With wonderful memories of our Spring Flowers trip through parts of the Western Cape in September 2021 still fresh in our minds, we decided to do a similar, but different, trip in September 2022. Our planned route was to take us to Tulbagh for one night, then three nights each in Clanwilliam and Paternoster. To round off the trip we treated ourselves to a three night stay in Cape Town’s Vineyard Hotel, in celebration of our birthdays which “book-ended” the trip,
I would recommend clicking on the images where appropriate to view in larger scale and appreciate the beauty and perfection of the flowers.
Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show
After a solid breakfast served on the stoep of the Yellow Aloe Guest House with a view over the lush garden, we set off to find the “Blommekerk / Flower Church” where the annual Wildflower show is held and which the reports suggested was well worth a visit.
Well, we didn’t have far to go as we found it was right across the road from our guest house!
The displays of living flowers take up the whole internal area of the small, historic church and are wonderfully done and arranged so that they represent different regions
A side room of ‘special’ flowers was really interesting with every imaginable, and some unimaginable, shapes colours and sizes represented. A plaque nearby had the words of the well-known Afrikaans poet DJ Opperman inscribed on it – his description of the wonder of the Namaqualand flowers is stirring (if you understand Afrikaans)
Equally fascinating was a display of unusual succulents with the cutest names that had us smiling, even chuckling, along with others around us
The common name for this one in Afrikaans translates as “baby’s bum”
And this one is – you guessed it – Thumb and finger!
Ramskop Wild Flower Reserve
After a short spell of shopping for some necessities we headed to the Ramskop Wild Flower Reserve just outside town, overlooking the Clanwilliam Dam.
The gardens were superb and we spent a good hour or two wandering along the pathways, seeing new species at every turn and taking lots of photos
I haven’t tried to describe the flowers – in this case the photos do the talking. Oh, and I haven’t named all of the flowers as I am no expert in botanical matters and in any case I don’t have all my reference books with me in Mossel Bay (a hazard of living in two places)
While I was photographing the vygies a butterfly flew past literally under my nose and momentarily fed on the flowers – I took a few images of which one came out showing a nice side view of the butterfly as it landed on the flower – what a stroke of luck!
With much of the afternoon left and feeling like a late afternoon lunch, we drove through town and headed to Lambert’s Bay about 60 kms west of Clanwilliam. Gerda had read about Isabella’s Restaurant at the harbour being the place for fresh fish (makes sense) so we went straight there and enjoyed an excellent meal – I had Kabeljou, Gerda had Yellowtail and we finished it off with a small but decadent waffle.
I was keen to see and experience the bird hide on the “island” where Cape Gannets breed and roost – the island is in fact joined to the mainland at the harbour by a walkway. Unfortunately, the walkway was closed for maintenance until December and the last boat trip was already back in the harbour so there was no way to view the Gannet breeding colony except from afar – oh well, maybe another time….
To end the day I went for a walk through the streets of Clanwilliam as dusk fell