With temperatures suddenly rising the past week and touching 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) – in the beginning of winter – we were ready for a weekend away!
But where to go … oh we know, our favourite mountains, the Cederberg!
Where will you find the Cederberg mountains?
The Cederberg mountains are located near Clanwilliam, approximately 300km (186 miles) north of Cape Town. The mountain range is named after the endangered Clanwilliam cedar, which is a tree endemic to the area.
These mountains are no stranger to us – we’ve hiked and camped a couple of times in this beautiful mountain range (you can read about it here and here). And Clanwilliam is also the little town where I’ve started and completed my high school career … hey, those were the days!
So, let’s go!
As we’ve entered Clanwilliam, we had some weekend shopping to do … but first, it was time for a well-deserved lunch. Our choice fell on Velskoendraai.
It’s hard to translate this word to English, but let’s try: ‘Velskoen’ – ethically handcrafted genuine leather boots/shoes (and made here in Clanwilliam). ‘Draai’ – turn. So, the restaurant is named after a well-known shoe that is made locally and it’s on the turn as you enter Clanwilliam 😊.
Lunch at Velskoendraai
Velskoendraai is a farmstall and restaurant in one and a great place to visit. They’ve got a wonderful gift shop and yummy home-made preserves (such as jams, baked rusks and cookies).
As it was a lovely sunny day, we’ve opted to sit outside to enjoy our lunch. Their spinach and feta quiche, served with a side salad, was really tasty – perfect to start a lazy weekend away!
After our shopping was done, we’ve got on the gravel road to travel the short distance towards Rondegat.
We’ve decided to stay at Rondegat Cottages – situated on a farm, about 13km (8 miles) from Clanwilliam and next to the Clanwilliam dam. We’ve booked a beautiful self-catering cottage with amazing views.
To our surprise, there were no (or very little water) in the dam going towards Rondegat. Charl, the owner of Rondegat, explained to us that they were waiting for the first hard winter rainfall to fill the dam to the shores.
We did bring one kayak along … oh well, with a view like that, we did not really mind … maybe we can explore our surroundings then. It shows, you must always have a plan B!
Our cottage is minimalistic – just the way we like it! But it had everything we needed … great bed, bathroom with a shower, fridge and stove (though, we might use the outside fire pit more than the stove 😉). And no TV … the best part for us, because there is an amazing view to enjoy after all!
We’ve decided to take the short walk down to the dam (or where the water is supposed to be). There are nice ‘braai’ (barbeque) facilities under trees and the perfect spot to relax when the dam is full.
After a day of travelling and experiencing such a glorious evening, it was the ideal time to light a fire and have some steak on the coals.
While enjoying the absolute silence next to the fire, we’ve decided to take a drive into the Cederberg mountains tomorrow. We want to visit a famous South African poet’s grave, pay a visit to the historical village of Wupperthal and find the ‘soldaatkop’ (soldier’s head) … if we can find it between all the magnificent rocks in the mountain!
Rondegat Weekend (Day 2) will continue here