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Winter Getaway in Drakensberg

In Winter 2007, 10 years ago, we booked a winter getaway to the Drakensberg. And due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to cancel. Since then, every winter, we said that this year will be the year we go. And we finally made the booking early in May. We searched the web and went through a lot of accommodation websites. When we finally decided on Dumbe Cottages.

Last week Friday, we packed our bags, met with our dog sitter and off we went. As we drove the 12km gravel road, passing wild horses and getting closer to the cottage, we started anticipating what we thought it would be like. But nothing, and I really mean nothing, could have prepared us for the beautiful, breathtaking view and cozy cottage. It was cloudy and misty, which obviously added to my excitement!

The wind was freezing, but inside the cottage was a fireplace which my husband immediately started. We had a drink next to the fireplace and enjoyed the view before it got dark. Then we made good use of that jacuzzi bath.

On Saturday we woke up to gushing winds, and -2 degrees at 7 am weather but we stuck to our plans for the day. My husband made us a lovely breakfast and off we went. We drove around the 2 small towns close by and eventually went for lunch at Little Switzerland Hotel. I really loved the whole look of the dining room there. It reminded me of The Shining.  And although lunch was so nice, nothing compares to the carrot cake I had. I had the best carrot cake of my life. I wish I could have thanked the chef personally, but sadly I couldn’t. So Mr. Chef, if you ever end up reading this, thank you! Really, thank you for baking the best carrot cake I ever had in my entire 31 years of life.

Afterwards, we went back to the cottage and took a cozy nap. We had such an amazing, romantic and relaxing weekend. And if I could ever recommend a winter getaway, Dumbe Cottages would be it. My husband I both agreed, we will definitely be back. It definitely doesn’t hurt when you have the best travel buddy in the world… (Croukamp, dis jy) xxx

 

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Crystal Springs – Mpumalanga

I have to admit, I really love the bushveld. I would pick it over the beach any day. And I’m lucky that my husband feels exactly the same. We would hardly ever have a holiday where we didn’t agree on where we should go. Crystal Springs is usually one of those easy choices when we want to break away. Not only is it not that far of a drive (4hours) from Johannesburg, but it’s so relaxing and beautiful too. Not to mention that we’ve been there more than a few times already.

We usually book one of the Lodges close to the cliff with beautiful views. I love waking up to the misty mountain views.

It’s close to the old mining village Pilgrim’s Rest. We’ll go have breakfast pancakes at the Silver Spoon Restuarant in Graskop and then go to the Royal Hotel to have a few drinks and walk down the street full of shops.

Reading the newspaper, looking all hot and stuff. 

The cool thing about Crytal Springs is that it has a lot of different pools, a spa, a restaurant and bar all on site. If we feel like not having a relaxing night in, we go have pizza in the restaurant and then go have a few drinks in the bar. Usually, while we are on holiday there,  I always book an appointment at the spa. Be it to do my nails, or get a massage.

 

We had a braai almost every night, because well… my husband is the best braaier but also the sunsets were amazing. On one of the nights, there was a power outage at the resort and we actually enjoyed it. The stars and the sky was absolutely something to experience. It’s not something you get to see often when you live in the city.

On this specific holiday, we took my wheelchair with, as I was starting to need it more. Although all the lodges we have stayed in thus far are not wheelchair friendly, it was quite easy to get around inside, with the help of my husband. I don’t think I’ll exchange the lodge with an astounding view for a wheelchair friendly lodge/cabin/chalet. But that’s just me. Wherever we had a few steps to use, the staff was so helpful and accommodating.

We are planning a trip there again, hopefully soon, and I can’t wait.

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The Galley Beach Bar in Ballito

Late in 2014, we decided to have a spur of the moment holiday. We wanted to go to the Dolphin coast and visit our friends there too. And we obviously took Django, our Jack Russell along.

Because Django was only a few months old, accommodation wasn’t really a big problem.

So we went on a mission to find cool restaurants and places we can go where we can take him with. We came across The Galley Beach Bar and Grill in Ballito. Such an awesome place.

Not only are they pet-friendly, but they are right on the beach as well. Which meant a beautiful view while you enjoy your lunch and drinks. They also have a menu for your beloved pet! How cool is that?! Not to mention, we went back there twice.  Another bonus… it’s wheelchair friendly too!

I will definitely recommend this place if you are in Ballito. Bring your canine, enjoy a delicious meal and a walk on the beach.