Paternoster in a Volvo V90
Paternoster in a Volvo V90
Described by locals as an “ocean-side Franschhoek”, Paternoster is a quaint coastal town filled with upmarket restaurants and luxury accommodation options. Yet, as a quiet fishing village, it still offers all of the character and charm of a klein dorpie. Kayla Cloete takes to the road in a Volvo V90 Cross Country to explore this fascinating coastal combo.
As you enter the town, you cannot help but get the feeling that many a road trip has been taken here. This quaint hamlet just screams “local getaway”, and after my recent trip, I can fully understand why …
A mere two hours’ drive from Cape Town in the Western Cape, Paternoster is an unassuming sort of town that is growing in its reputation as a popular holiday destination. As you enter the town, you cannot help but get the feeling that many a road trip has been taken here. This quaint hamlet just screams “local getaway”, and after my recent trip, I can fully understand why …
We stopped at an old-school petrol station (which gave me the strong impression that I was standing in the middle of the setting of a Coca-cola commercial) before we checked in at our accommodation for the weekend. Driving through the town towardstietiesbaai, the opulence of ourvolvov90 Cross Country D5 seemed a bit ostentatious against the neat rows of small, white houses of the locals.
Its spacious interior, with leather seats and chrome finishes, seemed a touch out of sorts in a place that suggested a simple, laidback lifestyle.that was, until we walked through the doors of what was to be our home away from home for the next two nights …
Abalone Pool Villas, launched earlier this year, consists of luxury self-catering units that echo the same vibrant decadence of their parent lodging: the boutique Abalone House & Spa that can be found a little further down the road. After putting our stylish Volvo to bed in the single garage, we rounded the corner and heard a loud “thump” as both our luggage and bottom jawbones dropped to the floor.
In front of us was the picture by which I have come to define luxury: the bamboo overhang of the patio framed the view over the coastline that sprawled out in front of a rim-flow pool. Just behind this sat a set of outdoor wicker furniture with a bright blue Arabian-style lantern perched upon a coffee table. Right then, I knew what I had to do.
After a quick costume change that would impress the likes of Superman himself, I submerged into the pool’s icy water (it was the early days of Spring, still a few days shy of comfortable swimming weather, but that pool proved too inviting to resist) and allowed my mind to be quietened by the crashing waves in the distance.
The following morning, we tore ourselves away from the comforts of our villa and set off to explore our surroundings.at the end of the town (which we were able to reach in all of five minutes), we turned onto a dirt road and headed toward Cape Columbine Nature Reserve in Tietiesbaai.
“R21 vir dag besoek, asseblief,” said the friendly security guard in Afrikaans as we reached the entrance to the reserve. A sign on the side of the gatehouse informed us that no card facilities were available. There was a slight panic in the car as we all reached for our purses, not wanting to have to turn the car around and drive back into town for an ATM.
“Does anyone have cash?” I asked as we fished inside the coin sections of our purses. With a collection of coins in hand, my companion headed over to the payment counter, all the while praying that we had counted up correctly.
After a few moments, she walked back, victoriously waving the one R10 note in her hand that one of us had found during our mad scramble for cash. Somehow, we had managed not only to get the correct amount, but had even collected enough to receive change!
Relieved, we drove through the sandy tracks that led us through the nature reserve.we were interested to see if the glamorous Volvo would be able to live up to its “Cross Country” name. We were pleasantly surprised at how well the Volvo handled on the off-road terrain, and its 210 mm ground clearance came in handy when we tried to manoeuvre over a rock or two in order to nab an Instagram-worthy snapshot right near the ocean.
After all of that off-road adventuring, we had managed to work up quite an appetite. We headed for the restaurant that had caught our eye as we entered the reserve which, as it turns out, is quite renowned with both tourists and locals alike.
“This place looks like Adderley Street in Cape Town during peak season,” Colin, the flamboyant owner of Seekombuis Restaurant, explained when he came to greet us at our table. Colin (spelt C-O-L-I-N, as he repeatedly told us when it slipped out that we were journalists) was about as colourful and charming as the restaurant itself. This quaint spot sits right against the shoreline, and its tables are fashioned out of old, wooden rowboats that have been anchored into the sand.
Inside, the place is filled with coastal knick-knacks, from seashells and old lanterns to life vests and flippers.the food is delicious, and well-priced to boot. All in all, Seekombuis is a definite must-stop if you ever happen to be in Tietiesbaai.
As we gobbled up our delicious meals, the sun began to set over the ocean on our last day on this memorable road trip. Climbing into our Volvo and making our way back to our upmarket villa, I was again struck at how diverse my experiences had been both that day, and throughout the trip.
Paternoster – much like the capable cross-country-come-luxury-vehicle makeup of the Volvo V90 – is a town of contrasts where glamourous five-star guesthouses rub shoulders with the modest homes of local fishermen, and tight-collared businessmen relax with colourful, laidback coastal residents. It is a place that offers the best of both worlds, which explains why it is such a strong favourite among road trippers of all kinds.
Colin, the charming owner of Seekombuis Pub & Restaurant, striking a pose for his journalist friends.