“And if these mountains had eyes, they would wake to find two strangers in their fences, standing in admiration as a breathing red pours its tinge upon earth’s shore. These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man’s weak praise should be given God’s attention.”
— Donald Miller
Few things in life can be more exquisite than being whisked away by your lover to a mysterious location for a surprise birthday weekend escape in the mountains. I had no idea what to expect and he surpassed even my wildest expectations. A mountain retreat on a small fruit and wine farm is the perfect gift.
We drove along the N1 to a farm called Vredendal just below the Burgers Pass 1 km along a dirt road from the R318, the road less traveled which leads from Montagu through the Keisie, to the Koo Valley. Our self-catering accommodation was a restored farm cottage with quaint red shutters and an indoor fireplace. We harvested fresh herbs and vegetables for our meals from their incredible gardens. If you appreciate a touch of adventure they offer hiking, mountain-biking, swimming in natural rock pools, bird watching and stargazing abound on the farm. There is a wide variety of wildlife ranging from the occasional leopard to the abundant dassie. If you feel like exploring the area the towns of Montagu, Robertson, McGregor and Barrydale are all within easy reach of the farm. We headed on over to Viljoensdrift on the Saturday for an hour-long meander along the river, flanked by indigenous Breede River Yellowwood and Wild Olive trees teeming with a variety of bird species, that set the scene for a leisurely riverside experience.
The Keisie Cottages, which means “Sweet Water” in San, is an idyllic getaway if you want to flee the madding crowds, unwind and relish in the peace and serenity of the mountains away from mobile reception and technology.
Accommodation: Keisse Cottages (ranging from R180pp)
River Cruise: Viljoensdrift (R60pp)
Photography : Sean Campbell & Maria Magdalena van Wyk
Leather Backpack: Rowdy Bags
Budget Travel, Cottage, Keisie Cottages, Montagu, Mountains, Retreat