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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Re-opening the doors of Fisherman's Cottage in Hondeklipbaai

My friend was on her way to an extended overseas trip and needed to be sure that her animals were not only cared for, but also loved, back home in Hondeklipbaai. This is where I entered the picture. I would stay at her place in Hondeklip, while she went gallivanting across the ocean. I would have to be stone crazy to pass on an opportunity to stay in Hondeklip for a couple of months! When I arrived in Cape Town, I learned that the cottage back home would once again be open for visitors, after it had been off the tourist market for little more than a year. This meant that Fisherman's Cottage would have to be completely refurbished. And this is how it came about that I became part of the exciting, yet unexpected story of getting Fisherman's Cottage ready for visitors once again. I have learned that traveling with an open agenda can often afford you rare glimpses into life you would not have had otherwise. Let me share this tale with you.

Fisherman's Cottage is a charming two bedroom, two bathroom cottage with a perfect view on the bay. It is built in true cape style, complete with thatch roof and indoor as well as outdoor braai (barbecue).

First on the agenda was to give Fisherman's a fresh coat of paint. This gave great opportunity to employ some of the locals. Hondeklipbaai has a large number of unemployed inhabitants due to closures of mines and factories in the area. As a result, the community is largely an impoverished one, relying very much on the tourist industry, which is a seasonal one. When visiting Hondeklipbaai, please consider donating unwanted clothes, books and other items at the Rooi/Red Container, next to The Shack. It is sold very cheaply to the community and money raised is ploughed back into identified causes within the community.

Hetta is the friendly face behind the big smile who made sure that the Cottage was cleaned from top to bottom, even taking to the job with toothpicks and toothbrush! For a prolonged stay, cleaning services are available at minimal extra cost.

Unwanted furniture had to be removed and new ones returned in their place. Pay attention to the lovely bay windows with its shutters, which is a feature of Fisherman's Cottage.

I stole away to take some pictures of the garden setting around the Fisherman's Cottage.

Old crockery and cutlery was removed and replaced with new ones, but not before Hetta gave everything the once over with her cleaning materials.

One of the rooms were starting to take shape as soon as the furniture was in place.

When I turned away from the beds, this was the sight out of the window that greeted my eyes!

A second bedroom was also starting to take shape.

Some more pics of the garden.

I love this garden with its many interesting features and focal points.

Finally the time came to start making the beds and getting the soft furnishings into place. Featured is Lynnette (owner) and Rina (manager).

The bathrooms were checked for leaks and double-checked to make sure everything was clean. Both bathrooms have shower facilities only.

With the area being arid, it is wiser to take water-saving showers rather than luxurious baths.

One bedroom made up and ready to receive guests.

The work surface in the kitchen was spotless and tidy. Note the energy-saving cooker. Fisherman's Cottage is equipped with a complete set of pots and pans for this induction stove.

The second bedroom was made up and ready for guests.

The outside areas were ready for guests to arrive.

I simply had to sit down under those umbrellas to enjoy the view!

Aside from the induction plate, there is also a stove and brand new microwave oven.

Guests can expect a welcome gift upon arrival.

The coffee bay is equipped with a Nespresso machine! The pods are available in the style of an honesty bar. Use a pod and drop a note in the moneybox to pay for it. Imagine that!

A view of the indoor braai area. This is also conveniently placed in the open-plan kitchen/lounge area, making it possible to follow the full bouquet DSTV installed in the Cottage while preparing meals.

One of the greatest features of Fisherman's Cottage must be the alpacas and geese roaming freely in the garden. Ask the staff on the grounds, and they will even help you to feed them!

Wondering where to find Fisherman's Cottage? Look for the sign in the street, or contact Rina at (+27) 072 493 0757. Fisherman's Cottage is right next door to The Shack Coffee Shop.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
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