With Love From Shelley Point
It all started on a Friday afternoon with three great friends, off for a weekend of fun and birthday celebration. It was lunch time, the car was packed, the music was playing and our journey began. Before we left Cape Town we had to stop off for some essential padkos (quiches, bottled water and chips from the Oakhurst Farmstall in Kenilworth) and once we’d bundled ourselves back into the car we were off …
Even though it was lunch time the traffic was bumper to bumper, because everyone knows Cape Town closes early on a Friday to make way for the weekend. Nevertheless we were three ladies on a mission to get to our destination – Shelley Point on the Cape West Coast … Traffic was almost at a standstill from Milnerton, the start of the R27. There are road works on this stretch of road and only one lane is available to all those wishing to escape the city for the West Coast.
However we persevered and made it passed Blaauwberg, Sunset Beach and West Beach and eventually were cruising along the R27, also known as the West Coast Road. We were headed for the Veldrift turn off and since all three of us are au fait with directions and had looked at a map we assumed it was just a little bit further than Langebaan (an estimated hour and half’s journey). On the drive we amused ourselves with spotting various animals along the side of the road and imitating the sounds they make. Sheep and cattle are to be found in abundance and as such our car was baa-ing and moo-ing as if it were a banyard. Once or twice we were lucky enough to spot and ostrich and as none of us knew exactly how this sounded, the interpretations were given with gusto and left us weeping with laughter.
After reaching Langebaan and hoping that we were almost there, we discovered Veldrift was not as close as it looks on a map, and out came the cell phones for the mandatory “Google: Distance Veldrift Langebaan Shelley Point”. After a range of answers, we decided it would be about another 30 odd kilometres further and about a 15 minute drive.
Once we’d reached the first step in our directions, the Veldrift turnoff, excitement mounted and the real fun began. We headed into the town of Vredenburg and made a quick stop for some petrol, just in case. The next step was to look out for the St Helena Bay turn off, which is quite some distance from the town of Vredenburg. The panic subsided once we’d found the turn off and realised we hadn’t missed it. Brace yourself for a strong smell of fish while driving through St Helena Bay all the way to Shelley Point, it can be pretty unpleasant so those with sensitive noses roll up the windows and cover your nose. After a number of wrong turns and misread signs we found the right turn off to Shelley Point and were really almost there.
Shelley Point is a gated community, meaning there is a security check point at the entrance where you need to sign in and register your vehicle. Once we’d received our passes and assured the security guards we knew where we were going the booms opened and we had arrived in Shelley Point!
Arriving in Shelley Point almost feels like you’re in a tropical paradise because the roads are lined with palm trees. You need to drive slowly and be aware of the tortoises, guinea fowl and rabbits who have right of way on the roads. Every building is painted white and look quite similar from a distance, however driving past you can see that each home as a style and individuality of its own. And even though it is the end of July and should be the middle of winter the weather gods were smiling on us and blessed us with some stunning “summer” like weather for the entire weekend.
Our home away from home was a friend’s holiday house, situated right on the beach with an unbelievable view. From the verandah there was a large stretch of green grass, a trampoline, the beach and the ocean for as far as the eye could see. The sunset that evening was beautiful and falling asleep to the gentle lull of the waves breaking is an experience everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.
Waking up on Saturday we had a breakfast of boiled eggs and bread rolls and watched the pods of dolphins, who had decided to set up camp right in front of our house, surfing in the waves and showing off with their tricks and flicks out of the water. What a fantastic view we had! It was very easy to spend the day watching the ocean in anticipation of the dolphin’s next trick. The day was so warm we even wandered down to the sea for a dip in the ocean, it wasn’t a long swim, but I can honestly say it was the first time I’ve ever swam in the Atlantic Ocean in winter.
We also took a leisurely stroll to the Shelley Point Hotel and Country Club to see what their Spa had to offer. Unfortunately the therapist was fully booked for the weekend and we weren’t able to make any appointments, however the rates are very reasonable and it is worth pre-booking your treatments before you arrive. There is a fabulous swimming pool at the country club and if you would like to get a bit of exercise in you can play a round of golf on the 9-hole links course.
There are no shops in Shelley Point itself, however a small cafe is about a 3 minute drive away and a slightly bigger garage shop is as approximate 10 minute drive. While there you need to take a walk along the beach and enjoy the beauty of Shelley Point, but try to ensure you know what the house you’re staying at looks like because it could be a very long walk if you forget.
If you want to spend a relaxing, quiet time away in a sleepy seaside town then Shelley Point is the direction you should head. This weekend was filled with great memories and wonderful friends and in my opinion it is the only way a weekend should be spent.