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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Stopping By Strand En Route To Hondeklipbaai

A new adventure has started and I can hear Africa calling my name. This time I headed for remote Hondeklipbaai on the Western shore of South Africa. Those of you who follow this blog regularly will know that I have blogged about this quaint and remote little town before. I visited Hondeklipbaai for the first time last year (approximately 13 months ago) and fell in love almost immediately. The vastness of the silence and the open fields, with skies stretching into eternity over the ever-changing ocean, was enough to capture my heart in a life-long love embrace. Small wonder then that I grabbed at the opportunity to return here for a three month stay, when it presented itself.

Strand at sunset

My work as artist, writer and blogger affords me freedom of movement that is equalled in few other job situations. Thus, when a friend, headed across the ocean for a couple of months, was looking for someone to babysit her animals, I practically jumped at the opportunity. I can hardly imagine a place better situated to inspire creativity and a book had brewing in my mind for a while, begging for me to slow down and write it. Hondeklipbaai forces you to slow down and savour life. I imagined that I would finally be able to settle down to writing. Little did I realize how much this out-of-the-way little town had to offer.

Beetroot and rose flat white at Pajamas & Jam

My journey started at O.R. Thambo (better known as Johannesburg International Airport), where I boarded a flight with, headed for Cape Town International. The flight was pretty uneventful and I managed to catch up with some much-needed sleep. I woke up just in time to see Table Mountain flashing below and then we were landing.

Fisherman's Cottage in Hondeklipbaai

Lynette was there to meet me and we made a quick exit from the airport. I already knew we would be spending a few days at her place in Strand, where most of our time would be occupied by shopping – not my favourite hobby, but a necessary evil that had to be faced. It turned out to be rather fun, after all!

Moroccan Curried Chicken Salad at Pajamas & Jam

I knew that we would have to do some serious shopping to buy supplies for my three-month stay, but what I did not know, was that Lynette was fitting the Fisherman’s Cottage out with new linens etc. The Fisherman’s Cottage is a two-bedroom cottage that Lynette rents out to visitors to Hondeklipbaai, which had been permanently occupied for the last two years and have only now become available for rent again. This kind of shopping I actually do like, especially when I suggested that we make some of the items ourselves instead of simply buying ready-made items. I love spending time in fabric shops, craft shops and the like, and our shopping spree took us to enough of these to satisfy my creative spirit.

The beach front at Hondeklipbaai

In the meantime, I spent four days in Strand, one of the best holiday spots on Western Cape shoreline, if you fancy city life, in a house overlooking the magnificent stretch of beach that gave Strand its name. Here I witnessed some spectacular sunsets and had some of the best meals I’ve had in ages. Aside from the glorious food prepared by my very able hosts, we also visited an out-of-the-way restaurant in an unlikely spot in the industrial area of Strand.

Homemade salad with friends in Strand 

Despite its deceptive location and appearances, the restaurant offers innovative and delicious food that has something to satisfy everyone’s whim, whether you are dieting or not. I ordered a brilliant salad that still has me wishing to be able to replicate it at home. The chef obviously knows how to combine both flavour and texture in a way that reminds you of good memories while surprising you with unexpected sensations. Simply superb and high on my list of places to visit on a second visit to town. As I had such a marvelous experience here, I am happy to share the details of the restaurant with you. It is called Pajamas & Jam, situated at 32 Van Zyl Street, Strand. You can contact them at (021) 854-6408 or email them at

 A view from the balcony in Strand

Bird-watching from the balcony in Strand

In the upcoming blogs I will share some more titbits and news of my stay in Hondeklipbaai, as well as the interesting people I have met here. I have picked up some interesting cooking tips and recipes, met a wide variety of artists and learned about the landscape and plants of the area from local hikers and tour guides, who also were able to share some of the folk lore and legends of the place. Hondeklipbaai certainly is not a town one should rush through, but take your time, fall into conversation with the locals, and truly savour every moment.

 Fisherman's Cottage in Hondeklipbaai

At Dirk & Lynette's in Hondeklipbaai

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