Last Friday afternoon I left for a weekend away in the Drakensberg. My bag was packed. My iDevices were charged. I had a bag with drinks and snacks for the drive. I was ready for a weekend away!
Last year around July I attended a Tsogo Sun event where I came first in my round and ended up winning a weekend away at any of their hotels in the country. The only “problem” was that I had to use it within 6 months of winning it which proved problematic with starting a new job and going into the busy event season. Since I spent my Christmas break at the coast I had to think of a hotel closer to home so no flight costs would have to be paid – close enough to drive to, but far enough to be a proper weekend away. Hence the easy decision to go to the Drakensberg Sun!
We arrived around 21h30 on the Friday night after taking forever to get out of Joburg because of Friday traffic and stopping in Harrismith for dinner. The only drawback from arriving while it was dark was not being able to see the rolling green hills around us, but the starry night sky seen from the sunroof was incredible!
On Saturday morning I opened the curtains and was greeted with a misty view, just as the weather man had predicted. On the bright side the drizzly weather meant we were going to have a completely different experience on the canopy zipline tour I had booked for later that morning.
The canopy tour is located on the same premises of the hotel which made it really easy to find. It would have been lovely to walk the short way through the grounds to get there but I was worried about the rain and how wet and cold we may be after the tour so we took the car. (We needn’t have worried though as the drizzle dried up by the time we were finished and we were given the most attractive rain suits to cover our clothes.)
This canopy tour was so different to the other tours I have been on (Knysna and Polokwane). Not only did we experience a true rain forest experience because of the drizzly weather, we also didn’t have to use our gloved hands to control our speed when approaching the landing areas. This made it more exhilarating and you could take a few moments to look around you and take in the view without worrying about speed. It was also made that much more special because our group was made up of two guides, myself, and Mr Man…a private tour.
After huffing and puffing my way up the gajillion steps from the last platform, we made our way back to the hotel where I lounged in the bath for a little while before heading back to bed for a quick nap. (Weekends away and canopy tours make you tired you know.) Upon getting undressed I noticed my sneakers… You have to know that it was a good canopy tour when your white shoes look like this. Either that or the rain suits didn’t do their job properly.
After my little nap I headed over to the spa for a relaxing full body aromatherapy massage. Definitely a must on a weekend away! And then we headed to the bar for some pre-dinner drinks and enjoyed a lovely sunset from the patio.
We checked out on the Sunday morning and headed up the road in the hopes of visiting the Raptor and Reptile Centres. Unfortunately our city mentality had us assuming that there would be card facilities available to pay the entrance fees so the closest we got was the front gate at each centre. A little deflated, we then decided to head on home but stop at one of the many battlefield heritage sites along the route. We ended up stopping at Spioenkop and walking the self-guided trail. Amazing views, but at that height I was also closer to the sun (this is my excuse) so I got quite burnt in the 30 odd minutes we walked around.
There were many mass grave sites and many of these crosses, most just simply saying “Here lies a brave Burger”.
It was an amazing weekend away! The Saturday seemed to go on forever which is unheard of when you’re away for such a short time. Perhaps it was the relaxing surroundings. Perhaps it was the early morning start. Or perhaps it was time spent with a lovely guy where I made the most of every minute…