Panga Management joined Kiki and her “Hunk- Of –Man- Flesh”, affectionately known from this day forward as “HOMF”, on an adventurous long weekend in the West Coast National Park. The entrance to the park is one hour’s drive from Slaapstad. If you spend an hour and 15 minutes talking and you have not seen the entrance, it’s safe to assume you have missed it. The up side to missing the entrance is that you will soon come across the perfect oasis, a beacon of road trip wonder , an iconic example of how civilisation has conquered fynbos, yes you guessed it ; the One Stop Wimpy!
Photo credit: PM
Panga Management loves the plastic-cheese and tomato toasted sandwich , the generous portion of 7 and a half chips placed next to the blessing of lettuce garnish and bland tomato (count the chips, I’m not kidding) and to lubricate the Wimpy banquet, a watered down Coke. Nothing puts you in the road trip mood quite trip like Wimpy; it’s a beauuutiful thing!
Photo credit: PM
PM has a love hate relationship with the west coast of South Africa, intellectually its beauty can’t be denied, so why does it annoy PM so much (that’s a rhetorical question) .The light on the West Coast is so aggressive that you suffer sunburnt eyeballs from the glare if you don’t wear your sunglasses at all times, and the wind is incessant and agitating like old women chatter. PM is not saying that exploring beauty should be easy, but beauty is not beauty if it becomes annoying. Luckily for us, PM was anchored at Churchhaven for the duration of the stay and that knowledge is enough to bring a smile to the most agitated of faces. CH is undoubtedly the most idyllic place on the West Coast, peaceful cottages meters away from the turquoise Langebaan lagoon.
Photo credit: PM
Interesting fact; the lagoon is one out of only three, in the whole world, that is feed by the sea and not by a river, click here to read more.
Churchhaven is situated in the West Coast National Park and has a fascinating history; the part Panga Management loves the best is when the people of Churchhaven confounded the bureaucratic separators of race during the apartheid years. Nothing like getting one over on a bureaucrat to bring a smile to ones face! Click here for more history. Though this blog is not entirely accurate it will give you a fair idea of the history. If you want a very accurate account, look out for a book In The Land Of Afternoon (only in second-hand book shops) It gives a detailed and accurate account of the founding of Churchhaven by George Lloyd and it has fab old photos and illustrations.
Churchhaven has a church (who would have guessed!) and Panga Management can’t journey passed an old cemetery or church yard without exploring it. Generally speaking PM knows what to expect: over grown bushes and broken tombstones, but at the Churchhaven cemetery PM got much more than was bargained for. Just as we were winding down the church yard investigation HOMF spotted the hugest Puff Adder AKA Puffy slithering around the cemetery, the scene was right out of some B Grade horror film! Now everyone knows its flower season on the west coast, and everywhere you look the landscape is awash with brightly coloured blomme. What nobody mentions is that it’s also the season that the Puff Adders come out to play! “Puffy season” has such a nice ring to it, and it’s fair to say that the Puff Adders captured our attention far longer than the flowers did over the long weekend!