Drakensberg Stories and Tips


3 - 10 September - this was going to be bliss! A whole week of peace, perfect peace away from the madding crowd, the telephone, emails, and everything else that demands our daily attention. CASTLEBURN - that beautiful quiet spot we'd heard so much about but had not as yet visited, beckoned to us with an urgency. By the ninth month of the year one is pretty frazzled and in need of a little R & R in order to draw breath before Christmas - how were we to know that Christmas would be early this year?!

Arriving on Friday we were taken aback by the beauty of CASTLEBURN - pretty much surrounded by mountains; the Castle on our left with its clearly defined ramparts and battlements, Rhino's Horn in the distance and directly in front of our chalet the tranquil lake - a rowing boat here, canoe there and a couple of hopeful trout fishermen busily casting from the tiny jetties.

Saturday was sunny and hot - but hot enough to don the swimsuit I'd packed(!) but hot enough to leave us with cherry-red noses and chins from 'baking' on our patio whilst chatting over our beer-shanties. This was not 'our' timeshare. We had been invited to join our hosts Millen and Muriel Adams who had swapped one of their La Lucia Sands weeks for this one at CASTLEBURN. We will be eternally grateful them for including us on this holiday as we have made memories that will be forever etched in our minds.

The weather took a turn for the worse on Sunday afternoon and by 8am on Monday morning it was snowing. What excitement! We were like children, rushing from window to window to take in the varying views and before long it was snowing steadily - large flakes too. It snowed for about 18 hours (we checked through the night!) and the beauty of Tuesday morning left us literally and figuratively - quite breathless. How quiet everything was - here was the peace - the perfect peace and a feast of beauty everywhere - absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, such as I had only seen on a picture-postcard or overseas Christmas card.

Was it cold? You bet! Did we make a snowman? Two! Did we go for a walk in the snow and feel the crunch under our shoes? We did! 73-year-old Malcolm and 64-year-old Heather tackled the Hillside walk around the lake, slithering & sliding our way down the slopes and an hour-and-a-half later arrived back at the chalet pretty chuffed at having met our own personal challenge.

Sips of sherry, good food and a roaring fire completed our winter-wonderland week along with lots of fun and laughter with dear friends. CASTLEBURN - overall impression? IT WAS MAGIC!!

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