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Posted on: Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The simplicity of a seaside holiday in Paternoster

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There’s something so simple and utterly relaxing about a weekend away beside the sea.  Paternoster, only two hours from Cape Town, has always been one of those places for me.

Driving along the West Coast road with the ocean to my left and the vast open land to my right, I cannot wait to live the simple life for three days.  We drive through the town of Vredenburg and buy our groceries for the next few days and head for our self-catering house by the sea…




The sun is shining brilliantly and aside from a slab of grey cloud gathering over the ocean in the distance, there are only blue skies.  At the very first four-way stop in Paternoster, we continue straight and move closer to the ocean.

After collecting the house keys, we pull into the driveway of our holiday home.  Like all the other houses around it, the walls are whitewashed with wooden gates, doors and shutters painted blue.  The matching houses resemble those in a scene from Mama Mia on the Greek island of Skiathos.   There is magnificent rock detail within the rooms and around the house.

One a quest to find the ocean, we walk along a gravel pathway lined with sea shells.  All around us are fresh blooms inviting birds, bees and a plethora of insects.  White daisies accentuate the blue doors we pass; red bottle brush blooms hung low over the path and shade the giant lavender bushes providing the sweetest of fragrances.  A little bench is half hidden by the flowers in this scented walkway and colourful bird feeds give birds an additional incentive to visit.

Silvery royal blue and jade coloured sugar birds flutter their wings as they hover over flower heads and as I move closer they fly to the highest part of trees, leaving only a silhouette behind in the late afternoon sun.




This side of the beach is all but deserted other than a man throwing a chunk of seaweed for his dog and two young girls braving the icy ocean.  They seem to be oblivious to its cold as we stroll down the beach in warm clothes.

The wind and receding ocean leaves the most brilliant of patterns to line the wide beach.  Further down the famous red, blue and black fishing boats find rest on the shore.  A group of boys play rugby and a brother and sister fly their multi-coloured kites as their parents look on.

My nose grows cold from the ocean breeze and I speed up ever so slightly.  Girls draw hearts in the sand and three or four ‘Paternosters’ crop up etched on the beach.  On the way back, a women sits in a camping chair with wine in hand awaiting someone to join her in the other chair. Seashells have been forsaken on a wooden bench amidst the fynbos and more children run out from beach houses towards the water… The simplicity of a seaside holiday in Paternoster!

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Lauren Manuel McShane


Six continents later, Lauren Manuel McShane still has itchy feet and wanderlust for adventure in all corners of the earth. She recently married the love of her life and together they are traveling the world pausing only to find work, take photos and write. She is currently in Asia and sharing everything about her expat life on The Travel Manuel.

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