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  • Writer's pictureClare Travis

Cederberg Easter

Since our 12 year wedding anniversary coincided with the Easter weekend I decided to spoil us a bit and stay somewhere a bit more pricey. Lylius Cottage in the Cederberg looked gorgeous, and a nice short 2,5 hour drive for a change. Check in is at the normal 2pm, but we decided to leave home a little early and stop at De Tol, at the top of the Piekenierskloofpas. It's a nice spot to stop and stretch the legs as there are lots of vineyards and orchards to walk around with the dogs.  They have a great farmstall with the best dried pears and all sorts of other yummy goodies. There is also a Carmien rooibos tea tasting room and you can't believe all the different flavours of rooibos you get these days! There is a recently opened wine tasting room for Piekenierskloof wines, which are pretty good.

From here it was a short drive to the farm, which is along the Niewoudtspas, on the Cederberg Algeria turnoff. The farm is large with buchu and rooibos fields. There is a grassy campsite along the river, which has really nice large stands, each with its own cooking and ablution space. Further along the river, in amongst the trees, is a private campsite. The only cottage is on the slope above the private campsite and is accessible by a separate road. There is a covered parking space and a lush green lawn around the cottage. On the river side is a patio space, with a braai/firepit and a hot tub. This is sheltered for privacy by a gabion wall on the one side. There is also another covered space and braai around the other side, by the entrance. The cottage is small, but can sleep a family of 4. There is a bedroom with a double bed and a small shelf for unpacking. This bedroom has a very welcome aircon. The second bedroom has 2 single beds and a bigger shelf. The kitchen and dining area are open plan. The kitchen is well equipped, with a full fridge, induction plate, microwave. There is also a small oven with a 2 plate stove, which seems unnecessary and could be removed to make more counter space. We discovered that you can't have the kettle and the induction plate on at the same time if they are plugged into the same adapter, so moved the kettle to another plug point and it worked fine. There is enough crockery and cutlery and very nice pots that don't stick for a change. The only thing missing was a can opener. There is a coffee bodum and also all sorts of rooibos teas from the area. The dining area is a small wooden table with bench seats, which works well in the space. There is also a little fireplace here, which I imagine would see a lot of use in the snowy winters. The bathroom is small, but the shower is a good size. The toilet paper supplied is the horrid sandpaper type, so you might prefer to bring your own. Not sure why they penny pinched on this as the price is high enough to cover decent paper. 

There are a few trails on the farm, which are well marked, but the distances are a bit confusing. The lengths on the website are closest to correct. The info email they send has different lengths and then the info booklet in the cottage has even more different lengths, bizarre. The longest is the 7km (one way) jeep track up the one hill at the back of the property, which backs onto the Cederberg Wilderness. It is a sandy and rocky track that winds 7km up and then you come back down the same way. It has lovely views up to the mountains and over the lower lying areas towards the coast. There is another jeep track that runs up the next hill, from the other side of the cottage. This one is only 2km one way and is mostly sandy. This has beautiful fynbos and more views over different areas. It is a good option if the 7km uphill of the other route is a bit daunting. You could also 4x4 both routes, the shorter one would be great for a sunset. Between the starts of these 2 trails is the rock painting route. This is almost 1km one way, very easy, and has quite a bit of shade. The paintings are beautiful and clear. It looks like quite a few people have been confused by the distance and have scrambled further and created a bit of a further trial. The trail ends at the paintings, there is nothing further up, so a nice quick walk. On the other side of the river are 2 short trails. From the cottage you can go down through the river onto the Lookout trail, which is about 2km, it is a circular route and ends at the campsite. You can get really good views down over the cottage from this and it is also an easy walk. This one links onto the Buchu trail which is 1km and starts/ends at the campsite.

If you want to explore further trails you can go up the Niewoudtspas and get onto the Cederberg Wilderness trails at the top. 

The farm is almost exactly between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam, about 30km each way. So either is good for day trips. There are a few dog friendly farmstalls with restaurants in the towns and along the N7. 

We really enjoyed this stay, it was really good for relaxing and exploring. It was a treat for our anniversary to have a hot tub, as this makes the price a lot more expensive, but it was great to use as a splash pool in the 40 degree weather too.  It isn't 100% quiet, since you get the noise from the private camp coming up, we had quite a rowdy bunch staying there. And since the farm is around a lower corner of the pass you also get a little bit of traffic noise. For 2 people we paid R1215 per night, which we felt was a bit overpriced (especially with the sandpaper loo-rolls) There is also a fee per dog, which seems a bit unnecessary as the cottage is so tiny it can't need much cleaning. But we still had a lovely stay.

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