above your head, so there’s that too).
First excavated in 1888 by George Leith, the Cape St. Blaize Cave has revealed deposits dating back some 200,000 years, giving us a glimpse into the possible life lead by the native San people that inhabited this area at the time.
Excavations over the years have revealed evidence showing the use of dyes in symbolizing, advanced blades, the use of heat treatment in manufacturing tools, and thanks to the unearthed middens, the systemic exploitation of marine resources such as shellfish.
Now home to nesting birds, a large colony of dassies, and the odd wandering tourist, as you might imagine, the cave has quite a strong stench lingering about it – meaning that standing around for too long isn’t really an option, or at least that’s what Jessica indicated to me when we took her there back in March this year!
The cave doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to walk around and take in all the signposted information, though there is now a big board erected in the parking lot that indicates the coming of a future educational Point Discovery Centre.
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Worth noting: The cave also serves as the starting point of the Cape St. Blaize hiking trail, which allows you to walk from The Point in Mossel Bay, past Pinnacle Point, and then all the way through to Dana Bay (perhaps better known as Danabaai).