Take it from an insider, winter is the secret season in Paternoster. It’s cool, calm, green and utterly beautiful. The summer winds are resting and stillness cocoons the village, with the protective light of Columbine lighthouse stroking the skies by night. It’s idyllic, soulful, rejuvenating.
“At Gonana, you are right on the beach and surrounded by nature,” says Gonana Guest House manager, Thandi. “Our guests can’t believe how close we are to the ocean; they just love it – and they are surprised that winter is not that cold either.” Thandi says there’s no doubt that winter is the secret season here.
With dancing fynbos, and crisp clear winter skies outside, inside Gonana it’s as cosy as toast on the upstairs sunshine deck, or sitting snugly in front of the fire in the lounge sipping steaming hot chocolate. Gonana is eco conscious and solar powered, yet guests are wrapped in winter warmth. All rooms have heaters and locally-crafted, exquisite mohair blankets to snuggle under for naps. Even the pool is solar heated for a quick dip on warmer days. And every morning there’s a piping hot breakfast, along with everything from local cheeses to Bircher muesli and home-baked bread, to set you up for a day of activity and exploration – if that’s on your wish list. There is always plenty to do, or not, when in beautiful Paternoster.
To experience the area from ground level, book a guided walk or hike with Bruce and be enchanted by the local history, delicate surrounding natural environment, myriad shipwrecks and the lives of the traditional local fishing community. Explore the ocean, commune with seals and dolphins – and often whales in winter – on guided kayak trips out into the bay with Danie. Or imagine horse riding the long, white, deserted beach of Langstrand with Ronel, stopping to take in breath-taking ocean views as you go.
Maybe you’d like a gentler pace and to book a yoga session with Trudie, or order a romantic picnic from Dee and find a quiet cove to spend an afternoon soaking up winter sunshine while snacking. Possibly browsing the quaint little shops in town, visiting The Warf, art galleries and pottery and glass studios is more your taste. Then enjoy a simple, hearty supper at one of the restaurants in town – while many take a break in the winter months, there are always a few open to welcome you. When you head back to Gonana, the warm fire will encourage coffee and a chat before turning in for a cosy night, lulled to deep sleep by the sound of the Atlantic Ocean. That’s winter bliss.
Gonana Guest House
Paternoster, South Africa