SOA Road Trip Part 3 – Bid Huisie

Following our first two blog posts of Blogger Erik Brits, the next stop on his South of Africa Road Trip took him to Bid Huisie in the Karoo.  Here is his experience of our hidden gem in the town of Prince Albert.

bidhuisieview

Philosophising in Prince Albert

You often hear the term “a little village in the middle of nowhere” in conversation, and most of us have our own interpretation of this. In your mind’s eye do you see the vast open spaces of the Karoo, and suddenly three windmills and a post office appear? Or do you envisage hectares of rugged Zululand bush, opening up suddenly onto a thick-beamed wooden lodge overlooking a waterhole? These, and all sorts of other philosophical questions, were what I reflected on while spending the night in my idea of nothing and nowhere.

You see, Prince Albert might technically be quite easy to get to these days, but cradled in the Swartberg mountains as it is, you certainly wouldn’t guess it – especially if your chosen route was the Swartberg Pass (and it should be… it really should be!)

Depending on how recently it has been graded, the pass will be a slow but steady drive, or a bumpy slippery affair, but with the sweeping views, and the often incredible winds at the top, it is guaranteed to feel like an adventure of note. After an hour or so, you will finally come to your first sign of civilisation, and suddenly Prince Albert will pop up. The town itself is wonderfully charming, with a wealth of heritage remaining, and a strong inclination towards the artistic, as most of the Karoo tends to have.

I spent a wonderful night at Bid Huisie, a beautifully preserved small old church – now a two bedroom self catering cottage owned and managed by South of Africa. The cottage was well positioned just off the golden mile (the stretch of the main road where everything happens, quite literally), and captured the old-world charm of the village perfectly. How appropriate, then, to spend an evening in the prayer house reflecting on life, love and everything.

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Stay tuned for the next part of our SOA Road Trip.

The “SOA” Road Trip – Part 2, Seaside Cottage

Seaside Cottages 14Following the recent publication of the “SOA” Road Trip by travel journalist Erik Brits, we are proud to publish the second extract.

PART 2 – SEASIDE COTTAGE

Having been spoilt rotten by our first night’s luxury at Abalone House, we felt that we needed to experience the seaside village feeling as well, and moved to Seaside Cottage (also owned and managed by South of Africa).

Seaside Cottage holds more true to the theme of a fisherman’s cottage, and being self catering you are also isolated from other guests. Although the couch was more than comfortable, the new ambiance inspired us to sample more of the area, so we checked out the Columbine lighthouse and the magnificent rock structures of Tietiesbaai.

That evening we snuggled up under all the provided blankets, but I must say that if it had been summer we might have spent the entire day in the pool – look at that view!

**  For more photographs, view Nightjar Travel’s Instagram feed here.

The “SOA” Road Trip – Part 1, Abalone House

During the next couple of weeks South of Africa will be publishing reviews by Capetonian travel journalist Erik Brits, who recently went on South of Africa’s first “Road Trip” to experience everything we have to offer.  Erik journeyed from the elite 5-star Abalone House in Paternoster, Western Cape, all the way to the unique Birdsong Cottages in Modimolle, Limpopo.

Photo Erik BritsThe journey started in Paternoster, and we are thrilled to share the experience with you as through the eyes of our guests.

PART 1 – ABALONE HOUSE

We decided to switch off from the buzz of the city for a bit – and there’s no better place than a little seaside village for that!

We were staying at Abalone House in Paternoster.  With the sunset we had on our first night away from the deck, it was clear that we were in for a treat.

Photo by Erik BritsMost of the guest rooms are in private enclaves on the upper level, and the deck outside the rooms has a gorgeous view.

Abalone House is the kind of place where you come to spend a weekend in your robe and slippers, enjoying the seaside atmosphere and your luxurious surroundings (5 stars well earned), with the occasional stroll down to the beach.

To top it all off, the cosy guest library and bar area has a hidden doorway – to the wine cellar!  We couldn’t resist the mystery!

* (Reuben’s at Abalone House and the Healing Earth Spa was still under construction at the time of the review)

**  For more photographs, view Nightjar Travel’s Instagram feed here.