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  • Writer's pictureClare Travis


Part 7: Summer Holiday '23/'24

Oh no, last stop of the roadtrip! Another 6 hour drive from Hogsback, this time not such a bad route, just a bit of gloomy weather. Our destination was Scalarhoney Lodge near Twee Riviere. To get there we discovered that there's a Route 62 in the Eastern Cape, it doesn't link onto the more well known one in the Western Cape though. There is no reception on or near the farm, but the host sent very good directions, so it was easy to find. There had been a lot of heavy rain the previous night, but the roads were fine, just wet. You need a 4x4 or at least high clearance vehicle to get to the lodge, as there is a river crossing and it's all gravel roads. We were booked in the Buchu Glamping site. You can't drive to the site, so need to park on the other side of the river. Since there had been so much rain the river was quite full and there was no way to cross without getting feet wet. It is about a 350 meter walk to the site, so we left most of our stuff in the car and just took the essentials across. The tent is set up in a wooden shelter in amongst the trees. There is a double bed and single bed in the tent and a couple of solar lights. There is a nice deck with a hammock and an outside kitchen. There is no fridge, but it is quite shady so using our cooler box was fine. There is a 2 plate gas stove and gas geyser. Behind the kitchen is a covered shower. A little way up the slope is the toilet, which is open on the side facing away from the tent, so you can poo with a view. The host told us that sometimes the bushpigs come to visit, but we didn't see any while on the loo. There are 2 fire pits, one on either side of the site, so you can pick which to braai in, depending on the weather. Being a camping type set up there are spiders and bugs and lots of lovely frogs, so if these freak you out this is not the place for you. Also no fences, just wide open space to enjoy. The site is next to the river which was really high when we arrived, but by our second day had gone down a lot. Andrew made a rockpool in it as it went down, so we could jump in whenever we wanted. We also used the river to keep our beers cool.

This is the type of place to just chill and explore in nature. There had very recently been a fire, so a lot of the surrounding bush was black and burnt. But this made the views even more amazing as you got the stark contrast of one slope being green and the next black. The property is huge, covered in fynbos and has a couple of rivers running through it. From the camp if you cross the river you can make your way up the kloof to see the waterfalls, either up the main river or the tributary. There are a bunch of jeep tracks and other trails all over the property that you can explore, some marked, but some had been damaged by the fire and then the hectic rain. There is another main river on the other side of the property which has tons of rockpools to choose from. It was really hard to decide which one to spend the day at. Furthest up is a lovely spot that has a deck and then lower down there are pools next to which they have cleared areas to chill. We ended up spending time at the one closest to the camp, about 500m walk, which had wonderful pools and a cleared space to lie and picnic in. We also discovered an umbrella tucked into a hole dug in the embankment, so clever. It was beautiful and great to have a little warm weather after a week of cold and rain.

The other accommodation site is a bit easier to get to, being on the same side of the river as the parking. This one has a little wooden cabin and is a bit less rustic than the one we stayed in. There is also a communal area closer to the main house, which has a chill pub type area, rock swimming pool and some games. We loved our quiet, rustic spot though and Andrew's handmade rockpool, so didn't spend time there. Both sites are R850pn and there is obviously no doggy cleaning fee. We felt this was well priced and will definitely visit again.

The drive home to Cape Town was about 7 hours and we had a good laugh when entering the Western Cape along the R62. In line with the sign the road goes from being that really poor potholed grey surface with no shoulder to a black shiny well marked road with shoulders, a sign we were on our way home. Can't wait to see where next years trip will take us.

The End of Summer Holiday '23/'24


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