Route overview for Weskustoer 2018 Stage 3, on Friday 25 May 2018
Parternoster to Kraalbaai
West Coast National Park
This is the shortest day on tour, but with good reason – we want to arrive early to enjoy everything this area has to offer. We leave Paternoster and trace back the route to Vredenburg, reaching our highest point for the day in Vredenburg, after just 15kms. From here on you are in for a treat. We turn right on the R399 and fly down to Saldanha for the next 10kms. Turn left from the R399 into Camp Street (at 27kms, after the Total garage) and head to Langebaan, turning right at Laguna Mall (at 42kms) and passing Mykonos. The bit through Langebaan will be a relaxed ride through town all the way to the gate of the West Coast National Park (at 55kms, just after Shark Bay). We then circle the lagoon. There is only one turn inside the park, at 67kms where we turn right to Kraalbaai and reach the finish line (after a few rolling hills) at 81kms.
Forgot about the big five, see if you can spot the small five – tortoise, sand shark, whale, porcupine and dune moles. Read more on travelground. Also be on the lookout for cheeky ostriches and lazy eland as you ride inside the park. And keep an eye open for snakes.
There are no mountain passes on the Stage, but expect some rollers between Paternoster and Vredenburg, and again inside the West Coast Park (which also has a little bump leading to the gate in order to gain access to the park).
Kraalbaai is located on the Lagoon in the small West Coast town of Langebaan. It is often frequented by exclusive houseboats and is sometimes incorrectly called Churchhaven, which is nearby but not the same. It is easily accessible and will take you about 30 mins to drive from the Langebaan gate of the West Coast National Park – but it is much more enjoyable to boat, sail, or canoe across the lagoon.
There are two well-known landmarks that make Kraalbaai so recognisable. One is the wooden jetty that seems to jut out of the centre of the white, sandy beach towards the boats moored offshore. The other is the Preekstoel or preacher’s pulpit, which looks more like a modern day cycling helmet to be honest, but nonetheless provides shelter from the south-easterlies that can sweep through here.