Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Barrydale weekend

One of my favourite weekends away was a trip to a little town called Barrydale (well actually 6km out of Barrydale) on Route 62. It's about 2 hours out of Cape Town and six of us hit the road.

I know you're counting FIVE... but I'm taking the pic... duh!
We only arrived in Barrydale after 9pm so we were pretty starved ...but luckily we had a reservation at a cool place called Mez. We couldn't order much on the menu except a veggie platter. We weren't really expecting much but the platter was REALLY good. It was a selection of various tapas of some sort - but it was really delicious. Dessert was Turkish delight icecream.
Dinner at Mez

Kind of a Moroccan-inspired interior
 The other side of Mez looks like it's Greek-themed. It's cool because their menu reflects both Moroccan and Greek tastes and some Turkish and other flavours.

After supper we had to drive around and look for our accommodation. We eventually found it in the dark.. and I mean DARK. The place we stayed at is called Appelhuis and it sleeps seven in a self-catering cottage in the middle of apple orchards. We got to bed pretty early because our next day had loads of activities in store. I wouldn't really call it activities - it was more like sightseeing and exploring.


Appelhuis has quite a nice wrap-around balcony
I don't remember the sequence in which we did our exploring but we visited the hand weaver in town, the Magpie Gallery, the labyrinth, the peace pagoda, Ronnies Sex Shop and Karoo Saloon. We also went into a really small market thing that wasn't really a market but they sold loads of random things no one needs. Ronnies Sex Shop is a pub on Route 62. Apparently it used to be called Ronnies Shop and one night when they were really drunk, Ronnie's friends decided to paint the word 'sex' on his signboards. The name kinda stuck. So now it's a world famous spot to check. You can leave your undies hanging in the bar if you want.

Magpie Gallery is a light and chandelier gallery that's well-known because of their quirky works and one of their lamps are in the White House. They're quite pricey though - but their work is amazing.

The labyrinth was really awesome. It was funny for us because you had to be all spiritual and quiet and reflect on life...hahaha. I couldn't stop laughing. It was refreshing though.  The peace pagoda thing wasn't anything to rave about but it's the only one in Africa... so that's at least something. We were then shown a baboon sanctuary of some sorts - that was freaky. Those things were crazy!

The Magpie Gallery was closed
The Peace Pagoda
The pretty labyrinth - close up
Chillin' in the middle of the labyrinth
A quick stop at Karoo Saloon

Danyaal about hang his undies in the bar

Getting our "pomp" on

 LUNCH TIME!!!! We had lunch at a place called Simply Food. It's owned by the sister of the lady who owns Mez (where we had supper the night before). Kudos to this lady's dishes...WHEW!!! Since we couldn't order the meat stuff, most of us had a veggie wrap and one of us had a deluxe muesli dish.

Nummy num!!

The delicious wrap
At night it was REALLY cold - you must remember we were in the Karoo area, and the nights on this side can bite! We braaied that night and watched some cheesy movies till we had to pass out.  I'm not 100% sure but I think that's all we did that day. The next morning we arranged for the host to take us apple picking - whoop whoop.  I'm not a fruit lover but it's kinda fun to pick the stuff yourself. We got some apples and some lemons. I think we were getting the last bunch for the season. Great fun.

Naturally, before we headed out of the town, we had to stop for something to eat. We wanted to go to the very popular Clark of the Karoo restaurant but it was really busy and the guy in charge was pretty dismissive - so we thought - FORGET YOU!! We got some icecream instead and then hit the road. There's one cute little icecream shop in the main road - and they say you have to 'getafix' of their flavours.

So that's the end of our Barrydale weekend - was great fun. If you ever head out that way, check out Appelhuis - it's a quiet place where you can relax and just do your own thing without worrying about nosy neighbours.
Barrydale as seen from the R62

The backroads :-)

Homeward bound :-)