I was fortunate enough to go away on a mid-year break this past weekend to one of the places on my Wishlist of a Keen Traveller.
The first trip with my boyfriend and his parents so no pressure (Lots of pressure. So much pressure.) I’m still in a despondent mode – it went by so quickly. As this will be my first travelling tale, I was not sure how to approach it. Should I go an itinerary route? Highlight what I loved? Give a brief description of the place? So I decided to incorporate all three and magic (I hope so!)
The Drakensberg is nuzzled between a few provinces in South Africa. It encloses the central Southern African plateau. No this is not a copy and paste encyclopaedia post, by the way. It snows in winter and I think that would be the most beautiful season to visit it in. It’s a good inland break because the scenery is spectacular and it really does let you get away from the rest of the world. It’s in halfway between Johannesburg (Gauteng) and Durban (KwaZulu-Natal). Travelling time is 2-3 hours either way. There will be plenty of cows crossing the road, so a slow drive is advised.
I had visited Drakensberg when I was younger and to be quite honest, I barely remember that trip. The beauty of this weekend is that I had a chance to revisit the ‘Berg and appreciate it a lot more. So what did I do this past weekend?
Arrival – Friday 11 September 2015
We checked into our resort, Dragon Peaks and settled in. We took a brief walk around the resort and visited the shop on site. Indians will be Indians, because over packed. The shop on site had everything you would need for a self catering trip. The resort is beautifully rustic. There’s lake in the middle of the resort and it’s ideally nestled at the bottom of the mountains. Horses wander around the resort and there’s quite a bit of bird life.
Side note: I touched a horse.
Wasn’t to fussed about the accommodation, however was slightly disappointed as the expectations set out by the help desk versus the actual accommodation were not the same. Nevertheless, a cosy unit. The weather really was not being friendly. I had kept checking the weather forecast the entire week and it kept saying sunny with low temperatures. It was not so. It was freezing on Friday. I kept being told that, “It’s not that cold.” It was. It was bloody cold.
Saturday 12 September 2015
So the afternoon before, we had asked the help desk about the activities. The entire week, I kept saying that I could not wait to go on the ‘Scootours’. Basically a downhill ride on a scooter. We couldn’t do that because I can’t ride a bicycle and I did not want to die (Don’t ask). So what did we end up doing on Saturday? Oh and the weather was bearable, slightly nippy but bearable.
We took a drive and ended up at Monks Cowl – which consists of hiking trails and campsites. I was secretly hoping that we would take the shortest route because I’m an unhealthy sloth. We did take the shortest route. I could barely make it. But the view at the end of the trail was worth it. I see a life lesson in here, 44 minutes to the waterfall and 44 minutes back to the safety of the car for my legs.
After recovering, we returned to the resort, had lunch at the restaurant on site and rested for a bit. We then hopped back into the car and found our way to the CHOCOLATE BAR. I’ll have you know that yes, this was a favourite already for me. It’s a quirky little shop, with the friendliest host (I say host, because he was really nice). We deserved the hot chocolate after the 88 minute hike. Bought some goods and we were off to resort again for a braai (South African version of a barbecue).
Departed – Sunday 13 September 2015
So I had the sickies because of the confusing weather. It rained as we packed up and left. But we were intent on waffles from the Waffle House which was about 15kms from the resort. We also made the mistake of eating breakfast before going for waffles. That waffle owned me. I didn’t finish it. It was bigger than my head. So delicious. Advice on how to tackle it? Go hungry.
Overall a memorable trip. Highlights for me were the scenery and the chocolate bar. A much needed trip for myself, because I had slowly been drowning at work. It’s an affordable, family-friendly break and I will be visiting it again.