There are several stories about Sopiesklip, a rock formation on the beach between Hermanus and De Kelders. For our international readers, ‘Sopie’ is an Afrikaans word for taking a sip or a drink – so basically, the sipping rock.
One story tells about fishermen in the past between 1855 and 1950, when boats were still manned by rowing teams and sails. When the wind picked up and it was stormy some of these fishing boats and crew would wash out on Walker Bay. These poor fishermen were drenched and close to hyperthermia. Over time fishermen carved out the hole at Sopiesklip, to cache bottles of brandy. Sopiesklip of course was a welcoming shelter for stranded fishermen where they could revive and sip on a bottle or two of brandy to fight off the elements.
Above: The wave action eroded the sand underneath the left side of the rock formation and the whole left side cracked and fell.
The most popular story, passed on from one generation to the other, tells the story of inhabitants of Gansbaai traveling along the coast to Hermanus to buy their weekly provisions. Sopiesklip was the halfway point where these travellers would stop to rest in the shade of the rocks. There was always time to enjoy a drink or two before moving on with their ox-wagons.
Rumour has it that a modern-day “strandloper” lived there for many years. Jacobus Claude (Kowie) Otto, known as ‘Oom Otto’, was an avid fisherman who carved a shelter out of the porous limestone to create a “paradise”. He would stay there for long periods fishing with his friend Piet Gideon and daughter Lena surviving on a diet of Galjoen fish, oats, coffee, bread and butter.
Find out more about the pristine coastline flanking Mosaic on one of our late afternoon sundowner excursions to Walker Bay and enjoy a ‘sopie’ of your own overlooking the gorgeous waters.
Walker Bay Beach Excursions are included as part of your experience at our Luxury Lagoon Lodge. If you stay in one of our Mosaic Cottages you can reserve a beach excursion as an extra during your visit.