Hondeklipbaai a rough diamond on the mystical west coast


The personification of Honneklipbaai would be Shane MacGowan from the Pogues.  A diamond in the rough, a place where dreams dress as scruffy diamond mining boats.

not the stuff postcards are made of
not the stuff postcards are made of

Visiting Hondeklipbaai was part of our flower seeking journey.  Entering the town we pulled disgruntled faces on being met by shabby houses strung together with overhead power cables.  Hardly in line with the quaint coastal imaginings which we had nurtured.  Driving in on a grey day most flowers had tucked in their petals, sulking at the lack of sunshine.  Our first impression was somewhat cheerless, this proved a lesson in ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’.

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Arriving late we dropped off luggage at Honne Pondokkie (chosen primarily for the cool name) no. 4 and headed for the beach.


The grumpy, unapologetic West Coast refuses to conform to ideas of what pretty should look like.  A moody black and red beach drew us with the allure of blood and sin, washed by ever purging waves.  At some point trepidation gave way to a raw, holy love.


At sunset we walked to the Dop en Kreef restaurant, overlooking the old harbour.  The restaurant is owned by pretty blonde Lohana who packed in life in Pretoria, yielding to the spell of Honneklipbaai.  Dop en Kreef operates seasonally during the flower season and school holidays.

aristea aristea-shipwreck

Before reluctantly taking the dusty road out to Nieuwoudville our next stop, we visited the wreck of the Aristea, her rusted skeleton twisted on the rocks.   Entering parallel reality, my children explored with wonder and delight.

While flowers were scant due to the weather, memories of Hondeklipbaai endure as the most special time on our trip.  This is no dirty old town, this is a place of passion, addictive as the cig hanging from a wry mouth.  To quote John Lennon “Life is what happens to you, when you busy making other plans”.

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The sun did come out on the morning of our departure.  The pics above are of the spring wildflowers along the dirt road from Hondeklipbaai.









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