|The landscaping at Bushmans Kloof has been thoughtfully planned to complement and enhance the natural beauty of the area, creating an almost seemless transition from formal to natural. The estate is not fenced off around the Homestead and this invites exploratory amblings to be done at leisure and on a whim, provided your stay there is long enough! You really do need plenty of time to be able to fully participate in all that is on offer here!|
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|In addition to the aesthetic, parklike gardens, there is a large, organic food (fruit and vegetable) garden and nursery on site. Almost everything used in the kitchens is freshly and seasonally picked from these extensive gardens.|
I had a couple of queries relating to the question of how we passed our time at Bushmans Kloof and one specifically pertaining to the daily High Tea event. I guess some of you may even have been under the impression from my last post that I'd spent most of it languishing in my Victorian tub or snuggled under the feathers on my kingsized bed. Far be this from the truth. Apart from enjoying the marvellous meals (unfortunately, I did not take many pictures at mealtimes...we were too busy chatting, eating and enjoying ourselves), we were treated to daily game drives, both morning and evening, in addition to an early morning visit to one of several caves on the property containing Bushmen Paintings. Carol also treated us royally to a couple of hours at the gorgeously luxurious Spa, where we were all thoroughly pampered from head to toe each enjoying a Hot Stone Body Massage, Foot Massage and Facial! Wow! Weren't we just spoilt rotten? I could happily adapt to such a lifestyle without batting an eyelid.
Time passes far too quickly in a setting such as this. We'd wanted to do one of the many hiking trails and also to have found some time to each paint a picture, using the thoughtfully provided artist's supplies. Even to have found the time just to sit in the gardens doing absolutely nothing, for an hour or two, in order to fully imbibe the splendour and spirituality of that remarkable location. Sadly, time ran out on us, long before we'd seen and done all there is to see and do...herewith, follows a sampling of all that we were able to do!
|We enjoyed High Tea at 4pm each day...a delicious selection of both sweet and savoury treats served at Makana in front of a roaring fire! For another marvellously comprehensive post on the famous High Teas served at one of Cape Town's Premier Hotels, please do visit http://thesquashedtomato.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00%2B02%3A00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00%2B02%3A00&max-results=50|
|One morning, breakfast was served in the sheltered, open-air restaurant appropriately named, Makana, meaning 'feast'.. The next day was raining and so we were treated to breakfast in the Homestead, instead, which is furnished superbly to reflect the old world charm and graciousness of a bygone era. Please see the Bushmans Kloof website http://www.bushmanskloof.co.za/gallery.php to view their comprehensive gallery, as I was not able to photograph everything...we were far too busy being entertained! We also had one of our two graciously served evening meals at the Homestead (I'd forgotten to take my camera to record the occasion!). On our last night, we were treated to a wonderful experience...a candlelit buffet served at a beautifully laid table in an intimate Shepherd's Cottage beside a roaring fire (that time, I had my camera, but the battery went flat!) I managed to get a couple of really bad photos using my mobile. I'll include the best one...|
Returning to daylight at the Lodge again...
|This was the casual display on one of the large servers at Makana...|
|Looking into the Boma...it's actual scale is not apparent from my photograph...|
|A lovely waterlily pond is situated alongside the Boma...isn't this just the most perfectly appealing view! I cannot describe the utter contentment we felt gazing out upon such a tranquil and lovely scene!|
|This chandelier is huge...I was unable to capture the scale.|
|A basket of fresh towels awaits anyone brave enough to test the chilly water! There is a heated pool up at the Homestead in addition to the coldwater pools situated throughout the extensive sweep of gardens.|
|Their intricately woven aerial roots are works of exquisite beauty, not one grouping identical in shape or structure to any of the others...|
|Needless to say, I took several pictures!|
|A place to sit a while, to dream...to feel the gentle breezes and listen to the humming, soothing sounds of ever-present nature...crickets chirping, frogs and birds singing, bees buzzing! Surely this was the life intended for us all?|
|Water lapping gently over the edge of one of the pools in the breeze...|
|Huge tree aloes stand out as sculptural forms in a broad bed of white ribbon bush...|
|Vying with the man-made sculptural forms carefully placed to deceive the eye...are they real? you find yourself wondering...you step closer to confirm for yourself that they are indeed bronze sculptures.|
|These are Springbuck, the South African National Antelope after which our National Rugby playing side (the Springboks) is named. 'Springbok' is the Afrikaans equivalent of springbuck.|
|Painted with the brush of wintery sunrays, these buck and the restio grasses behind blend into a breathtakingly beautiful tapestry of reds and golden browns.|
|Our jeep was open sided, but had canvas dropdown 'windows' which were used on our last evening, when the rain came down in torrents! Winter is the rainy season...soon these bare open plains will be lush with new grazing for the animals.|
|We had some good sightings, but it wasn't easy to capture them, as they tended to be rather skittish and uncooperatively moved away each time our cameras were pointed in their direction. I suspect they are bored with being oggled!|
|The chill factor was significant...we were snuggly covered by our courtesy ponchos!|
|This lovely dam is the larger of two dams occurring on the property and is fed from a permanent spring that starts in the mountains. It therefore never dries up. All of the water at the Lodge is sourced from here and, during the height of the hot, dry summers, when the waterholes are little more than muddy puddles, water is pumped from this dam to top them up.|
|Here Carol and Debbie are placing their orders!|
|I am modelling my snug, Basuto blanket-lined, waterproof poncho, provided courtesy of Bushmans Kloof for the use of guests taking game drives...we really needed them! It had a hood, but I'd slipped it off for the photograph.|
|We all stood in absolute awe, silent before this mesmerising scene...gazing wistfully at all this beauty...I know I was wishing I could remember the sounds, sights and smells for a long, long time afterwards!|
|Goodnight All! Sweet dreams...TO BE CONTINUED!|