We weren't planning to go away over the festive season but a visit to friends, two weeks ago, resulted in a much-needed getaway. They offered us their cottage in the Western Cape and a week later we were on the road for an 11 hour drive to this peaceful spot.
Our first two nights here, we slept 13hrs a night! A sure sign that this year had taken its toll. We leveled off to an even 10hrs a night for the rest of our stay. No alarm clocks and no people or noises to wake us up either.
For the first two days we barely did anything. We'd brought our mountain bikes and of course I had my running shoes packed in. We settled into comfortable old wooden chairs and stayed there - reading, crochet (for me) and just relaxing. I didn't even have the energy to go for a walk.
On day 3 we took a walk to the river. And walked back. The wind had picked up and it didn't stop howling for about four days.
On day 4, we tried a paddle - with 1m waves on the river whipped up by the howling wind! It was fun, but short and unsuccessful. We stowed the kayak and returned to this snug cottage with its thick walls that are impervious to wind and heat and sound.
On day 5 we did an almost 30km mtb ride on some dirt roads and then tar to the next village. We looked at the sea and cycled back. An excellent ride, even with the blowing wind.
Day 6 we did a drive-about, taking back roads to check out the area. A mountain pass up, another down and views of the sea were a treat.
Day 7 we got in a paddle on the river. More social and sight-seeing than 'training'.
Our friends arrived late at night, the ones whose cottage we've been staying in. It has been in his family for a few generations. He bought the property from a relative in the line of inheritance, repaired walls, put in a solar panel to run the fridge and lights. Cooking is on an old gas stove and a 'donkey' provides fire-heated water for a shower.
Today we enjoyed a lovely braai down at the river with their family and friends. A walk to and from the cottage plus a soak in the river being our only activity.
We drive home tomorrow.
I have never had time away as absolutely filled with 'nothingness' as this week has been. We both really needed it and while I wasn't keen to go away - preferring Xmas at home - this trip was just what we needed. We would not have had this same time of rest and sleep at home.
Celliers read a bunch of books. I completed a tricky crochet project (really fancy doily) that I initially started almost four years ago. It needed chunks of time, which I had here. I started a knitting project, which I have wanted to do for well over a year. And I nailed a few books. All from the serenity of this little cottage and an old wooden chair.
We're ready to head back now. Home projects await with plans to be made ahead of the coming year.
We couldn't have chosen a better spot to be. This place has been absolutely perfect and we are thankful to our friends for gifting us with their spot.
Quiet, rest and a lot of sleep. Recipe for recovery and preparation to face a new year.