By PG Jonker

[Published in Leisure Wheels, March 2011] 

It’s always nice going back on your old tracks.  One weekend we decide to follow my wife’s old tracks where they used to camp as kids at Tieties Bay.  When they were small, long before the world discovered Tieties Bay, they used to camp there every summer holiday.

It is nice drive with the dirt road from Stompneus Bay to Paternoster.  Paternoster used to be one of those secluded spots you would visit to get away from everyone.  These days when you get there everyone is there already. 

Downtown Paternoster is busy.  Before you get the Paternoster hotel you drive  past Oep vi Koep (Open for buy)


As expected, the local courtesy befalls us:  any vehicle with a non-local registration number invariably gets an invitation along the lines of “Die Larnie willie ‘n kriefie koepie?”   (Does the larnie want to buy a crayfish) Such a transactionwould, of course, be illegal.  The appearance of a law enforcer evokes a quick recovery:  “Nei, die Lanie niem net ‘n sneppie, nuh?” (No, the larnie is just taking a photo).

Downtown Paternoster is too busy for our liking.  It is outside holiday season, so Tieties Bay should be deserted, guaranteed to render the expected splendour and quietness that we seek today. 

Not so.  Today Tieties Bay is just as busy as Paternoster itself.  Some Inter Corporate Challenge sporting event is in full swing.  Colour coded teams participate against each other.  Rowing, cycling, that kind of stuff.  We drive past all the action to where it is indeed quiet.  We park the bakkie and walk off, away from the hustle and bustle.

My wife wants to go show me a cave where they used to play as kids.  She relives the memories of big crayfish, waves and rocky pools to play in.  She remembers this big pool where she used to swim as a four-year old.  We find the pool.  It is now 3 feet deep and 5 feet long.  Maybe things look a bit bigger when you’re only 4 years old.  My wife also shows me where the older girls would tan topless, and where the dudes would then peep over the rocks to watch the sun set.

Before we can reach the cave a guy with a huge camera comes running past us from behind.  Then a whole team of participants in the Corporate Challenge also comes running past. 

The next thing a chopper appears, with another camera man hanging out of the helicopter.  Suddenly we find ourselves in something that feels like a reality show. 

My cell pone rings.  I answer, but cannot hear a thing.  The rotor of the chopper makes one heck of a noise.  Dust and foam from the water twirl up in the air. 

Eventually things become quiet again.  We reach the cave.  The cave also turns out to be not as big as it used to be when my wife was 4 years old.  In fact, it’s not really a cave, but rather a rocky overhang.  Someone had a braai there recently.  They did not clean up when they were done. 

We can see that Jordan was there.  As were Del and Carien.  And Angel digs Reija, the grafitti on the rock confirms. 

We sit down on a rock and enjoy the quiet. 

Later we drive back.  As one drive away from the sea you see the hill with the rock in the middle form which Tieties Bay got his name.  It looks like a woman’s breast. 

However, someone was not quite satisfied with mother nature’s endeavours, and decided to spice it up with something that makes the ‘nipple’ stand out more prominently.

Maybe it’s a good thing that the koppie was there before they built the lighthouse.  The name might have been totally different then.

Paternoster’s beach remains a wonderful sight. 

Later the sporting event  draws to a close on the beach, with flags, trucks, busses, sponsors’ advertisements, and plenty of people.  A group of equestarians arrives from the opposite direction and meet up with there back-up team on the beach. 

Paternoster has become a big town in comparison to what it used to be.  It has become virtually impossible to take a picture without a “For Sale” bord somewhere in it.  Guest houses abound.

I guess it’s progress.  It’s good for the economy.




2 Responses to “Tietiesbaai”

  • looks like I won’t be finished for a while. Paternoster winkel, must have been either a misionarie or a preacher of sort.That’s what the name pater means. On Tietiesbaai, someone sure had fun, but does not take away the fact, of the beauty of Tietiesbaai. And now on to the next section. Sorina J

  • Portugese seafarers ran aground at Paternoster in foul whether. When they managed to make it safely to the shore they prayed the ‘Our Father’ (Pater Noster). That’s where the name came from.