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Horses in the fields by Champagne Castle

I suppose today you could say we were at our wits end in more ways than one. It’s the name of the place where we were staying but also frustratingly the weather today wasn’t on our side. We were late waking and only managed to make it up by about 7:00am. I think yesterday’s long drive has taken its toll on both of us because neither of us could really get ourselves going. The weather hasn’t helped because it is still cloudy and misty and we can’t see the tops of the mountains that we know are tantalisingly close to our bungalow. It is also much colder here today than it was in Hluhluwe yesterday.

We had a very lazy morning just lounging around, enjoying the comfort of being in somewhere that felt like home. We hadn’t even had to wash up because the maid does the dishes for you as well as making your bed and generally cleaning up after you. We felt really spoiled. The gardens here are home to some interesting birds and we watched the Hadeda Ibis, helmeted Guinea Fowl and African Hoopoe potter about on the grass outside our bungalow and the horses exercising in their field behind the gardens.

By the afternoon the weather had cleared up a bit and we managed to drag ourselves away from our cosy place for a while. We headed to the local supermarket for our daily task of procuring the evening meal. As with all of these towns it is small but has everything you need as long as you are not after anything too exotic to eat or drink. Next door was a small arts and crafts shop with a little café so we stopped and had afternoon tea – scones with jam and cream in the middle of South Africa.

We decided that with the weather having been so bad today and having had a totally relaxed day doing not an awful lot that we would stay another night and try and get in a good walk tomorrow. We drove up to the Monk’s Cowl Park to have a look and get some information about their walks. The route up took us through more beautiful scenery and also gave us a glimpse of the picture postcard views we would get tomorrow, weather permitting.

Most of today we spent writing our diaries, playing cards and generally just relaxing. Stef lit another fabulous wood fire, got the braai going and we had dinner and went to bed feeling well and truly relaxed and refreshed.