According to the locals, Lamberts Bay was proclaimed “the Diamond of the West Coast”. Apparently, this is due to its white beaches and moderate weather all year round. As far as we can establish, the locals did this proclamation themselves, so we are taking it with a bit of sea salt. I’m pretty sure there are a few other towns along the West Coast who also think of themselves as the “Diamond of the West Coast”.

Our first dirt-road was between Piketberg and Lamberts Bay. Thus the smile on my face as we arrived at Muisbosskerm.

What is a fact is that Lamberts Bay is a West Coast fishing village in the sense of the word: Rusted cars, a South-Easter breeze and the overpowering and always present smell of the sea. A smell that for some reason is stronger along the West Coast. These fishing villages are on the road less travelled, and forms part of the remote and romantic part of South African heritage. I always think it as the Karoo by the sea. Which happens to be exactly what it is. A desert by the sea. Agriculturally, the Lamberts Bay region produces a lot of potatoes in the surrounding flat sandy areas. Potatoes being the core ingredient of potato salad, this alone would warrant a visit to the area when embarking on a braai tour. (And did I learn a few things about potato farming today!)

She was in charge of the crayfish and it was love at first sight.

But we are not here to eat potato salad. Ultimately all of the above are really minor details. The real reason why we are here is to devour braaied seafood. The reason of existence for a West Coast fishing village is seafood after all, and it is in ample supply in this town. On day three of the Braai4Heritage tour we braaied at the Muisbosskerm, which the owner Edward Turner quite rightly calls a West Coast heritage site. It was a seafood feast of note, including paella, White Stumpnose and obviously crayfish. Lamberts Bay hosts the annual crayfish festival and the locals should be happy that there are some crayfish left for that festival…

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