Paternoster, Heart of the West Coast

Barely and hour’s drive from Cape Town on the rugged West Coast, in a tranquil bay embroidered with scattered rocks, is the beautiful fishing village of Paternoster.

With it’s picturesque white washed houses, green-grey veld and turquoise water, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve got ended up in a remote hamlet somewhere on the Mediterranean coast. Then once more, you won’t get anything more authentically South African than the local delicacy of bokkoms (salted, dried fish) – the seafood version of that different very South African treat, biltong.

Being near Cape Town, this predominantly Afrikaans-speaking village is a well-liked weekfinish getaway vacation spot for affluent Capetonians who prefer the unspoilt West Coast to the vacationer friendlier South Coast. In summer the close by camping site at Tietiesbaai in the Cape Columbine nature reserve, is frequented by hardy fisherman and snorkel divers.

Although the water is mostly too cold for bathing, colourful boats baking within the sun is a typical sight on the town’s unspoilt stretch of beach. On a great day up to thirty boats can be seen throughout the bay – nearly all of Paternoster’s humble everlasting inhabitants are still solely at mercy of the sea to provide them with food and a way of income.

Legend has it that the town’s name, which is Latin for “Our Father’s prayer”, was given by Portuguese seafarers who had trouble in tough seas. Grateful for having safely reached shore, they vowed to build a church and christened the village Paternoster.

A visit to the Paternoster hotel will provide you with a bit of perception into the town’s colourful culture. The hotel’s notorious “panty bar” – with it’s partitions and ceiling covered in ladies’s underwear and dirty jokes – is where you may discover sturdy fishermen watching sport on television while consuming copious quantities of Brandy and coke. Across the road from the hotel’s terrace, locals sell their catch of the day – whether Snoek legally or Crayfish underhandedly (it is illegal to purchase or sell Crayfish or West Coast Rock Lobster with a recreational Crayfish permit).

Down the road is the Paternoster farm stall, where merchandise features a delicious variety of homemade seafood pickles like mussels with coriander and chili or curried calamari. Diagonally opposite is the charming Oep ve Koep (the name directly interprets from an Afrikaans expression in typical West Coast slang as “open for getting”) the place typical kitschy vacationer memorabilia sit between a large collection of antique enamelware, glass containers and vintage signage.

On the beach entrance market indulge within the freshest fish and chips from the Seemeeu Kiosk or courageous the pungent smell and purchase a bunch of bokkoms – truly a delectable substitute for anchovy.

For the proper ending to a typical West-Coast visit, make dinner reservations on the quaint Die Voorstrandt restaurant. Situated proper on the beach in one of many oldest buildings within the village, Die Voorstrandt offers a style of the freshest native seafood and unsurpassed views of the most beautiful West Coast sunset.

If you have any questions pertaining to where by and how to use accommodation in paternoster, you can make contact with us at the site.

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