When I look for places to take my family, I look for a place where they can experience something they hadn’t done before. Fortunately, in South Africa, I am spoiled for choice and most of the time it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
I read a number of blogs and when a fellow blogger mentioned her holiday at Petervale Guest Farm, it looked like something that would suit our family too. Self catering accomodation is the most cost effective option for families with young kids who prefer to shower within 4 walls and sleep in a proper bed. We selected to stay over the weekend of the 24th of April which meant the Farm had a requirement that we spend 3 nights there. This worked out well because we felt completely rested when we left and we had more than enough time to do everything we wanted to.
Since we could only leave after the kids had returned from school and I had left work, we found the 140km trip to Ceres took about 2 hours on a Friday afternoon. This meant that we had to start the braai immediately but it gave the kids and I a chance to go and say hello to the sheep and watch the chickens being chased into their coop. The lovely thing about the farm is that while you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere (pitch dark at night and super quiet) you are about 1km away from Prince Alfred Hamlet for those items you left at home and about 20kms away from the bigger town of Tulbagh. Ceres was incredibly busy as it was pay day weekend so we stayed as far away as possible. Prince Alfred Hamlet has an awesome butchery on the main road that is ideal for all your braai meat needs.
We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to milk the cows and feed the animals only to find that the note on the fridge was wrong. The cows get milked at 9am not 9:30am. Fortunately we had another 2 days to get that right and I was glad we were staying for the duration of the long weekend.
Once we had had some brunch at Tolhuis Restaurant on Michell’s Pass it was time to find the waterfall which, according to the map was an “easy walk”. Well, since we obviously suck at map reading and got lost in a pear farm along the way, we found that clambering over rocks with young children and bad knees was anything but easy.
We eventually turned back before reaching the waterfall. This means we definitely have to go back and complete this little challenge so we can tick it off.
On our way back to our cottage with hot and tired children we detoured a little bit so that they could try their hands at the resident row boat and paddle skis. Why is it that kids seem to be naturals at everything but grown ups just seem to sink to the bottom? Since their first water sport experience was such a success, we were nagged for the rest of the weekend about going back to the dam.
We found ourselves at a bit of a loose end on Sunday afternoon and it left me wondering what on earth would be open on a Sunday afternoon, over a long weekend in the middle of “small-town-ville”, Google came to the rescue. We headed into Tulbagh and found that that small town was anything but sleepy and had quite a few options available for light lunches and teas along the Main Road. It seems like we have yet another thing to add to our list as clearly Tulbagh needs to be explored properly.
They were simultaneously grossed out and engrossed by milking cows, cuddling bunnies and feeding chickens. They were thrilled they could tell their friends that they learned how to paddle ski and got lost in a pear farm. I’d say this weekend was a success, wouldn’t you?