Traditionally towns along the west coast of South Africa turn quiet in preparation for the influx of visitors during the summer holidays. Here in Gordon’s Bay however it is termed the secret season. The 3rd Annual Winter Wonderland is an initiative that turns our sleepy little winter town into a festival of lights.
All the houses, business, pubs and restaurants along the beach front get in on the act and the properties are transformed into a magical world with fairy lights. Live music and the smell of food lingers all over. Apart from their normal sit-down menu, all restaurants also offer quick, on-the-go snacks prepared on open fires. The empty site where the historic Van Riebeeck Hotel used to be is filled with marquee tents offering live music throughout Carnival Weekend and food stalls with the most delicious and affordable meals you can imagine. The Milkwood tree strip at the edge of the beach is turned into a fairy forest with craft markets.
Across the road you will find Carnival rides for young and old and the Ghost House was, as usual, a hands-down winner. The organisers have arranged for tractor rides between the different locations as it is quite a walk from the old harbour to the new harbour.
This year saw a much bigger crowd being pulled in and I am already looking forward to the next one.
I’ve tried to upload the photo’s here, but my technology fail continues. I will be uploading them to the Facebook page instead. If you haven’t done so already, follow the Facebook link on the sidebar and you’ll be able to catch up on all the photo’s. Please excuse the photo quality as it was taken with my Blackberry, but I’m sure it will be good enough to give you an idea of all the fun there was to be had.