Kleinmond

In a recent post called Lessons learned in taking care of a post-op patient, I wrote about going to take care of my mother in the little town she lives in. Of course I took a camera with me, and actually managed to get some nice shots of the town. “The town” is Kleinmond, a small coastal town in the Overberg region of the Western Cape province. It is situated inside the UNESCO-declared Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve about 90 km east of Cape Town.

A short description follows . . .

[Kleinmond] has been a summer resort for farmers from the Caledon and Elgin areas since 1861. In 1948, a town council was elected, a highway constructed and the town developed.

[Today]  Kleinmond is a popular holiday resort within Sandown Bay and situated 3 km from the Palmiet River. The name comes from the `small mouth’ of the lagoon of the Bot River . . .

. . . The Botriver Marsh is home to thousands of water fowl. . . . The famous Harold Porter Boatanical Gardens, renowned for its wild flowers and particularly the rare Disa stretch up the mountainside, to the waterfall at Disa Kloof.

The Kleinmond Coastal and Mountain resort has more than 1500 species of coastal and mountain fynbos, a milkwood scrub forest and 40 other tree species. There are several trails through the reserve as well as a 18 km hike, leading to tidal pools and inlets with a variety of marine life. It is also an ideal place from which to do some whale watching.

And for the nature-lovers there is also the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, and the Penguin Reserve at Stoney Point. This was the first Penguin Reserve on the South African mainland, a breeding sanctuary for Jackass Penguins.

Excerpt from SA Places site.

I must have just missed the visit of the Southern Right Whales which come to this piece of coastline, from June to November, to mate and calf.

My journey to Kleinmond started in the Southern Cape and I followed the road (the N2 National Road which follows the coast) up and down endless hills. Reggie from the blog Grains of Sand did the journey in reverse in her post Weekend in Riversdale – Part 1: Cape Town to Riversdale. If you want to see some beautiful photographs of what the Overberg area looks like, take a look at the slideshow at the end of her post. I drove that route about three months later, and farmers had already started harvesting the wheat and canola – and quite literally “making hay while sun shone”!

Farmlands along the road between the Southern Cape and the Overberg. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

I saw the machine that makes the rounded bales of hay in the photograph below. It was rolling up the hay almost like a dung beetle, and then releasing the bale when it got to the right size. There is actually a good description of the process with photographs in this section on Wikipedia. Driving through the countryside I saw field after field with hundreds of hay bales in them. It has obviously been a good year, and there will be plenty of hay for the livestock over the months to come.

After the wheat has been harvested, a machine compresses the left over stalks into these round bales. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

After turning off the National Road (N2) towards the coast, one gets a better view of the mountains. They look quite rocky and bare because of the severe wild-fires that have swept through the mountains in recent years.

Looking towards the mountains behind Kleinmond. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Approacing Kleinmond from the east. To the right are mountains. To the left are marshlands, a lagoon and then the sea. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Wild horses roam free in the marshlands at the Bot River lagoon area. According to Wikipedia “they are believed to be South Africa’s only herd of wild horses in a wetland habitat.

The marshlands between the sea and the road. Wild horses roam here, although none were visible the day I took the photograph. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Reaching the edge of Kleinmond, the view which one sees looking in an easterly direction (i.e. back in the direction one comes from) is over the lagoon and the marshland in the background, with the mountains to the left (north) and the sea to the right (south). The next three photographs looked at in sequence form a kind of panoramic view from left to right.

Looking back in an easterly direction from the edge of the town. The mountains now to the left (north) and the lagoon in the foreground. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

In the middle of the lagoon, a bridge crosses from the town to the beach. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Towards the far right of the lagoon. You can see the sand bank which has closed off the mouth of the river where it flows into the sea. The beach and sea lie beyond. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

One of the old landmarks of the town was the Kleinmond Beach House Hotel which had a beautiful view over the lagoon, the beach and Sandown Bay. It unfortunately burned down in a fire during December 2006.

The site of the old Kleinmond Beach House Hotel which burned down in December 2006. It has yet to be rebuilt. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The empty site where the hotel used to be.  To see the original hotel go here, and a photograph of the fire-fighting efforts to save the hotel can be found here. The second photo must have been early on in the fire, and it doesn’t look like the fire department had enough resources to cope with the blaze. An investigation followed to determine the cause of the fire. I never found out what happened, but the hotel has yet to be re-built.

The view from near where the old hotel stood. Somewhat spoiled these days by the beach restaurant roof in the foreground. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

From the old hotel area, running in a westerly direction is Beach Road, the old coastal road where the first houses in Kleinmond were built.

Looking in a westerly direction along the Coast or Beach Road. The vegetation you see between the rocks and the road are part of a coastal reserve. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

A closer view of the coastal reserve. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Interesting rock formations along the coast road. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The rock on the right hand side (in the photo above) reminded me of this photo from a recent Caption This competition.

A row of mostly original houses along Beach Road.©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

One of the original cottages that has been renovated to look like it originally did. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Another cottage which has been modernized and had extensions added to it. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

As you might imagine, the properties along Beach Road are very valuable. They are also very difficult to come by, as they are passed down the generations of the original families and don’t often come on the market. Although I love modern architecture, it seems a pity that some of the original cottages were torn down to make way for modern mansions. The old section of Kleinmond is losing some of its charm.

One of the big, very modern houses which was has replaced the old cottage which used to be there. Check out the low maintenance, minimalistic garden! ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

I made most of my time in Kleinmond by taking Ben (my mother’s dog) for some lovely early morning walks along the coast road.

Another beautiful sunrise in Kleinmond. Looking in an easterly direction towards the coastal town of Hermanus. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The early morning sun lighting up houses along the coast road. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

These photographs are limited to the part of Kleinmond I spent most of my time in. I did not have a whole lot of time to go photo-walking all over town. The town has grown quite a lot since my parents first moved there in the 1990s.

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Categories: Lifestyle/Travel, Random

Author:lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)

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32 Comments on “Kleinmond”

  1. November 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Your parents certainly live in a beautiful area. The mountains, the coast and the cottages certainly transport me to a place different from our Gulf Coast. Have you sighted whales over the years? Do they come close enough to the shore to see from the coastline? In Texas we bale round ones like yours, but yours look a bit smaller. Ours are huge and tall.

    • November 16, 2011 at 6:13 am #

      My mother lives there alone now – my father died back in 2000. Yes, my mother sees whales there every year. They come very close to shore as the water is quite deep just beyond the rocks.

  2. November 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    What an amazingly beautiful place. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos, Lisa!
    Kathy

    • November 16, 2011 at 6:14 am #

      Thanks Kathy! It is an interesting place. Lots of different plants and birds. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to capture it all.

  3. November 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Wow, these photos are amazing! What a gorgeous area.

    http://cobblestonestreets.wordpress.com/

    • November 16, 2011 at 6:17 am #

      Thank you! I’m an amateur photographer so am always thrilled when somebody likes my photographs. And thanks also for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. 🙂

  4. November 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    Your pictures are beautiful Lisa. I especially like the pictures of the rocks and wild flowers.

    • November 16, 2011 at 6:18 am #

      Thanks Jackie! I’ll be putting up some more photos of the flowers there soon.

  5. November 15, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Great photos, especially the sunset. I was just in Hermanus a couple of weeks ago! What a beautiful part of the country.

    • November 16, 2011 at 6:19 am #

      Thanks! I was wondering when you tweeted about seeing a whale whether you had been in that area.

  6. November 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    Kleinmond is a lovely town.. I particularly love all the seafood restaurants down by the old harbour. I think I prefer the look of the original houses – stone-built or stone-clad at the very least. They’ve got real charm 🙂
    Gorgeous sunrise photo!

    • November 16, 2011 at 6:23 am #

      You’ve been just about everywhere, haven’t you?! 😉 I prefer the older parts of Kleinmond (and older houses) to the newer developments. The new harbour road development is definitely an improvement on what was there before.

      • November 16, 2011 at 11:33 am #

        It just so happens that the Pink Tornadoes’ maternal grand-parents are one of those lucky, LUCKY people who own a sea-front house… (neither original looking, nor particularly modernised 😉 )

      • November 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

        Ah . . . all a matter of who you know then! You seem to have relatives in some of the prettiest places in South Africa.

  7. November 16, 2011 at 3:53 am #

    beautiful. i hope your mum is okay. continue…

  8. GeoRoMancer
    November 16, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    The pictures are so tranquil – what a wonderful place to “get away from it all” …

    • November 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

      Ha! Yes, it is – I really recommend you going there too! It’s a lovely place to go walking.

  9. Sarita Botha
    November 16, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Wow! These pictures are amazing. It certainly is beautiful there.

  10. November 18, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    Beautiful post Lisa!

  11. November 24, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    Gorgeous shots! Well done.

  12. Paul James
    December 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    Thanks for these beautiful photos. And pleased your mother is doing well.

    • December 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

      Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, Paul! I was happy to get such nice photos of Kleinmond. Am also very pleased that my mother is doing so well.

  13. January 16, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    Hallo! I discovered your blog this morning via “Hey from Japan”, and you’ve just taken me on a very pleasant trip down memory lane. I’ve lived in Japan for yonks, but my family (including an increasingly frail mother) is in Kleinmond. Enjoy the southern sunshine on my behalf, and thanks for this story! I’ll come for another visit! (Ek wil-wil in Afrikaans sê ek sal weer kom kuier.)

    • January 16, 2012 at 5:55 am #

      Hi there! I love it when people, who have a personal connection to the place I’m writing about, leave a message. Thank you for reading my post and taking the time to leave a lovely comment. 🙂 I’ve had quite a few (ex-)South Africans visit my blog and I’m always amazed at how far flung our “tribe” is. Going to have to check out your blog because I’m curious as to how you ended up in Japan.

  14. January 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Hi Lisa, what a wonderful post about my home town! I discovered your blog through Rurousha, and was pleased to see so many beautiful photos of our coastal walk. That has to be one of my favourite places on earth, I played there as a child and still can’t stay away. Kleinmond can be rather weird sometimes and I agree that the replacing of old cottages with modern mansions seems wrong somehow, not to mention often aesthetically ill conceived. But the wonderfully varied natural surroundings and incredibly warm welcome we received when we moved here almost a year ago more than makes up for it. I hope you manage to visit regularly!

    • January 31, 2012 at 7:07 am #

      Hi Magriet! I’m so glad you found my post about Kleinmond. My parents moved down there after they retired, and my mother still loves it there. Don’t think she’ll ever leave. Agree with you about the natural surroundings being beautiful. I would have liked to have taken a lot more photographs of the coastal walk, but didn’t have much time when I was last in Kleimond.

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂

  15. February 7, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Wow, that blue sky. I loved these photos!

    • February 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      I was such a beautiful day there. The sky was really that colour – no trick photography or photoshopping involved! 😉

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