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  • Writer's pictureClare Travis

After lockdown escape, to Citrusdal

Updated: Jan 6

For our first trip after lockdown we decided to take it slow and only do a short drive. Citrusdal is about 2 hours from Cape Town and Petersfield was a place I had seen recommended a few times when travelling with dogs. Since it was school holidays we skipped the long weekend traffic and went up for Monday to Thursday. We were booked at Dassieklip, which is a lovely cool, cabin style cottage, with a big unfenced garden. The cottage has 2 bedrooms and a spacious living/dining area. The kitchen is really well equipped, even having the much desired coffee plunger. On the second day of our stay there was electricity maintainance being done in the area, which meant there would be no power. They had let us know beforehand and wonderfully provided a gas cooker, which we used for breakast. The patio is large and shaded, with a big braai area around the side. In front of the cottage is a little pool, perfect for cooling off from the Cedarberg sun. Unfortunetly at this cottage you can often hear the traffic on the highway, which didn't bother us too much, but worried our anxious Pirate a bit.

The farm is 2000ha, growing citrus and rooibos. There are 4 cottages to choose from, which are very far apart, so that you never know if there are other people staying there. You can walk all over the property, with free, happy dogs. There is a big dam, with a canoe that you can use, the sides are a bit steep and slippery for the dogs though. Since it was the start of spring and the end of the flower season, there will still a lot of flowers on display.

Our first and last mornings we ran the trail up to and around the rooibos tea fields. It's not an exiciting run, being on a well maintained jeep track, but steep and the views were lovely. The air was crisp and cold and it was great to see the sun rising from behind the Citrusdal mountains. On the second morning we explored the old 4x4 trail, which doesn't look like it's been used by 4x4s in a while. This track is more technical and fun, and we got lots of scratches to show for it. The trail disappears into overgrowth, next to the stream, after a few kilometres. Again with beautiful views and lots of flowers, we also saw a Klipspringer.

The farm is situated on the N7 highway, on the opposite side from the town of Citrusdal. We didn't go into town, as we were on a farm escape and no town activity really grabbed us. We decided to do a couple of wine tastings instead. The first one was at Tierhoek, which is further up into the mountains, behind where we were staying. You need to make an appointment to taste there and they are super happy to allow dogs. They grow grapes and citrus on the farm and were busy picking the last of the oranges. We did a lovely quiet tasting of their full range. They have both red and white, as well as a straw wine.

The other tasting we did was at De Tol farm deli, which is at the top of the pass, on the N7. You don't need to book for this one and they are also super dog friendly, our tasting lady was very much in love with our boys. They have a few different ranges, we liked the Piekenierskloof wines. The deli is stocked up with lots of lovely things, we got some rooibos chutney, marmalade and, obviously, oranges. There is also a tea tasting area.

Altogether it was a pretty chilled holiday, just what we needed, with lots of space to explore and sun to soak up.

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