Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Eating Out In Paternoster - Not An Option

Paternoster is really beautiful and I felt as though I had a cloak of calm over me whilst we were down there. Yes we had to get all uppity with regards to the blocked drain, but it was not my normal intense chest tightening, head exploding stress and anger. It was an on and off throughout the day nothing happening anger and stress, but once we moved and could no longer see and smell the drain, we were calm and relaxed. We had a better view of the sea than the other Villa and we all loved it in Paternoster and felt the peace and calm of the place.

In Front Of The Villa

Chad even lost his key for his motorbike and we looked up and down between the two Villas, in both of them, in the bakkie (pickup truck) and it was nowhere to be found. There was no stress or egos, it was lost and there was nothing much we could do about it then. We googled locksmiths - Vredenburg has everything including a few locksmiths and Chad and Mark were going to take the ignition off the bike and get a key cut the next day.

Mmm I wonder why there was a sleeping owl on our roof. Never mind we were off to explore and go have something to eat. It was after 8pm and we hadn't eaten since our Wimpy breakfast. Off we went, Chad on Mark's bike and Mark and I in the bakkie. They had explored everywhere during the day and were now showing me what they had found. Mark loves exploring and driving around when we go on holiday. Oh the owls were to kill the rats - not near where we stayed, very far from there, strange that they chose to sleep so far away from their food source.

We went up this hill behind the very poor township area and wow what a view. I am sure people who saw us drive up there thought we were looking for some Tik (CAT) Addicts up on this hill. Tourists and holidaymakers don't go places Mark and Chad go. Paternoster is the only place I have ever been to where you have mansions next to tiny one room cottages. Super rich right next door to below the poverty line poor, but there is also a very poor township that we drove past to get to this place where Chad is standing on the rock looking down at the village.

The Hotel Receptionist had given us names of restaurants when we arrived, but said you had to book and all were already fully booked - so why tell us about them. We did find a restaurant that did not appear to be fine dining and where you would have to book. Chad and I had fish, after all we were in one of the oldest fishing villages in the Cape and we had to eat fish - straight from an I&J Frozen Cape Whiting box and Mark had a burger made with bread and a bottle of some overpowering Garlic sauce. Not very nice at all and very disappointing.

Now where as the fishing folk are animated and jovial, the business owners/restaurateurs are sullen, arrogant, unfriendly and miserable. It can't be because they are worried about their high bonds (mortgages) that they have to pay and lack of business, because apparently they bought their properties for a steal. One of the local fisherman told Mark, who not only likes to explore, but also likes to get the inside scoop from the locals, that there is a rumbling of discontent amongst the fishing folk and the rich who came and bought their land and homes. They realised that they could have gotten far more for the property. Theoretically the locals are not allowed to fish for crayfish, but if they were stopped they would go on a rampage and destroy the hotels and mansions in the village. It is hard to believe that there is discontent amongst the people of Paternoster as they appear to live in harmony side by side.

However, if you wake up and feel like a steak, you need to book a week in advance and by then will feel like fish, because that is how their restaurants work. One morning at around 11, we went into a place called "Op Die Strand"  (on the beach) for a cold drink as you do when you are on holiday. A casual looking restaurant, a beautiful setting on the beach, but nothing fancy but imagine cocktails, umbrellas and a fun beachy vibe - oh not so. Someone having a prostate exam or haemorrhoidectomy in public would have been less miserable than the owner of the restaurant.  We had not booked - for a cold drink?? we were half heartedly shoved in the corner of this bar and drank creme sodas, it felt like we were on death row, not sure what it feels like to be on death row, but I am sure very similar to the atmosphere at Op Die Strand. The funny thing was that it was not even half full, so they do one lunch seating and they done for the day and that is fully booked for the week.

They have a Rubens from Masterchef fame and I can understand booking there on major holidays like Christmas and new year, but not at a below average eatery on the beach. Well I guess it is such a beautiful relaxed village, you can't expect the inhabitants to exert themselves in December or anytime of the year for that matter, but I don't expect that many people go there out of season. Home cooked meals were the better option anyway. So if you are planning on going down to Paternoster and want to eat out, remember to book your meals before even getting there.

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