Drakensberg, South Africa

This is my entry for “D” for the A to Z Challenge.

AtoZ2019D
(from Wikipedia):

The Drakensberg (Afrikaans: Drakensberge, Zulu: uKhahlamba, Sotho: Maluti) is the name given to the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment, which encloses the central Southern African plateau. The Great Escarpment reaches its greatest elevation in this region – 2,000 to 3,482 metres (6,562 to 11,424 feet).

I gathered from hubby that it’s snowing in the Drakensberg (“Berg”) this weekend. How timely is that? I had chosen to write about the Drakensberg for my letter “D” in the A to Z Challenge and I happen to be behind and catching up this weekend. (I am still behind but I am hopeful that I will catch up before half of the challenge has elapsed.) For this post, I am focusing on the Central Drakensberg.

I love that about the mountains. In 2011, my best friend and I went on a snow chasing adventure, as we called it. We were sitting with frozen butts in Johannesburg and we thought if we would freeze, we might as well go where it is beautiful.

Personally, I love, love, love the mountains. I like the beach, too, and it is nice to go to the beach, but the mountains energizes me. The mountains rejuvinates my spirit. I can sit still while I watch the mountains stand still, or pretend I’m Maria. (Cue “The Sound of Music“.)

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We also managed some pretty good action shots here using my Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Since 2007, I have loved escaping to the Berg. I have been to the Southern Drakensberg, but only once. It is such a long drive from Johannesburg. The first and only time I visited the area, we (I was the driver) got lost (a little) and it took us seven hours to reach the resort. On our way back, we stopped in the Northern Drakensberg for a night and a day. It was the end of winter so it was more brown than green. The south was drier than the north was. I had decided I liked the north. Or was it central? In 2008, I went to the Central Drakensberg. (It was central, for sure.)

When I started my love affair with golf, despite my suckiness, I bought a membership into the Golf Resorts Club. It allowed us to visit out-of-town golf courses for the weekend and play a fun round of golf. (It can only be fun because, as I said, I suck.) In 2013, when my little princess was a year and two months old, we went to the Central Drakensberg and stayed at the Champagne Sports Resort. It was absolutely lovely. I had a good round even after not playing for about a year, so I love that golf course.

Our chalet was lovely. We had three bedrooms: the main bedroom for us, one room for my son and the other room for the nanny. There were also three bathrooms; two were en-suite. It was cold but not too cold. The unit had a fireplace. It was wonderful.

Drakensberg Central (Champagne Sports Resort) 201307 (34)

I had always gone to the Berg in winter, or towards the end of winter. I have this image of the place as magnificent in winter. Last year, as we had not traveled much locally because of the planned trip to the USA in December, I had RCI points (space-banked from my Sun City Vacation club memebrship) that would expire. We were lucky to find accommodation at the Drakensberg Sun.

I stayed in the hotel before but only for a short weekend. It was a freezing cold day when I woke up that one Saturday. I got in the car and drove towards the Drakensberg. I only called resorts to look for a place to stay when nearing the area. Last year, we were in the self-catering part of the resort. We had a one bedroom place. It was quite spacious. The bathroom was also huge. There was a kitchen, a dining area and a lounge. There is also an outside sitting area that leads to the main resort grounds. It was an awesome place for the weekend.

The resort provides for such a magnificent view. The whole picture makes you feel like running around, feeling the air, and smiling at nature. The sunset wasn’t bad either. I felt refreshed.

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We had breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Guests at the self-catering units could have breakfast but for an additional cost, if I remember correctly. The breakfast is typical of hotels in the country. It was not a bad spread.

We spent most of Saturday relaxing by the pool, drinking sipping cocktails, snacking and playing some games organized by the resort. We realized we were no good with quizzes. We also didn’t win in the bingo. It was still quite a bit of fun. We then had a light supper in the hotel restaurant. We suspected though that the hotel does not understand the concept of light supper, or we were fooled into thinking what we ordered were light meals. Dessert is a necessary part of my meal.

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Weekend booking means guests can check in on Friday, in the afternoon, and check out on Monday, in the morning. Since I didn’t apply for leave from work, as I was saving my annual leave days for the end of year leave, we were going to leave on Sunday. A stay until Monday is a great thing as guests don’t have to rush on a Sunday to check out on time.

We took a short drive to The Waffle Hut for lunch.

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We were still able to spend some time by the pool. The little person insisted on swimming despite the weather. She doesn’t even know how to swim.

A longer stay would be great. For international visitors, a midweek stay might not be a bad idea. There are hiking trips and other adventures available. Perhaps, we will stay longer next time. It is most relaxing! (I probably will pass on the hikes and other adventures.) I must also remember to buy more of the locally made chocolate. It is quite delicious.

Much love and hugs,

Anne

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