Just when I thought I was alone in the ocean wonderland, a survey of the view from the bathtub revealed that I clearly was not. Several Southern Right Whales were plunging playfully in the waves only 150 meters away. We were separated only by a bank of fynbos delicately scenting the air, and then the cliffs dropping abruptly into the ocean.
There exist places and spaces so wildly beautiful, that the boundaries between what’s real and what’s not are blurred. The ancient Celtics have a way of describing these as ‘thin spaces’ – where it feels as though heaven literally embraces earth. De Kelders is a little-heard-of town, surprising, as it’s only a two-hour drive from Cape Town, and is for me, one of these ‘thin spaces’. I was visiting ‘Villa The Cherry’ for a few days of rest and to explore this little village.
Villa The Cherry
From the villa’s elevated position, I watched the long lines of swells across the bay, slowly, relentlessly approaching the beach, like faithful infantry being sent to conquer a foreign land. Reaching the shore, they’re met with a rather unusual beach. Massive shards of sandstone break the beach, reaching out into the waves, seemingly warning them of the wildness of the place. The Villa is one of the outermost houses in the town – it’s only a short walk until you’re at the entrance of Walker Bay Nature Reserve where you can explore this dramatically unique shoreline.
The Villa has three on-suite king bedrooms, so is suitable for three couples, or 6 friends sharing. It’s architect-built gem, oozing with space and luxe charm. A central outdoor courtyard conceals a pool, with comfortable loungers. At the flick of a switch both an internal and external wall slide away, further opening the Villa to her majestic surroundings. The lounge is a generous double-volume area, with a fireplace, and is glass fronted for views over the bay.
Despite the crisp winter air, I happily slept with the sliding doors open in my third-story bedroom suite. There’s something to be said for the gentle calls of the ocean putting you to sleep at night, whilst the half-moon casts a mysterious iridescent shimmer over the water. The majority of my five days were spent moving between the veranda taking in the Bay, the vast bathtub views at sunset or in the fireplace in the evening. You can’t help but relax in the environs, and will most definitely leave lighter.
Hiring the Villa also includes:
- a study with a library, Mac and printer
- two Bicycles for exploring the town
- the Cherry also in
- a kayak and paddles
- most excitedly, a very generous welcome pack with bubbly, cheeses, drinks, and a host of other lovely treats
What to do in De Kelders
- Walk the Trail
The Klipgat trail is a magnificent 7km walk, starting at the harbor, and then winding its way along the cliffs to finally end at the start of Walker Bay Nature Reserve. There are many scenic points to stop and take in the views along the way, including a caffeine stop at ‘Coffee on the Rocks’, the local eatery open 10-5pm from Wednesday to Sunday.
- Explore the Caves
There are a series of caves to explore around De Kelders, with the most famous being Klipgat. Easily accessible from the end of Normandie Street, follow the signs and walk down the steps to discover the large cave complex. The caves were inhabited by Late Stoneage people, from as early as 2000 BC, and Cape Nature has done a marvelous job at preserving the cave, offering insight through the various info boards inside.
- Day Trips
If you’re staying for a few days (which I’d highly recommend) then there are few options for day trips: Pearly beach is a 30 minute drive and offers more scenic beach walks, Stanford Heritage Village is minutes away with various stores and cafes to explore, and for wine farms try out Lomond or Raka.
I look forward to gathering some friends and returning soon to this ocean paradise, even if only for a bath with those views (and yes water is plentiful in the town, with no water restrictions). Find more information on Villa the Cherry online here. For a limited time, a special rate is available through this link.