Scarborough, Cape Town, South Africa

Entrance to Scarborough Beach in Cape Town.
by Zola Miller

After leaving Kommetjie village, the road twists and turns over the Slangkop hill, and descends to the coast near Witsand (=White Sand) - a place which was reserved for the coloured community during the apartheid years. There is a curious construction on the Witsand Island, amongst craggy rocks, and hordes of kelp. This is the crayfish processing factory. Locals and "company boats" with produce prepared and destined for the export market, are the suppliers.

As the road winds above the temperamental sea past "Misty Cliffs", spray from the waves striking the rocks creates rainbows against the sun. Here is one of the most dangerous coastlines along this part of the Peninsula; it is a coastline where rogue waves have claimed even experienced fishermen's boats, and where surfers dice with death among the huge waves. Homes are often endangered by the vicious winter storms, but the location and the views seem to negate all that.

Then the road rolls gently into a sleepy little settlement called "Scarborough", which is situated at the mouth of the Schusters River. Fishermen love the village, but it really comes to life during the summer months. One of the local restaurants, the Camel Rock Restaurant, is named after the peculiarly shaped sandstone rock which is the local landmark, and which can be seen diagonally across the road from the restaurant.

The beach constantly changes from being sandy to showing craggy rocks after a storm. The rocks provide a wealth of interesting seafood and shells. Most of the houses have been situated at seemingly impossible locations claimed with determination and creativity from the steep hillside.

The narrow service roads are steep, winding, and requiring expert navigation. Often, it is difficult to find the house to which one has been directed, but once attained ... Oh! the view is unforgettable! Needless to say, those houses situated in close proximity to the sea are often threatened during the Cape's winter storms.

Originally known as a "holiday village", it is now within easy reach of the city, and has numerous weekend cottages , while many retired people live there in peace and serenity. Holiday accommodation is at a premimim.

People are friendly, the pace is slow and relaxed, and visitors are made to feel welcome. The road leaves Scarborough to wind onwards towards a very interesting roadside market where long-necked giraffe, massive hippos and stately elephant crafted from wood and stone are on display.

If you want something special to take "back home", this stop is both necessary and interesting. But do not be surprised if you find yourself peering backwards with regret, trying to catch the last glimpse of an unforgettable little place called Scarborough.

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