Cederberg Getaway

7 Jun

One of my dreams is to travel all over the world.  At the moment I’m looking forward to a jam-packed trip to Poland with the in-laws in July, and H and I have already started planning our “Thailand 2012 Diving  Adventure”.   In between the budget-breaking, leave-draining big holidays though, it’s the little adventures in our own back yard that remind me how lucky I am to live in THIS beautiful country!  This weekend’s adventure was to the Cederberg, or to a pretty guest house in the middle of the orange orchards called Olifantsrus, just outside Citrusdal to be more precise.


We didn’t have much of a plan except a vague notion that we should do some trail running and maybe visit a hot spring, and most importantly just relax.  Less than two hours drive from Cape Town, we set off after work on Friday evening  to try and stretch out the weekend a bit.  On arrival we were advised that the only place to get any supper was “Die Sitrus” – a padstal-come restaurant associated with the B&B eight k’s back in Citrusdal.  Despite my reservations about the menu I was not at all disappointed my  Cape Malay chicken curry which was the special for the evening.  It arrived in its own mini potijie pot with fluffy white rice and was out of this world delicious.  H’s rib-eye steak was also a winner.

On Saturday we drove along a seemingly endless dirt road to the Algeria forest campsite, nestled in the mountain valley, so that we could hike/run up to the waterfall.    The campsite looks stunning – clean, grassy, with a stream running through it, well maintained, great facilities, lots of sites… and not a soul there.  Maybe because it’s winter but I really hope that place booms in summer.  Running up the mountain turned out to be a bit too ambitious for current fitness levels, so we settled on an “intermittent trot” that still got us to the waterfall in half the estimated time.   The crisp gushing water and magnificent view was worth the effort  in the end!

More meandering down a very very long dirt road, past farms and streams and never-ending mountain vistas, took us to Clanwilliam where we attempted to find lunch.  Not such a hot spot in my book.  Apparently we missed out of two fabulous eateries due to the road works, so the deserted Clanwilliam Lodge was it.  Strange abandoned atmosphere aside, they made a great toasted sarmie.

After all the day’s driving we thought that checking out “The Baths” just up the road from our B&B would be a fab end to our day, but once again (it happened before at Montagu) I was disappointed to find that “hot springs” are not the steamy natural wonders I always expect them to be, but rather sanitised square swimming pools that looks more suited to laps that relaxing.  We decided not to part with our R70 a head for the luxury of that.

The restaurant at the Baths was more promising, and despite the Lady Rugga finals blaring over the TV giving it a more pub than intimate eatery atmosphere, we had some good grub.  I have never encountered cheese sauce with fish before, but luckily it was served on the side, and H’s Peking Duck was…ok.  It was probably an ambitious choice for a pub anyway.

The next morning we were foiled in our running plans by the B&B’s non street-wise Great Dane which insisted on following us into oncoming traffic on the main road, so laps around the orange orchard had to do (you could certainly do worse!), but our lunch at Die Sitrus again was a fitting farewell to the home of citrus. Any place that serves me proper “dark green leafy veg” salad with my chicken burger (marinated fillet, no crumbs in sight, top with half an avo) gets five stars in my book.  Back to Cape Town well fed and well slept, and just in time to do the laundry made for a surprisingly good Monday.  There’s a lot to be said for unglamorous weekends away.



2 Responses to “Cederberg Getaway”

  1. Anne June 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    It is trips off the beaten track that truly reveal the diverse beauty of this wonderful country! Each one leaves a tantalizing suggestion of another place to visit over the next hill, round the corner, down a side road …

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Wolfkop Nature Reserve & Citrusdal | Have you been to...? | Travel Blog - October 6, 2013

    […] Our September long weekend was a much anticipated break for us, and getting out of town was essential.  This time we weren’t looking for adventure, we were looking for REST. After discarding several overpriced and over complicated ideas, we decided to head to the Cederberg, just over two years since our last weekend away there. […]

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