I grew up on a farm near a small town called Upington in the Northern Cape, South Africa. I lived there for about 17-years before moving to Cape Town in order to pursue a career in the Fashion Industry (what was I thinking?). Although I absolutely love Cape Town and everything she has to offer, it just sometimes gets too much for this small town girl. I miss the open spaces and the clean air, not having to sit in traffic and not having neighbors on either side of me… I miss uncrowded spaces and having loads of animals. I miss summer thunderstorms and the smell of rain on the farm. I miss my magical childhood.
The past couple of weeks have been particularly hectic. It is one of the busiest times of the year at work, I am pregnant, I’m tired, I am homesick, and I NEEDED a holiday… When my husband phoned me at work and spontaneously suggested that we spend the weekend in Franskraal I jumped at the chance to get out of the city. We packed the car that very night and the next day after work we took to the road. Mikayla slept the entire way there, which was amazing – normally it is two and a half hours of “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Where are we going? Are we there yet? I am hungry. Are we there yet?”. The drive was gorgeous as always and we enjoyed a breath taking sunset over the mountains, lighting up the beautiful Elgin Valley.
Franskraal is about 169 km’s outside Cape Town, but it might as well be another world. We have family friends who own a holiday house there and they are always kind enough to let us use it. The moment you take the turn-off into the small fisherman’s village you can feel the stress and worry melt away.
After unpacking the car we went to one of our many secret rock pool spots and picked up seashells in the last bit of sunlight – we always see some interesting ocean critters like hermit crabs and sand sharks – Mikayla loves it. We braaied that evening (what a surprise) and played some board games while listening to the waves break against the rocks not too far from the house. This might sound boring to most people, but to me… Bliss. On Saturday morning we had a big lazy breakfast, took a drive out to Danger Point Lighthouse and then we unexpectedly found our new favourite spot… A beautiful farm called Panorama Nature’s Haven – a true hidden gem! If you are ever in the area, you have to make a stop here. We were surrounded by millions of puppies…okay eight, but they were insane – I almost convinced Cole to let us keep one. Obviously I failed miserably. We fed the horse, the pig and visited the chickens – after our little bit of fun on the farm we headed up to the restaurant and had the most amazing lunch. I honestly still have dreams about the food. Cole and I shared the Ribs and Calamari Combo Special with a side of fresh West Coast Muscles in a creamy white wine and garlic sauce, while Mikayla went all adventurous with chicken strips. While Cole was drinking his craft beers I gave in to my pregnancy cravings as well as Mikayla’s wishes and had the most delicious chocolate milkshake I have ever had in my entire life. For real… Okay I had two… and some of Mikayla’s, but that is not the point.
After nagging, and hinting, and pining, and whining, and some more nagging from Cole – we ended up going out on the 4×4 trial. It started off not looking like much, but once we got to the top of the mountain the view was out of this world. Cole was finally happy, feeling all manly doing his thing driving over rocks and stuff. We loved our new favourite spot so much that we decided to stay for dinner too. After exploring the farm a bit, watching a herd of baboons and went to go have a look at their newly built castle (yes, castle… with a moat and everything) wedding venue we had our delicious dinner by candle light. We had such an amazing day – just Cole, Mikayla and I. Sitting at the dinner table, I thought my heart would burst with happiness and content. On Sunday we had a long, lazy day on the beach then headed back to Cape Town, our hearts full and minds at peace. Then Monday came… but never mind.
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