Coastal Cross­ing

Pa­ter­nos­ter in a Volvo V90

Road Trip - - CONTENTS - Story by: Kayla Cloete Cap­tured by: Ryan Ab­bott, Kayla Cloete & Abalone Pool Vil­las

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 sur­round­ 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.

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