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.
Flowers in abundance
The full breakfast at Paternoster Dunes is a gourmet affair, presented with flair and with unusual flavours – just what we enjoy as a treat. Adding to the enjoyment is the view from the upper floor dining room with its panoramic windows looking over the wide expanse of beach below and across the waves to the distant headlands.
During brekkie we got chatting to a couple from Vryburg – well Gerda got chatting, I just nodded my head occasionally – and as often happens when you get chatting with strangers, we had a glimpse into each other’s lives, which is always interesting.
The sun was shining, holding the promise for a bountiful day’s flower viewing, so after breakfast we set off to visit Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, which has the well-known ‘alternate’ name of Tietiesbaai (literally ‘Boobs Bay’ for the international readers).
The reserve gate lies just a few kms from the guesthouse and once we had paid the nominal fee and entered, we travelled very slowly, with plenty of birdlife and beautiful spreads of flowers demanding our attention all the way.
The sea is almost always visible from the sandy road into the reserve and tracks leading off the main route took us closer to the rocky shoreline where we admired the rafts of flowers in shades of yellow, orange and white, with the odd contrasting colour here and there, all against the rugged backdrop of sea and rocks.
I don’t know of any other spot along the West coast that provides the same spectacular combination of scenery, flowers and birdlife – we were spoilt for choice!
Even without the flowers, Tietiesbaai is worth a visit, but in flower season the carpets of stunning flowers add another dimension to the reserve, making it a must-visit spot, in our opinion.
Strangely, not that many people have cottoned onto this as, during our visits in September last year and again this year, we have found that we have the reserve mostly to ourselves, allowing us to stop at random along the narrow tracks without the worry of blocking the road for others.
The birds we came across were many and varied, with a couple of special encounters which had us excited and fascinated – I will be featuring the birds in a follow-up post as they, and indeed the flowers, are both deserving of a separate post.
Once we reached the campsite, right on the edge of the sea, we made use of the neat ablutions and turned back towards Paternoster, taking the ‘upper’ road past the lighthouse.
To end off let me share some of the images of individual flowers that particularly caught our eye
And to absolutely end off, even the fungi look like attractive flowers (well, I think it’s fungi …..)
Oh, and please do enjoy the Christmas weekend wherever you may find yourself!