It was chilly in Struisbaai on Monday and we knew our friends Tom and Meg were at The Warmwaterberg Hot Springs enjoying the warmth of the sunny Karoo days. They were due to stop over and visit us on Wednesday. “Let’s drive up there and surprise them,” suggested The Earl. “My bones could do with some warming up.”
This is the beauty of retirement. You can just decide spur of the moment to do something and work just doesn’t get in the way. We’ve caravanned at Warmwaterberg before but this time we decided to take a luxury bath house.
The two hour drive is super picturesque especially over the Tradouw Pass.
We stopped in Barrydale for a bite to eat. Diesel and Creme were closed for renovations so we tried the Country Pumpkin instead. It was a quaint place and it was pleasant sitting in the sunshine but service was slow. A tourist bus arrived at the same time as we did so the staff were extra busy. I didn’t think I’d get lucky requesting making a Banting issue so we just ordered toasted egg and bacon. The waitress thought I was a bit odd leaving the bread on the plate!
The Pale Chanting Goshawk is a common bird in the area and one obligingly posed for us as we approached Warmwaterberg.
Check in went efficiently and we were assigned Bath House 3. Tom and Meg were in Number 4.
The enormous bath in the room is the main feature of this accommodation.
The accommodation is on two levels – The Earl is standing in front of the bath above.
The public pool area had three pools – two hot and one cold. They are fed with untreated water from the artesian spring where it is 44ºC at the source. The water is rich in iron and pleasant to drink too.
We made friends with another couple in the pool and after a relaxing afternoon of languishing in the warm water we went to have a cup of coffee with Sandy and Shirley at their caravan.
Bonding with new friends
Our accommodation overlooked a beautiful valley and the mountains were beautiful in the setting sun.
We no longer have furbabies so the feral cats that roam the estate found themselves welcome at our cottage. They are all really pretty and healthy; clearly because the visitors feed them well.
On of the friendly feral cats or rule the slaves that visit the spa
Peacocks also graced the grounds and came scrounging for scraps. There are lots of shady trees and we enjoyed watching the Cape Weavers and Cape Sparrows were busy building a nest in our eaves.
Mr Peacock trying to woo Ms Peahen
Mrs Cape Sparrow inspecting a new nest
I’m sure this is good for lining, my love, said Mr Cape Sparrow
Meggy enjoying a rest in the shade of an acacia tree
We enjoyed the outdoor pools but having our own bath to luxuriate in, in the privacy of our own room was also fun
The water is hot, soothing, relaxing and drains your energy – so is perfect just before bedtime
The two nights spent at Warmwaterberg were perfect. We had fantastic weather and even the evenings were warm. If ever you pass this way, do not give Warmwaterberg and Barrydale a miss.
More on Barrydale and Struisbaai to follow.