Tag Archives: series

Stand Up Paddle.

Nice One, Knysna

Nice One, Knysna

Okay South Africa, I know you don’t like to be compared to the rest of the world because you’re special, you’re different, and you’re proud of it. And rightly so.

But I must just say Knysna has the same sick coastal vibe as the Gold Coast (on the east coast of Australia).

Stand Up Paddle.


And destinations like Knysna lend to my favourite type of holidays with boats, canals, water sports – and great food. And speaking of which, this is the same town that introduced me to the likes of Ile de Pain


I cooked with Ile de Pain’s owners (Liezie and Markus – it was really a pleasure you two!) and really digged the smoky taste that the wood-fire oven gave the flatbread.


Hayden, Liezl and Markus cooking

The Ile de Pain owners: Liezl and Markus, and me

And that was just the first taste of my epic Garden Route experience.

Knysna’s only flaw is that it doesn’t have itself a proper beach – but with Vic Bay just around the corner it’s hardly a drawback. Markus and I went for a fresh surf at this sheltered spot (not from the locals, or tourists in season!). And boy, was the surf cooking.


We headed to the Tsitsikamma forest where I learned about the massive, ancient yellowwoods, and then ZIP LINED THROUGH THEM!!!!! I mean, being the brave – macho and fearless guy that I am…well. It’s a bit different when it comes to heights! But when I was there, while I was looking over the canopies, I couldn’t have been happier.


About to zip-line through the trees!

About to zip-line through the trees!

Flower in the Tsitsikamma

In the Tsitsikamma Forest

We went on to prepare an oyster dish, and I slipped the (responsibly farmed) oysters down. And yeah, they really hit the spot.

Knysna team cheers!



Oysters – yum!

Hayden and Etienne in Paternoster

Paternoster Gets Me

Paternoster Gets Me

When you’re travelling, you get to experience new places for the first time. These experiences are fresh, exciting and can even be jarring. And among all of the new, you find that some places feel inherently familiar. Some places suit you, and you suit them. You just get each other. These rare places make you feel relaxed; they make you feel at home.


That’s what I got from Paternoster.


Now I know you South Africans are used to your country, and I’ve promised in the past not to ramble on about its beauty too much, but you’ve got to be kidding me!!! Paternoster is picturesque to death! It really does remind me of a beautiful little Greek village: loads of nature, loads of sea, and loads upon loads of culture.


And it just got me.


You know when you smell the salty sea air, and it makes your veins pump – you just want to get out there? Now imagine loads of awesome wooden fishing boats (called “bakkies”) just waiting on the sandy shore; waiting to take you out fishing. Waiting to take me out. I hoped.


I approached some of the local fishermen, and not only did they offer to take me out, but they offered me overalls (green, to match my eyes, a crew member joked) to wear, a line to tug and a technique to master. They taught me how to catch Hottentots – it was so awesome!


With hooks full and tummies empty we (Pieter and Abel, my fishermen guides, WWF trailblazer chef – Kobus – and I) ate the fish, together with freshly foraged ingredients, right off the rocks.


On the rocks.

Mussels on the rocks

Mussels on the rocks

Hayden and Etienne in Paternoster

Etienne and me, (HQSA’s DOP)

Boat on the Paternoster beach

A Bakkie