Paternoster; a sleepy fisherman’s village at the West Coast of South Africa. A place I truly find special. A place where I always love to go (back) to. ‘Why Paternoster? There is nothing to do! It’s so boring!’, is what a friend told me once. And he is right. There is not a lot to do. No interesting museum, no Saturday morning village markets, no Foodie paradise as in Stellenbosch or Cape Town, no upmarket bar for a sundowner cocktail, no hipster coffee place. Only beach, white houses, sweet people and lots of sand and sea.
And that is probably the reason why I like Paternoster; because there is no ‘I have to see/do/experience/photograph/book/reserve/try/not to miss this’ pressure. It’s just you and nature. Don’t get me wrong; I love to do city trips where I have a (too) long list of things I’d like to see, try or taste. A list which probably will be enough for a five weeks stay, and that is the exact reason why city trips could sometimes be a bit busy, rushed with the program being too full. In Paternoster this is simply not possible. So…. perfect. Perfect Paternoster.
What do I do then? In a place there is not a lot to do? I sleep, I read, I walk, I run, I sunbath when it’s good weather (it’s never as hot there as it is in Franschhoek during summer), I socialize, drink wine in front of the fire and play Settlers of Catan with the Mister during bad weather (winter time is still a great time to visit Paternoster), I love to visit the local restaurant as Gaaitjie or Noisy Oyster. And during the Crayfish season (November – April but most Crayfish is there ) of course I have to eat crayfish for lunch at Voorstrandt, or braai it myself. An there are actually a few tiny shops and art galleries around Noisy Oyster restaurant which are well worth a visit. It just doesn’t take the whole day. Which is great. You can see the center in less than 20 minutes, and actually sometimes that can be just perfect. So much time left to relax.
How romantic is this lunch spot? It’s Gaaitjie Restaurant, right ON the beach.
Years ago friends of us introduced us to their favorite B&B and since that visit we returned about 5 times (and counting). Ah! Guest House is one of these finds you can miss after return back home. The guesthouse, located 20 meters from the beach, is managed by the owners Arnold and Annalise. The guest house has five lovely rooms, a guest lounge with fireplace and an open country style kitchen where Arnold will make the most delicious food. From the rooms on the first floor you have amazing views of the long walking beach (see photo above). A few times a week, Arnold and Annalise host a home dinner in their kitchen. All the guests in the guesthouse sit at the long table together (and yes, that is fun! We’ve met already some interesting and fun people here)!
The West Coast National Park is a beautiful nature reserve close to Paternoster. During August, September and part of October you can enjoy the Wild Flowers here. Also you can spot some wildlife, like antilopes and ostriches.
The Paternoster Light House is worth a visit also. Not there is anything to do there, but it’s a beautiful light house in a quiet part of Paternoster, with other, different views of the village and the Atlantic.
So, do you need a place to calm down? Relax. Only worry about you go to the beach for a walk or stay ‘home’ to finish your book? Then this it is. It’s perfect. It’s Paternoster.
Paternosters means ‘our father’ and it’s the oldest fisherman’s village at South Africa’s West Coast. The best time to travel actually is whole year around, but during August/September, and early October if one’s lucky, you can enjoy the Wild Flowers in the Postberg section of the West Coast National Park. And for crayfish seafood go during summer months between November and April.