Llandudno is one of the finest parts of Cape Town, hands down. Much like Scarborough it has that special quality of making you feel like you’re in a small holiday town, though in a way, you are. In all seasons it seems warmer and calmer there than the rest of the city, especially when emerging over the hill coming from Hout Bay. More especially when the South Easter is zoopsing down the mountain and wrecking everything in its path, including your carefully constructed ham and cheese sandwich.
Once you’ve done your time in the (surely Portuguese-owned) Spar in Hout Bay, you’ll be set for a day of fun in Llandudno. All you need there is the ability to swim, and some snacks to placate your hunger. Of course, water is on tap there, like all good beach towns but maybe bring a 1.5L Fanta Orange to keep your sugar levels up, you will need the extra energy later. For Llandudno is truly a playground – historically for kids with alternative parents, more recently for the rich and famous – and whichever side of the economic coin you find yourself on, it costs next to nothing to enjoy yourself here.
What irony! The priciest real estate in Cape Town and the cheapest fun… mmm, life is just full of it, isn’t it? Add to that the fact that half the homes are vacant because the rich who own them live in London, Joburg, Spain, Australia (add any place too far to enjoy Cape Town life, really) and you’ll just be fuming that they just sit there. That is, until you meet a home owner and are invited in for tea and rusks, a swim in the pool, and some casual friendship – then you’ll be staring at the passersby and wishing those plebs went someplace else. Hypocrisy: more common than irony.
Much like the West Coast and Langebaan, I frequented Llandudno for years for pleasure before it became a place of business. Now I can marry the two and enjoy an hour or two of property photography, then don my wetsuit and get some waves in the dying hours of the light. Luckily, this place is safe as houses (houses built, thankfully, on the rocks) and my car seems, like me, to relax a little when it comes here. Shade is scarce and sun aplenty, but if you know a thing or two you can navigate to the secret streets and make a quick sortie to the beach down an alternative path.
Once there, head left at low tide to the ever more secret beach, and wind your evening down with some snacks and drinks with friends and a swim in the sea. Poetry.