Things To Do in PaternosterFive Bay Trail
Where? 28 kilometres in 2 and a half days: Between Paternoster and Jacobsbaai, Cape West Coast, Western Cape
When? Booking is essential.
How? Call +27 0861 TRAILS (872 457)
How much? Price on request
More? See website
28 kilometres in 2 and a half days:
One of five trails developed in the West Coast Biosphere Reserve, the Five Bay Trail explores the coast between the fishing villages of Paternoster and Jacobsbaai. The theme for this trail is tracing human harvesting of the sea, and tracks several shell middens as well as contemporary life in fishing villages. You stay in a choice of guest houses in Paternoster.
The trail starts with a late afternoon stroll along the beaches of Paternoster as far as 'Tweede Mosselbank' (named such by local fishermen) and on to dinner at a local restaurant. Day two takes one through the fishing village of Paternoster along the beach to Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and Tietiesbaai. During winter this stretch is quiet and wild, whilst in the summer months crayfish season brings a riot of festivity and an influx of campers, none of which interferes with your passage over the rocks and sand.
For most of both days you follow the rocky shoreline, swim in beautiful tidal pools and, during spring, take in the wealth of wild flowers that can still be evident even in November. Lunch is on the rocks overlooking the sea just beyond Tietiesbaai on day two. Make your way round Noordwesbaai to the Trekoskraal headland. Your day ends at Trekoskraal, whilst day three begins here.
Day three follows the tracks around the headland of Trekoskraal and on to the dunes and wave scoured beaches of Wesbaai. The cliff-faced sand dunes are used as nests for swales. The final bay before Jacobsbaai is the little Hospitaalbaai, where ships used to drop the sick before reaching quarantined Cape Town. Jacobsbaai is where you lunch at the end of the trail.
The Five Bay Trail is a wonderful beach-filled hike where you might spot whales, dolphins and seals.
For a first hand review and photos of the Five Bay Trail read our article at "I did it 5 Bays!".