Disclaimer: I wasn’t compensated in any way whatsoever for writing this or asked to write about it, let’s just call this post Paying it Forward.
During the school holidays we decided to take the kids where there was no signal, no tv and no devices (ok, mostly no devices) and ended up at Skoorsteenberg in the Tankwa Karoo.
To get there you have to travel about 80 odd kilometres (the road between Ceres and Calvinia, at 270 km the longest gravel road in the country) on gravel and we passed 2 cars that had flat tyres as the gravel there tends to cut tyres, so bear that in mind if you do go. The landscape is flat, lots of little bossies and very few trees as far as they eye can see. Just what we wanted: peace, quiet and a little desolation. And breathtaking sunsets.
The kids had an absolute ball, they climbed “the mountain” (a koppie) about a gazillion times a day to go and sit on rocks or walk the mandala that the owner, Nana’s, daughter had packed out in stones.
We played Uno and Jenga, we built puzzle. We read and talked and walked. Mostly we played a silly Moshi Monsters card game that Daniel got in a magazine. As a side-note, he cheats shamelessly, the sussies couldn’t understand why he kept on winning until we intervened and they kept calling him out on it after that.
We were really lucky with the weather, no wind at night and lovely warm winter’s days, so we could sit outside after the sun went down and the kids were asleep.
The cottage itself is really well equipped, it has the 3 things I usually miss at places we stay: proper wine glasses, big coffee mugs and sharp knives. A big win in my books. It also has a gas heater and warm water bottles for every person. There is no fireplace inside, purely because the house is really well-insulated and the small matter of no trees = no wood to speak of. But don’t let this deter you.
The other thing I really liked is that they recycle EVERYTHING. They separate plastic, glass and paper and pretty much everything else goes to either the compost heap or the pigs. I was a little horrified at how quickly the plastic bin filled up, I’m definitely more conscious of how much plastic we use. Scary.
Go. Just go. It’s so good for the soul. It took my ears about 24 hours to get used to the silence, it is deafening. (when the kids weren’t running around screaming)
Lastly: on the way to the farm you must stop at the Tankwa Padstal, but don’t get stuck at the bar, be warned, you still have about 40 km gravel road to travel.