Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Weird South Africa: Ronnie’s Sex Shop

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You can’t have a road trip without some weird stops along the way.  On my Croatia road trip, it was Hum, “the smallest town in the world” (but probably not really); in Connecticut, it was the aptly named town of Mianus.

But one of my all-time favorite road trip stops is a little whitewashed building in the middle of South African desert emblazoned with three words: RONNIE’S SEX SHOP.

Ronnie opened his shop in the 1970s and his friends promptly pranked him by painting the word SEX between RONNIE’S and SHOP.

Well, it turns out a sex shop brings in a lot more curious road trippers than just a shop.  Ronnie turned his shop into a pub and he’s never looked back.

That morning, we had left a chilly Swellendam in the mountains.  Emerging onto the Klein Karoo, the climate changed immediately to toasty sunshine and a landscape of endless sand and brush.  Soon after, we came upon our destination and piled out of the car, snapping photos of each other in various poses in front of the bright red letters.

The quirky name and photo potential alone made Ronnie’s Sex Shop a great stop. Then we got inside…and, well, I think I should let these pictures speak for themselves.

Ronnie's Sex Shop

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Yes, people leave their underwear at Ronnie’s Sex Shop, and it gets hung up on the walls.  I have no idea how this started, and I have no idea if anything is actually washed before it goes up, but I loved it!

People also graffiti the walls — and, um, possibly do other things.

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You’ll also find plenty of strange objects on display, like teddy bears, clown wigs, and a freaky baby doll with dead eyes.

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The shop, which contains an indoor pub and outdoor tables, is a great place to stop for a drink.  Being 9:30 AM, we stopped for a coffee.

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After a few minutes of sitting in the sun, the man of the hour turned up.  Ronnie looked like a cross between Willie Nelson and Santa, his long white hair tapering off into braids.

Ronnie and Sir Paul

Image: Nadine Pober

I love this portrait that Nadine took of Ronnie with Sir Paul, her traveling companion.

Soon, it was time to move on to the hot springs of Warmwaterburg and animal encounters in Oudtshoorn.  We had to get a shot with Ronnie.

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Image: Diego Pons

“Don’t be good, now,” Ronnie called after us.  Hours later, I hopped into a cage with crocodiles.  I think Ronnie would be proud.

If you’re road tripping across South Africa’s Western Cape, be sure to build in a quick stop here. You’ll love it.

Essential Info: Ronnie’s Sex Shop is on Route 62 in the Klein Karoo between Barrydale and Ladismith.  It’s free to visit, but I recommend you get a coffee or a drink.  T-shirts are for sale as well.

This campaign is brought to you by the South African Tourism Board and is supported and managed by iambassador. Adventurous Kate maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site.

Comments

23 Responses to “Weird South Africa: Ronnie’s Sex Shop”
  1. DIEGO PONS says:

    HEY GOD DAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA

    GREAT MEMORIES !!
    THANKS
    DIEGO

  2. Hannah says:

    He really DOES look like a cross between Willie Nelson and Santa!

  3. Naomi says:

    What a great find! Ronnie sounds like a cracker too!

  4. Cyndi says:

    Ohhh I’ve been to Ronnie’s! I studied abroad in South Africa in college, and a girlfriend and I heard about this place from some locals. We, like you, had to check it out. The quirky, weird places usually have the best stories, right? I love it! Thanks for sharing!

  5. That guy looks like a real character!

    New Zealand takes the cake in my book for some of the wackiest and tackiest roadside attractions and tourist traps. We inexplicably found ourselves pulling over for most of them, against our better judgement. It was like with a tractor beam – they sucked us right in.

  6. Brittany says:

    that’s a pretty clever marketing strategy 🙂 Looks like a fun place!

  7. This is hilarious and awesome. We have a place here on Roatan with underwear hanging up too, and I also wondered about the clean thing 🙂

  8. Megan says:

    That. Is. Awesome. He looks like a rad dude. Definitely a cross between Willie Nelson and Santa. Definitely not your standard coffee shop stop!

  9. Jennifer says:

    haha this is great! I love it!

  10. Jeff says:

    That. Is. Awesome. All these South Africa posts are making me want to make a pit stop there on my current RTW trip!

  11. Emily says:

    That is hilarious! Places like Ronnie’s Sex Shop is what makes travelling so special!

  12. I hope the underwear they leave behind hasn’t been worn by them before, and if it has, I hope Ronnie washes them before hanging them up. 🙂

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Trackbacks

Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] “Ronnie’s Shop originally opened in the 1970s. His friends decided to prank him by painting ‘SEX’ between ‘RONNIE’S’ and ‘SHOP.’ As soon as road-trippers saw the sign, curiosity brought them in—so they decided to turn the shop into a pub instead! Today, the bar is filled with layers of panties, bras, and other undergarments hanging from the ceiling. Bring a set of your own and Ronnie will add them to the collection!” More info here. […]

  2. […] “Ronnie’s Shop originally opened in the 1970s. His friends decided to prank him by painting ‘SEX’ between ‘RONNIE’S’ and ‘SHOP.’ As soon as road-trippers saw the sign, curiosity brought them in—so they decided to turn the shop into a pub instead! Today, the bar is filled with layers of panties, bras, and other undergarments hanging from the ceiling. Bring a set of your own and Ronnie will add them to the collection!” More info here. […]

  3. […] “Ronnie’s Shop originally opened in the 1970s. His friends decided to prank your man by painting ‘SEX’ between ‘RONNIE’S’ and ‘SHOP.’ As quickly as road-trippers saw the sign, curiosity brought them in — so they decided to turn the shop in to a pub instead! Today, the bar is filled along with layers of panties, bras, and others undergarments hanging from the ceiling. Bring a set of your very own and Ronnie will certainly add them to the collection!” More info here. […]

  4. […] “Ronnie’s Shop originally opened in the 1970s. His friends decided to prank him by painting ‘SEX’ between ‘RONNIE’S’ and ‘SHOP.’ As soon as road-trippers saw the sign, curiosity brought them in — so they decided to turn the shop into a pub instead!Today, the bar is filled with layers of panties, bras, and other undergarments hanging from the ceiling. Bring a set of your own and Ronnie will add them to the collection!” More info here. […]

  5. […] “Ronnie’s Shop originally opened in the 1970s. His friends decided to prank him by painting ‘SEX’ between ‘RONNIE’S’ and ‘SHOP.’ As soon as road-trippers saw the sign, curiosity brought them in — so they decided to turn the shop into a pub instead!Today, the bar is filled with layers of panties, bras, and other undergarments hanging from the ceiling. Bring a set of your own and Ronnie will add them to the collection!” More info here. […]

  6. […] “Ronnie’s Shop originally opened in the 1970s. His friends decided to prank him or her by painting ‘SEX’ between ‘RONNIE’S’ and ‘SHOP.’ As quickly as road-trippers saw the sign, curiosity brought them in — so they decided to turn the shop in to a pub instead! Today, the bar is filled along with layers of panties, bras, and others undergarments hanging from the ceiling. Bring a set of your very own and Ronnie will certainly add them to the collection!” A lot more info here. […]

  7. […] “Ronnie’s Shop originally opened in the 1970s. His friends decided to prank him by painting ‘SEX’ between ‘RONNIE’S’ and ‘SHOP.’ As soon as road-trippers saw the sign, curiosity brought them in—so they decided to turn the shop into a pub instead! Today, the bar is filled with layers of panties, bras, and other undergarments hanging from the ceiling. Bring a set of your own and Ronnie will add them to the collection!” More info here. […]



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