Friday, January 28, 2011

Lake Pleasant on the Garden Route

Looking across Groenvlei Lagoon from the garden at Lake Pleasant Living.
One of our favourite places to visit is the famed Garden Route, in part, because this is where we were married.  Over the years, we have returned to celebrate an anniversary or enjoy a family holiday.
Please click the read more button below to continue this post...

Each suite has a view of the lake and/or garden.
The Garden Route is so-called, because it comprises one of the most scenic and ecologically rich stretches along the south-eastern coast of South Africa. 

Evening beginning to set in over Groenvlei Lagoon at Lake Pleasant Living.

The  diversity of vegetation, abundant floral and faunal attributes, set amidst the beautiful lagoons and lakes encountered along this magnificent coastal stretch, render this an absolute 'Must See' for anyone visiting South Africa. 
View of Knysna Lagoon.
Indeed, South African citizens themselves regard this region as one of the loveliest holiday destinations.
Why?  To start with, the climate is second to none.  It offers the most temperate in South Africa and second mildest in the world, after Hawaii. 

The Garden Route offers the best of everything...ocean, golden sand, marine and nature reserves, mountains, sandstone cliffs, lakes and lagoons!
Wind-scoured sandstone cliffs towering above long stretches of wild coastline...

Forever-walks at low-tide...with the only sounds emanating from the waves lapping along the sandy shore and the cry of gulls and fish eagles from above...
Too high to climb...

Real estate possibilities for birds galore!
Silent moments spent beside the tranquil edge of the lakes...serenaded by croaking frogs and twittering weavers, dragon flies skimming the surface of the calm waters...

Vistas to inspire dreams!
Man-made forests reflect themselves in stretches of inland water...

...competing for attention with the protected indigenous forests and fynbos stands of the many reserves to be enjoyed in this area!

This glorious stretch of coastal wonderland is sandwiched between the spectacular, indigenous forests of both the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountain ranges.  These mountains lie just inland of the coastline, whose shores are bathed by the warm Indian Ocean.  Because of this, the Garden Route receives year-round rainfall and temperatures rarely fall below 10'C, in winter and rarely climb above 28'C, during summer.  Typical Camelot weather, offering a Paradise for both bird and nature-lovers.

From where we live, it's approximately 230km by car, which equates to about 5 or 6 hours of leisurely driving allowing for stops en route.

Last time my husband and I visited, we stayed at Lake Pleasant Living, which is an all-suite hotel and spa set right at the edge of the beautiful Groenvlei Lagoon...

...surrounded by well-maintained gardens.

  All suites have either lake and/or garden views and are well appointed.

The jetty...a pleasant spot to enjoy sundowners!

...and, clearly a favourite perch for fishing cormorants!
The suites are generously proportioned and well-appointed...

With French-doors off both bedroom and lounge to allow for easy access to the private patio area.

Lounge/dining area, open-plan to kitchen...

We ate the hotel breakfasts on the upstairs deck of the diningroom, over-looking the lagoon.  I prepared salad lunches, which we enjoyed on our own little patio and we ate dinners in the diningroom of the hotel at night.

We shopped at a super fresh-foods market for our salad ingredients, fruit, coldmeats and cheeses...such an easy and relaxing option for a midday light lunch!

I varied what we had a little, each day...

...and this is where we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast each morning!


"Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation; for when you come back to your work, your judgement will be surer. Go some distance away, because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen."

~ Leonardo Da Vinci ~








24 comments:

  1. What a beautiful country. My son lived in South Africa 1990 - 1992 and he just loved it. He's always said he was going to go back, but life hasn't chosen that for him. He spent time in Johannesburg and Lesotho ....Kimberly and can't remember where else.

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  2. I'M JEALOUS! Would love to have taken the actual trip myself. But, I am glad I got to experience it through your eyes.

    Are you sure you don't write for a travel magazine. You should! Have you sent your stuff to the South African tourist association (or whatever they call themselves)? Also, you take excellent pictures.
    Now, don't let this go to your head...but I think you're terrific!
    kt

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  3. Your life must be a dream !!!...lovely weekend darling !!! love love love Ria....xxx....

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  4. Karen:

    No, I haven't and doubt I will, but thanks for the vote of confidence. I do, however, much appreciate your sweet comments, so thank you! You've 'made my day!' :)

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  5. It looks idyllic. You lucky people!

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  6. Ria & Jenny:

    It truly is a most beautiful part of South Africa and we are, indeed, very privileged to be able to enjoy it once in a while ;)

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  7. Out Of My Mind is exactly right. You do write so well...and I had to smile at what you wrote on her latest post about the McDonald coffee cups. I wrote my response and the began reading what others had said and came across yours.. We basically said the same exact thing...
    Like minds..as they say. :)

    Ok, back to reading your posts. Don't want to miss a thing!
    Hugs!
    Mona

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  8. Mona:

    You are an absolute Honey! I'm so glad I 'found' your blog, too :)

    Big hug,

    Des xo

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  9. That is a beautiful part of your country, parts of it remind me of Oz but the climate sounds super. What a great place to stay and play.
    If you would like to see more of Lake Eyre go here: http:/diane-adventurebeforedementia.blogspot.com/2010/12/lake-eyre-south-australia-part-4-scenic.html

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  10. Each visit to your blog is like going on an adventure. These photographs are so wonderful. We haven't yet 'done' the Garden Route but it is on our list for our next visit to South Africa. Everyone I have spoken to has said we should visit Knynsa.
    We got distracted by the Drakensberg Mountains last time we visited! Talking of which if you ever get the opportunity try a night or two at 'Cleopatra Mountain Lodge' near Kamberg in KwaZulu Natal(I'll send details if you can't get any info.) The food is phenomenal.
    Many thanks for your fab comment on my blog. You are very welcome to our rabbits...I'll box a few dozen up for you. My mole catcher is due to reappear next week to trap (and free) the few we have. They make a mess too don't they?
    After reading your comment I thought - gosh yes I probably was flashing at the poor people going by. I hadn't considered that before - eek!
    As for the front door well it's a very long story but during the extreme cold we had (-13 degrees centigrade) the front door froze to its frame. We had days and days of snow and were shut inside seeing no one for quite a while. We also had no post so when I eventually spotted a postman I was so excited to see him I yanked open the front door unaware it had whelded itself to the frame and it actually snapped it into two - lengthways. Hubby has tried to glue it all together but we are waiting for the better weather to have it repaired professionally. I didn't know was so strong :)
    ight back to looking at your lovely photographs again.
    Carol

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  11. ps The broken door story is @
    http://facing50withhumour.blogspot.com/2010/12/let-it-snow-let-it-snow-let-it-snow.html

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  12. Diane:

    Thanks for the visit today & the link to Lake Eyre, which I'm most definitely going to pop across to after we've eaten supper :)

    Carol:

    Absolutely going to be reading the broken door story after supper this evening ;)

    Thanks for the tip about where to stay in the Drakensberg :) Knysna, Sedgefield, George, Plettenberg Bay and numerous little coastal stops in-between from which to choose for that Bucket List planning. You need at least a week to enjoy it all and even that's not nearly enough!

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  13. What a breathtaking tour you have given us! I could almost smell the air, feel the sand, tough the flora and taste the food. I think I'll look at your pictures before bedtime and try to dream of this magical place you are blessed to have been to. Thank you again for sharing these wonderful experiences with us.

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  14. If I could move to the garden route tomorrow, I would - my heart lives there and my body simply bides its time in Cape Town. Those views over the lagoon are beyond description... and that salad looks delicious!

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  15. Jennifer:

    So pleased you enjoyed the post :) Comments like yours make me want to try even harder!

    Linda:

    I hear what you're saying ;) I'm sure it would be really wonderful to be able to move there permanently, but then Cape Town & the surrounding winelands has so much to offer, as well! Living within reasonable travelling distance to the Garden Route means one is able to enjoy both worlds!

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  16. Hi Desiree,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and for leaving such a lovely comment. I can see why you like to return to this garden with its beautiful lagoon. Such a pretty view!
    Jennifer

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  17. I've just been hooting with laughter at your comment - the idea that 'Out of my Mind' jinxed your comment with computer poltergeists bearing in mind what's been happening on her blog with music players was very good.
    Words cannot express my pleasure at reading your comments. It's like having a great conversation with a best friend.
    Thank you for reading the interiew at the LG report. Lazarus is such a sweet man and deserves new followers so I'm really glad you joined his merry band. He often writes amusing pieces so hopefully you'll continue to enjoy your visits to him. He sent all the questions. All I had to do was reply appropriately and it was huge fun.
    As for my lie(s) well I shall reveal all very soon.
    Mega thanks.
    Carol

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  18. your pictures are beautiful! what a wonderful relaxing time...looks like a place where you can truly wander...discover...feel the peace of nature.
    one of the most exciting things about the internet and blogs, is that we can travel the world...and see so many new places through other's eyes!

    i will definitely be back to wander some more! thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment at 'my place' too! :]

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  19. I'm looking forward to 'The Big Reveal' ;)

    Great to have you pop by here and leave a nice warm glow behind - thanks!

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  20. Hi Laura!

    Lovely to have you pay me a visit, too! Thank you :)

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  21. The thought of wandering along a beach, listening to the gulls, feeling the light breeze and towered over by those magnificent sandstone cliffs... Sigh!

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  22. Hi Desiree, we often travel down the Garden route, having good friends in PE, Knysna (who have an upmarket GH overlooking the stunning heads) Mosselbay, Wilderness, up the Route 62 at Barrydale and Swellendam. We;ve also made many friends en route. You write so well and your photos are excellent! Thanks for sharing this beautiful place. Thanks too for visiting my blog and your sweetest comments. Blessings from Jo. PS I love the fact that a 250km trip takes you 5-6 hours with stops on the way!

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  23. I just love these posts showing more of South Africa. I never knew it was a place that I needed to visit, but now it's on my list of places I hope to visit one day. Maybe you can be our tour guide!

    PS I was in a childrens clothing store today and thought of you when my daughter pointed out a shirt with the continent of Africa on it. The shirt had the words "Cape Town" and an arrow pointing to it. I probably wouldn't have thought twice about it before, but now that I know someone that lives there it makes me think of South Africa in a whole new way.

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  24. Desiree, it was a great delight to see such a special place shown through your eyes.
    I can understand why you love to return. Thank you for sharing it with us :D)

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I would love to hear from you!