August 2021

One thing is for sure – three days at Skoorsteenberg Farm & Cottages are not nearly enough. So, you might wonder:

  1. What can you do there?
  2. What can you see?

And the answers to those questions – not much! So why then go there? Because you totally unwind, an unreal calmness fills your mind and you get into touch with nature in a spectacular way!

The entrance to Skoorsteenberg – do you see the chimney mountain in the background?

Like I’ve mentioned in our previous post (you can read about it here), there are only 2 cottages available for guests. Each cottage got 3 bedrooms, on-suite bathroom and extra bathroom, fully equipped kitchens and are powered by solar and wind power.

Olive cottage as seen from the hill between the two cottages

After we’ve arrived late here the previous evening, we were ready to explore the farm a little bit more the next morning. We are now moving towards spring in South Africa and even here in the dry Tankwa Karoo, it was evident that this season is upon us.

Wild spring flowers could be seen everywhere on the farm

Nana, the owner of Skoorsteenberg Farm, made a real effort to design the gardens on the farm in close harmony with the environment.

Rustic elements in the succulents’ garden
An outside bath overlooking the majestic mountains (not for personal use I assume)

There is also a vegetable garden under shading (to protect the veggies against the fierce sun during summer months). This is a great initiative, since the closest town is about 100km (62 miles) from the farm.

A glimpse at the shaded vegetable garden

When you stand on the little hill behind our cottage and look out over the vast plains of the Tankwa Karoo, you realise the uniqueness of this area … and the perseverance of someone to stay here on a permanent basis.

We’ve also paid a visit to some of the farm animals. We’ve spotted a few ducks, emu’s and goats (the horses and donkeys were grazing somewhere in the fields). In one of the camps were a goat with her one-week old babies – they were so adorable!

A goat with her newborn babies

The rest of the afternoon, we’ve done something that both of us enjoy tremendously (and don’t always get the time for) … reading! There was a chilly wind outside and we’ve made coffee (and got hold of some chocolates) and enjoyed our time on the soft couches with our favourite books.

Reading a book – pure relaxation

We were very excited to see the sun set and as we’ve got hold of our cameras (and a bottle of wine), we’ve strolled outside. Just to see that Nana was on her way to feed the animals. We’ve headed back to the farm animals’ camps to watch them eating some fresh fruit and veggies.

It was now time for us to find a hill to catch the last sunrays of the day. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen such an amazing sunset ever! It was an awe-inspiring moment to watch the sun set in the west … I will let you see it for yourself.

The nearby mountains reflected the colour of the setting sun
Breathtaking beautiful
The sun disappearing behind the furthest mountains
The vastness of the Tankwa Karoo with the mountains in the distance where the sun disappeared

We brought a bottle of wine from Spain with us on this trip …specifically to enjoy here in the Tankwa Karoo. When we walked the Camino in Spain in 2017, we enjoyed several glasses (or was it bottles?) of their famous Rioja wine. And since we also walked the South African Tankwa Camino two years ago, we thought it would be appropriate to enjoy a (Spanish) Camino wine here on (South African) Camino territory!

Spanish Rioja wine in the Tankwa Karoo

Berto made a 360-degree video clip from the hill where we’ve watched the sunset earlier that day … have a look to see this unusual landscape live!

360-Degree view at Skoorsteenberg

There is something else I would like to share with you … and I’m not sure how well-known this is (though I remember it from my earlier years at our hostel while in high school).

What is a donkey boiler?

Do you know “donkey boilers”? A “donkey boiler” is a water-heating system that is installed outdoors and are an economical way to warm water for use indoors or outdoors. The simplest systems involve a metal drum filled with water and heated by a wood fire.

And here at Skoorsteenberg, we had such a “donkey boiler”. If there is not enough sun for the solar to heat the water, you can start the donkey … and that’s what we’ve done every morning to enjoy a hot shower!

The donkey boiler doing its job in getting our water hot

Our last day at Skoorsteenberg Farm involved more walking around on the farm, reading and sitting next to the fire while preparing our lunch in the form of the traditional South African chicken “potjie” (food prepared in a cast iron pot on the fire).

A lovely view while preparing our lunch on the fire
A bottle of Darling wine – perfect with our “potjie” and looks so beautiful between the flowers

During the late afternoon, the donkeys and horses walked pass our cottage on their way back to their camps. They were in no particular hurry as they’ve spent some time looking peculiarly at us while we were preparing our food.

The donkeys and horse saying goodbye to us after a great weekend at Skoorsteenberg Farm & Cottages

We’ve taken one last walk up a hill to watch the sunset … again, there are no words to describe this amazing spectacle!

The two cottages basking in the last sunlight
Our last sunset at Skoorsteenberg

I’m sure you will understand when we say we’ve visited a really amazing place … where there is so little to do, but so much to experience!

We hope to visit Skoorsteenberg Farm & Cottages again in the future … and many thanks to Nana who allow people like us in this beautiful place!

Next, we’re leaving for the Cederberg Mountains for a wonderful hike (and another extraordinary accommodation)!

But first, we must show you the road that took us there … see you somewhere on the road!


25 thoughts on “TANKWA KAROO (2)

    1. Ah, thank you! I’ve “oohed and aahed” at the farm animals all weekend – most of them are rescued animals (well maybe except for the goats) and it’s great to see how they enjoy life on the farm! That wine Carolyn … it’s really great and one of my favourites!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – those were really amazing sunsets! Absolutely, it takes a special kind of person to live here (and making a success)! And totally agree with your wine theory 🍷! Thanks for reading and your comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the photos of the setting sun, as well, Corna. And the pics of flowers & animals! Oh, yes, reading is most enjoyable for me, too, and it’s something I do just prior to falling asleep each night, if I’m not too tired! I appreciate the way you photograph the beauty in small & unusual things. Thanks for explaining the donkey boiler! Enjoy what’s left of your weekend, my friend! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks dear Lisa 🌸. It was such an unusual place, yet so beautiful! That donkey boiler brought back wonderful high school memories – I was amazed that more than 50 high school girls always had hot water with that system 😅. Hope you have a great weekend too … I’m going to take my book now and retire to bed 😴.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That sunset! No words to describe how majestic it is… thank you so much for sharing this experience with us. Things like these make me appreciate so much how lucky and privileged we are to live on this Earth and be able to witness such things. It looks like you both definitely had an amazing time – books, farm animals, good wine, and a fantastic scenary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you gotta love those sunsets! Although is was “in the middle of nowhere”, it was definitely worth visiting … I’m already thinking we should go there again some time 😊. Thank you for reading and your lovely comment, enjoy your week.

      Liked by 1 person

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