Kromrivier, in the Cederberg, four hours from Cape Town. A place where I'm soothed every time I visit. Last weekend Lateral Paul & I took our boys up to Kromrivier for two nights. It's not often that all four of us manage to successfully sync our schedules these days so it was completely amazing to spend time together in a place that sits deep in all of our souls.
We started taking our kids to Kromrivier in 1998 for our annual holiday. Luke was around 4 years old. We'd go for 10 days every February until school got in the way and we had to shift to going over the much busier Christmas time.
The long 250km drive on the dirt road might be a drag for some but it's one of the highlights for us. It's about the journey, not just the destination, as they say. We drove through the high and winding Nieuwoudt Pass, past Algeria, the Wolfberg Cracks in the vast expanse of the Cederberg Wilderness area, past Dwarsrivier, and spectacular landscapes with weird and wonderful sculpted rocks in dramatic hues of burnt orange and brown. And then there was that moment when we rounded the final corner on the mountain top and looked way down onto the farm in the middle of the fertile valley below. "We're all going on a summer holiday, no more working for a week or two…" sometimes we still sing it as we arrive at this haven, in one of the most remarkable parts of the Western Cape.
So what is it that's so alluring about Kromrivier in the Cederberg Tourist Park? For me, it's the aromatic, sweet smell of fynbos, the impossibly blue sky, rugged terrain, waterfalls, crystal clear rock pools, weaver birds, dragonflies bopping and weaving over the surface of the rivers, and that amazing dry heat- up to 35 degrees- the kind that hovers around your body in an inexplicably amazing way.
As soon as we arrived, we stopped as usual at the farmhouse to say hello to the wonderful Rinda Nieuwoudt, collected our key, hugged Boeta, the huge white Anatolian shepherd dog, and headed off to Tafelberg cottage, one of our two favourite places to stay, with Winterbach being the other.
As soon as we were unpacedk, my watch got relegated to the depths of my handbag, and allcellphones were turned off. Happiness is… no wifi, except at the farm, if you're truly desperate for an Instagram fix (who, me?).
And slowly, calmness descends. It's just you and Nature, sitting with a cup of coffee and a rusk on the stoep, watching the wind move across the water, rustling the leaves of the trees from one side of the dam to the other, like a Mexican wave.
And then there's all that napping. Relaxation replaces stress. The only schedule is eat, read, sleep, swim and repeat. Come late afternoon, we pop the cork on a bottle of cab sav, flick the caps off a few bottles of locally brewed craft beer (Ceder Brew) and sit around the fire waiting for the coals to settle down for the braai.
Night time brings its own theatre – the black sky shows off bright galaxies and shooting stars make you feel like heaven is sending you a message.
I can't explain how much I love this tiny part of the Cederberg. It's a place where my heart expands and I regain perspective. We all feel that way- it's a tonic for us.
I miss it already.
www.cederbergpark.com / 027-4822807 / Facebook: http://bit.ly/1EflptO