New, to me, meant getting to know the Overberg area and I chose Stanford as my base camp. From here I would explore Gansbaai, Napier and Elim – that was my broad plan of action.
Chose accommodation from choosytravellers.com, that suited my unique needs, to be on a farm with the mountains as a backdrop and able to hear birds and farm animals as the music contribution. It certainly worked out that way.
Farmstay 2 km outside Stanford
Morning horse parade with Overberg mountains in background on farmstay near Stanford. Set the mood for the day of exploring surrounding areas.
Morning Horse Parade on Farmstay
Everything was new so I decided to pop in for a cup of coffee at the “Old Meul Bakkery” where it was just so easy to chat with some of the locals. They suggested I visit the Kleinrivier running through the town. Stanford is just 30 minutes from Hermanus and Gansbaai. I immediately got the feeling of being in a laid-back getaway or extension of a family of some 3000 people.
I decided to visit Gansbaai just down the road. As it was October there was not the huge holiday maker crowds to contend with. Google tells me Gansbaai is a fishing town in the Overberg District and is well known for its dense population of great white sharks and as a whale-watching location.
When I visited the shark boats I was told that the sharks were on one their mystery disappearance acts!
I am particularly fond of fish so I popped into the restaurant in the dock area. I asked if perlemoen (abalone) was available and then was told the most amazing story of the poaching that is happening to our perlemoen and exported to the east. Only hope our police can sort this serious problem out.
I had made a new contact in Herman van Bon and his wife and promised to visit them in Napier. It was one of the highlights of my trip. Herman is highly entertaining and talented in his fine art photography and Yvonne is highly imaginative in her jewelry making with original designs handmade from South African metals such as Sterling Silver, Brass and Copper; often combined with South African colorful soil- and crushed rock particles
Herman van Bon is a fine art photographer with an eye for beauty and quirky humour. Landscapes, nature and imaginaries. I love his canola plant picture – so colourful and entertaining.
The von Bons introduced me to their friend “Steamy Kevin” (Kevin Doveton) who makes the most amazing Steam engines as a hobby. Neville has built his whole workshop from scratch, apart from the lathes. He is truly a person who works for the love of it and produces the most amazing steam engines
New experience for me was to find a laundry service. This meant a trip to Hermanus. Along the road I was simply gob-smacked with the wild plants, particularly the yellow pin cushion proteas growing in wild abundance amongst the fynbos. Just had to stop and stare in amazement!!!