13 Jun Friendcation Part 2: Paternoster
In part 1 of my Western Cape Friendcation trip, I openly confided in you all that I only just accepted that Terminal A (I live in South Africa… our vaccine rollout is slow) won’t be a place I engage with any time soon, because I am not for voluntarily taking a Covid test. Although, I must say that the more people I see using their passports and the more summer vacay Instagram content pops up on my timeline, the more I have started to think that maybe, just maybe, having a swab put up my nose or shoved down my throat isn’t such a bad trade off …
I know a lot of people think it’s strange and illogical that we planned a 5 day trip to the Western Cape that started all the way in Franschhoek and wrapped up a good 2 hour drive all the way in the West Coast in Paternoster. Those people are absolutely correct. However, with a lot of non-travel memories to make up for, I prioritized “must see” destination hopping to see and do all the things right here in this beautiful country of ours that I have been wanting to see and do, over convenience and logic.We arrived to a sunny Paternoster, checked in and immediately went on the Beach Buggy Fynbos Safari Tour we had booked through Gonana Guesthouse. The two-hour tour through the area covered a ride through the town / village… (not sure what to refer to Paternoster as) towards the Groot Paternoster Private Nature Reserve. Our guide Deon shared stories on the history of the area and its beaches whilst occasionally stopping to pick and taste different edible fynbos that he went to explain Wolfgat use in their menus.Later that day after chilling for a bit at the guesthouse, we had dinner at Gaaitjie, a lovely quaint seaside restaurant located on the beach. Laid back and easy in terms of vibe, I can only describe the food as wholesome and simple, yet gastronomic. We enjoyed the west coast mussels, the smoked angelfish bobotie spring roll and for mains we went for the simple and delicious hake and potato wedges. Besides the food, the highlight of our visit to Gaaitjie was getting to witness an incredible Paternoster fiery sunset.Then next day, we woke up to a misty Paternoster which forced us to do exactly what the Paternoster part of the stay was meant to be about: relax. After a delicious breakfast served upstairs in the common area at the large solid wooden table with cushioned bench seating, at Gonana Guesthouse we took a walk on the beach in misty weather, picking up shells along the way and marvelling at how there were no other footprints on the sand.
After taking a few work calls and sending a few emails (nothing good lasts forever it seems) we had a late lunch at De See Kat and wrapped up our last evening in Paternoster early, sitting on the large leather couch in the common area of the guesthouse drinking tea and hot chocolate, occasionally looking out through the balcony doors to watch the mist waves roll in.
Paternoster, is definitely a place I will visit regularly. And whilst I think I would likely want to give other places like Sugar Shack and the Strandloper Ocean Boutique Hotel a try, I feel like I will always return to Gonana Guesthouse. Located in Bekbaai, which is considered to be the quieter and less commercial side of Paternoster but is still close enough to take a short drive or slightly long walk to any of the famed or popular restaurants or bars this guest house is not only very Instagrammable, with its beautifully decorated natural hues and textures but also environmentally conscious. The electricity is solar generated, recycled rainwater is used in the bathrooms as well as to top up the pool and the art pieces according to the Gonana website are made locally from recycled materials.Our en-suite room with its private veranda leading directly to the beach had an extra-length bed with a wood finish frame and headboard, comfortable and warm bedding that made falling asleep wonderfully easy for an Insomniac like me. And nothing felt better than waking up to the sound of the ocean right outside after a good nights sleep.