5

Midweek Spa Break

We had our bathroom basin replaced on Wednesday last week and couldn’t use it for two days.  So we used this as an excuse to go away for a midweek break.

In the heart of the Cape Winelands, on Route 62,  lies Robertson also known as the Valley of Wine and Roses.  This is where Trip Advisor found us Rosendal Spa which had an attractive package that included Dinner, Bed and Breakfast and 2 spa treatments each.  Just what we needed!

Roses and grapevines have the same type of soil and sun requirements.   Farmers plant rose hedges near the vines not only to make their farmlands look attractive but also to attract bees and to provide a habitat for beneficial insects which will prey on harmful insects that cause damage to the grapes. Robertson is a particularly fertile valley where everything grows well making it a very pretty place to visit.

After driving the hour and half picturesque route we arrived at our stunning accommodation.

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Reception and Restaurant

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View of Rosendal from the other side of the dam

Our room opened onto the pool area and as the weather was hot the pool offered welcome relief.

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Looking toward our room from the pool area

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A bit chilly at first

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But so refreshing

The dam had a variety of birds to entertain us and on a walk around the estate I found some others too.

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A confiding Cape Robin showed up quite frequently

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Black Crowned Night Heron hiding in the reeds

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Red-knobbed Coot

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Cape Canaries in the vines

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Cape Canary

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Red-knobbed coot

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Common Moorhen

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Little Grebe – but I prefer it’s former name – Dabchick

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Female Bishop

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Farm Dam passed on my walk

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Yellow-billed ducks seen on farm dam

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Speckled Mousebird

On Thursday after breakfast I had a facial and Earl a pedicure.   Our therapists were excellent and we enjoyed an hour of pampering.  We then went into Robertson to do a bit of shopping as it offers a slightly larger variety of stores than Bredasdorp.  Even so we struggled to find any that still had men’s shorts in stock!  But we did not return empty handed after finding the required item at Jeep.

 

In the afternoon we went for an African Wood Massage – an hour and a half of pure bliss.

Our meals could be taken in the restaurant or on the deck overlooking the dam.  Even in the evenings it was warm enough to sit outdoors.

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Sunset over the dam

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Earl’s shot of the crescent moon

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The Lamb Shank was delicious

 

We always feel proudly South African when we meet tourists who tell us how much they have enjoyed visiting our country and usually they tell us about the excellent service they receive from establishments they stay at and restaurants they visit.  We met two German girls who were having a very adventurous time.  We gave the some tips on what to do when in Cape Town.

 

Another couple who were our age and from England told us that they’d had a great time up until that day!  I’m sharing their story here as a warning to others who visit our beautiful land.   Crime is a problem here!  Be aware and watch out for scammers! This couple were driving in their hire car from Paarl to Robertson when they a BMW hooted and flashed lights at them, indicating that they wanted them to pull over and stop. Not wanting to break the law they obliged.  “Where are you going?” an official looking man asked.  They told him.  “Well you need a pass to go there.   Follow us and we will show you where to get one.”   They were taken to an ATM. “Put your card in there and your pass will be issued.”   Unfortunately the gentleman obliged and his card was cloned.  He realised this when the machine did not spit it out again.  The scammers, of course, were gone and nowhere to be seen. He went into the bank and his card was cancelled.   Then it was a two hour session at the police station before he could continue his journey.  Please people,  demand badges and names before agreeing to this kind of thing not only in this country but in any one.   Be on your guard and vigilant at all times.  And in this country avoid driving long distances at night.

Naturally this incident upset our new friends but they said that other than that their experiences here had been positive.  They’d enjoyed an amazing trip to The Kruger National Park and were now about to do the Garden Route.   Hopefully, the bad incident will soon be forgotten.

On our way back to Struisbaai I couldn’t resist taking this photograph.

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A refreshing change from your usual scare crow!