Guest house Photography |
A layover in Laaitjie | Robertson
Nothing beats the pure delight of discovering the unexpected.
A snap decision to get away for the weekend found us racking our brains for a close and affordable spot to book. Before we knew it, we were heading through the Hugenot Tunnel – leaving Cape Town close behind us. Exiting the tunnel, the sweeping vista of the Klein Drakenstein Mountains greet you. A fine rain hangs in a mist, and to our delight, fresh white snow decorated the highest peaks on either side of us. The sun breaks through every now and again, illuminating the Molenaars River as it flows strongly over softly sculpted pebbles. Leaving the mountains behind, Goudini Spa is to our left and the vines of Rawsonville marking territory to the right. With a quick detour to the Mountain Mill Shopping centre to stock up on groceries, we leave Worcester and head onto Route 60 towards Robertson (the argument still rages as to whether this is the start of Route 62).
Either way, it’s beautiful. The Old railway track runs along side us, a troupe of baboons watching the passing cars. Everything is a varying shade of green. The mountains start off as gentle slopey hills dotted with the odd vineyard or citrus orchard. The mountains get higher and higher, the greens darker and slightly more ominous until they’re just a silhouette shaped by messy grey clouds. Its an easy drive through Robertson, not forgetting to stop at the Happy Hog if pork is your thing. At the circle turn left towards the mountains and head straight on through the outlying houses which become shacks. For awhile our attention is diverted by a long stream of cars following a hearse. Pretty part of the world to be buried in I thought. Just as you pass a road marked “Keurkloof”, and you wonder what happens up there, the road start climbing and you round a bend into what appears to be the most incredibly beautiful valley.
Four derelict and tumbledown red clay houses dot the space. The immense beauty of the valley we emerged into literally took my breath away. The rolling hills leading the eye up to the snow-capped peaks were literally emerald green in the shy sunlight. Hints of blue sky only served to illuminate the whiteness of the snow, reminding me very much of the dreamy Lord of the rings scenery. I had to stand still for awhile to absorb the intensity of the beauty surrounding me.
At Laaitjie, we were greeted by Roger who showed us to Cottage no. 2. Simple, yet creatively furnished, mostly in white with the odd splash of red, like a chair. The cottage had two double bedrooms, a quaint little kitchen area, lounge with views into the valley, a fire place inside and Braai on the deck. Roger stocked us up with wood for the fire and mattresses for the kids. Except for a rather feeble shower, the cottage was perfect. Down in the valley, three horses grazed so peacefully in the the paddock. Who couldn’t be peaceful in a place like this! Everything was fresh because of the recent rains and the crispness of the air. The muddy clay was red underfoot (not great for white furniture). Obviously the material used in the making of the ramshackle houses in the previous valley. We strolled down to the horses who were curious and friendly, loving the apples and carrots we showed the boy how to offer up. Palms flat and hands open wide. Callum named one of the horses Caramel who I think started off a white horse but had been rolling in the clay. We spent the morning hiking up to a waterfall. A 55 minute walk, Roger had mentioned that one could walk behind the waterfall and look through the sheets of water from the inside. Unfortunately, there had been so much rain, we could only hike so far and had to stop as the water levels were to high. Next time!
That night we lit the fire, sipped on a glass of Merlot, threw some ribs and porkies on the Braai and absorbed the good vibes of this serene valley.
Last thoughts before bed was how soon we could come back..