I am lucky enough to live close enough to Cape Agulhas to make it a weekend destination. It may be hard to believe, but I have lived in the Western Cape since the early 80’s and until this year, I had never made it to the actual point!
Our first trip was in October 2015. We have friends who live in Knysna, a truly beautiful part of our spectacular region who, like us, enjoy road trips on their motorbike, so we arranged to meet them in Struisbaai, as this is the halfway point from where we both live.
I made the accommodation reservations and gave them the address. We left our house in False Bay around 8am, maps having been memorised, seeing as this was our first time to the area. We took the scenic route, choosing to go over David Baird Drive – what a beautiful coastal road this is – surely one of the best in the world..the word spectacular doesn’t do it any justice. As is normal in the Western Cape, the weather changed from bright sunshine to drizzly rain in the space of a few minutes, so we stopped at one of the viewing sites to put our rain gear on. The road was luckily relatively quiet as this was a Saturday morning and most people heading out for a weekend away, tend to leave on Friday evening after work.
Our first petrol and rest stop was in Hermanus, a beautiful seaside town, if a little touristy….we’ve struggled to find decent restaurants in Hermanus, while there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, the food and service seem to say ‘tourists…they’ll be gone in the morning’ This time we tried a tapas restaurant just off the seafront and were pleasantly surprised, as in, the food was edible and the service was better than any we had experienced in Hermanus previously..
After getting dressed again into our motorbike protective gear, jackets, gloves, boots, this time minus the rain gear as the sun was shining again, we were back on the road.Towns and suburbs quickly gave way to wide open spaces and well maintained roads – the vista’s of mountains with the ocean sparkling in the distance were mesmerising. It was clear that ostriches don’t like the sound of motorbikes, as every time we rode a past an ostrich farm, the entire pack set off running at a fast pace, kicking up sand and grass as they fled for their lives!
Unfortunately, our sense of direction left us momentarily, and what should have been a 4 hour trip turned into 6 hours..and, to compound the mistake, those 2 extra hours and that one wrong turn off meant we were riding on dirt roads, which in themselves were not in bad condition at all, if it hadn’t been for the very strong crosswind that was blowing us into the soft sand at the edges…we both hung on tight…the back box was rattling and banging…I’m sure the scenery was beautiful, but to be honest, I don’t remember paying any attention to the scenery on that particular piece of road, except to notice a sign and entrance to a wine estate, Black Oystercatcher which I made a mental note of.
As we turned onto the tar road which led us to Struisbaai – I’m sure you could hear the sigh of relief from both of us!
We arrived at the accommodation in less than 5 minutes and made our way to the reception to check in. I had booked us in a backpacker lodge as we both enjoy the camaraderie and informal nature of backpackers, but I knew our friends had never even imagined staying in a backpackers and was interested to see their reaction when they arrived and realised this was not their normal 5 star experience.
Luckily, I had gambled correctly that they would enjoy this down home experience..far from what they expected a backpacker to be, we had separate rooms with en-suite bathrooms and beds and bedding were all very comfortable.
After sittion our our motorbikes for a long time, a walk was definitely necessary and we thankfully took off our motorbike gear and put on shorts and t-shirts and took a walk down to the beach, which was only 2 minutes from our accommodation. The beach in Struisbaai is beautiful, white sand, waves with a wooden boardwalk in the dunes.We walked the length of the beach on the boardwalk towards the harbour and then wandered through the town.
We opted to join in the evening braai in the main lounge at the backpackers for the first evening which was very enjoyable and really good value. We ended up talking to people who were there from all over the world, people are so friendly at this level of accommodation – this was another pleasant surprise for our friends, who loved the informality of it all. After a few drinks at the bar, we decided to play pool but quickly realised that this pool table is not for people who take the game seriously as the balls were different colours and sizes, and the lodge dogs, the moment we picked up the pool cues, were standing at the pool table waiting expectantly for any balls for them to chase..and chase them they did, right out of the pocket! it was hilarious – the dogs played pool better than we did….a memorable night!
The next morning we had the lodge breakfast, (really good value) and after another beach walk and stroll back through the town, we felt ready to get back on our bikes and check out the area. We headed through Struisbaai toward the town of l’Agulhas, for the main attraction – the lighthouse at the Southern tip of Africa. The lighthouse is very well maintained and well run with enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff available to assist with any queries regarding the region, whether historical or geographical or even to recommend a vibrant place to watch the rugby later that evening! After enjoying the 360 degree views from the lighthouse, we got back on the bikes to explore the area. We all found the experience of being at the actual Southernmost tip of Africa quite awe inspiring, and I for one, will never look at the tip on the map of Africa, without remembering just how it looks from inside the lighthouse.
That evening, we walked into Struisbaai town to watch the rugby at the venue recommended by the tourism host. The bar was full of locals, which is just what we wanted,they were fun, friendly, loud and passionately supporting the Springboks! We had dinner there and realised just why the locals are as well built as they are….the portions are huge and hearty!
All good things have to come to an end, so after an early night, we got back onto our bikes after breakfast and headed back to our respective homes…all a little wiser and grateful that we made this trip.
Remember: for bookings or enquiries, regarding this or any other place in the Western Cape, contact us on:
looking forward to hearing from you ;0