The Naked Barista 13/06/2017
Driving out of the city of Pretoria, we were very soon…very suddenly…pleasantly surprised with the serene beauty of Schoemanskloof pass.
It was a winter warm day arriving at our destination. B proceeded to search for the worksite as he was told that it was situated on a hill inside our place of accommodation which will be… Bundu Lodge.
We were amazed at the splendorous gardens overflowing with both fauna and flora. Allsorts of bucks, Alpacca’s, Ostriches and Emus walked freely in this stunning environment.
Ponds with ducks added to the tranquil feeling of peace and harmony. There were also cages with bearded dragons and a first for me were some furry animals nestled against each other. (Pic below) They are noted for their fur being the softest of all furry animals…they are ‘chinchillas’…and…even softer than the bunnies, that were also frolicking everywhere.
Later on in the week, we were on our way into town when we were blessed with a display of three ostriches doing a marvelous wild dance ritual.
An emu decided to follow me around and I could touch it’s soft feathers. It wanted to put it’s head on my shoulder. How very blessed!
Bundu Lodge is also a beautiful wedding venue complete with magnificent photo opportunities boasting a windpump and antique wagon sitting just to the side of a Romanesque chapel.
But, alas…work came first and only on the following Sunday afternoon while taking a stroll, we discovered the animals in the cages…
On our first arrival at Bundu Lodge, we proceeded to search for and eventually found the hidden winding road leading to the top of the hill.
Our workmen commenced work at once. We took one of our workmen and as per usual went in search for accommodation in the nearest village. We always try to add to the economy of the locals.
Only after the fact, could we book into our own room and I immediately started working my magic to arrange for a good stay.
Karen from Bundu Lodge assisted us with a very attractive room and we had a splendid stay. I highly recommend this lodge and as you know if you have read my travel articles, I can sometimes be just a little bit full of nonsense, especially if we are staying for half a month.
Our room had the biggest bed and we felt just a little bit lost in it after sharing a singIe bed for nearly three weeks…the reason being…better logistics and location with our workmen.
The room featured just that little extras which make being away from home, worth it…a candle against the wall…a kettle and fridge…best of all every day the drinks tray are replenished with rooibos tea, coffee, white and brown sugar and even diabetic sugars. It truly is the little things that makes me feel at home. The cleaning service every day is such a treat and the staff is super efficient. I felt superblessed!
Adding yet more to my feeling of being extremely spoiled, I did not have to cook at night as we ordered our meals directly from the restaurant. We mostly ate in our room as B needed some relaxation after work.
The food was well priced and extremely delicious. The waiters are very efficient and friendly. The few evenings that we did eat at the restaurant was just as awesome, a delicious dining experience. Eating on a huge deck surrounded by lush trees of every imaginable shade of green and when we were timeous…spoiled with stunning sunsets.
We did have to move inside on occasion as this time of year when the sun sets, an inconsiderate chill arrives.
Best of all about our room, were the lovely verandah complete with the biggest tree and as we were on the second floor, little birds’ animated chatter were heard all day long. I made sure that they wanted to stick around by attracting them with crumbs from our morning rusks. The verandah was also absolutely perfect for doing my leg exercises and I just loved breathing so freely…
After driving through Witrivier, we realized that accommodation in this region were superfluous. Travelling as much as we do, I felt quite sure that we were superblessed to have had the absolute best stay with Bundu Lodge.
The following week we had to do the necessary bank related tasks and thought best to do this in the bigger town of Nelspruit which were all of about five minutes drive from Witrivier.
We were disappointed as the Market is only held every second weekend of the month. We did have a good stroll around and what an eloquent setting for a market it was. Also featuring here is one of the most nostalgic antique shops I have had the pleasure to visit.
Baghdad, is situated opposite Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre which we made a quick visit to as B had to get back to site. The walls of these very attractive buildings is entirely covered with stunning free crawling exotic plant creepers. Tea or lunch can be had in romantic courtyards surrounded by splendorous rose bushes and vined pergolas. This center is well worth a visit as it even boasts a movie house.
What a peaceful experience, being surrounded by such an abundance of gigantic nut trees. Under the trees were huge heaps of nutshells. Harmony and peace…at last…the experiences a soul longs for…
On our way, we went down memory lane for B as he showed me where he lived for just a little while as a child. While he talked about his childhood, I was reminded of how quickly a lifetime goes by.
The views on the road toward Pelgrimsrus is breathtakingly beautiful, hills and valleys and turns and greens of all shades. No wonder there is an area named…God’s window. Stunning!
We arrived, maybe with too high of an expectation, to see the growth of Pelgrimsrus as a tourist attraction, it being a Historic Town. Our last visit to this town were around 15 years ago…we were quite disappointed…there is definitely room for improvement and growth surrounding the tourist industry.
I did however, buy some terrific liquirice toffees, B’s favourite, at a little store staffed by a mature lady and also a writer. We got chatting and she was busy writing a book about the history of Pelgrimsrus. I thought that she was born and bred there, but she only arrived around five years ago. The toffees, alas, was not from the area, but manufactured in the town of Darling.
Graskop, on the other hand, were abuzz with tourists and Dad’s getting spoiled on Father’s Day. We felt that someone from the community were doing something right to attract the tourists and shoppers. The shops were open and inviting. We entered a silk shop as I have had…since my teens and still have…’silk sheets’ listed on my wishlist…
This shop had some stylish silk garments and pillow cases, but…no silk sheets. It is actually delightful to have something so alluding to search for on our travels…
There were so many eating places and we had a tough decision on choosing. We opted for pancakes and narrowed it down to two places. When I saw a sign of Black Forest Cake on one of the two, the decision was made for us. After a delicious light meal of a shared pancake and a slice of cake, we took a drive through the town of Graskop. Very agreeable indeed!
On our way back, we were surprised by a magnificent castle – Flycatcher Castle – and marvelled at the story behind it. Read about it on the hyperlink – designed and completed by a sculptor.
On our last day, B and our workmen finished around lunchtime and after we dropped them off at their accommodation, I could eventually gift B one of his fathers day gifts which was a Moroccan Barber experience. This store is well worth a visit and a treat for men SA Moroccan Barber.
The décor of this shop is breathtakingly beautiful and if I were a man in Witrivier, I would not go anywhere else to be spoilt. They really know their business.
After not really wanting to go…B were superblessed!