Citrusdal to Lamberts Bay
Morning arrived with a crisp clear sky, and the sun glinting over the craggy backdrop of the Olifant’s River. Kayakers and fishermen were already busy with their chosen activities, and we simply soaked up the view for a while, having promised ourselves a day of relaxed exploration while in Citrusdal.
After a leisurely start, we broke our overnight fast at the Uitspan Coffee shop in town to fuel ourselves for the day’s adventures. A hearty English breakfast with the works did the trick, as we sat watching the world go by on the ‘stoep’ of this stately house, planning our route around the greater Citrusdal area.
A photographers dream along the Cederberg trails.
We decided to head for the Cederberg Wilderness area in search of scenic landscapes and a chance to admire some of the san rock art which is prevalent in the area. Heading out on the old sand road towards Clanwilliam, we turned off towards Algeria and all the main tourist areas of the Cederberg. From here you can set off on long hiking trails to snap some unique photos of centuries-old wind-hewn natural rock art moulded into fantastic shapes such as the Maltese Cross and Wolfberg Arch, and secret swimming holes.
Having only one day at our disposal, we chose the path of least resistance, opting to visit the Stadsaal Caves which are easily reached from the designated parking lot. You need a permit to visit this area, which is reasonably priced and contains the code for the padlocked entrance to the caves.
Here we discovered immaculately preserved San paintings of the elephants, which once roamed in great numbers, as well as graffiti dating back to 1948. These spacious caves were used as a meeting place for the Boers of that time as they plotted the downfall of the regime, and one of the many signatures inscribed here is that of Dr D. F. Malan, the first National Party Prime Minister of South Africa.
After a brief sojourn amongst the gorgeous surroundings of the caves, we headed back to Citrusdal, for a gut-wrenching zip line above the fynbos and trees of Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort.
Local Rooibos, lunch and warm water pools
Avoiding the urge to make the hour-long dash to Cederberg wines to calm our nerves, we turned to the far more healthful option of a rooibos tour at Carmien Farm. We found out all about this indigenous plant which grows nowhere else on earth, and got to sample some of the unique teas that are made from it. At last it was lunch time, which we enjoyed on the deck overlooking the valley at Bydidam, while munching on crusty pizza and huge hamburgers.
Next we headed for The Baths resort, and although we had to pay the full day visitors pass for our half day of leisure, the luxury of lounging in the sparkling warm water pools was worth every cent. Four o’clock is check out time at The Baths and we reluctantly said our farewells to the dramatic wilderness, and made our way back to the seaside at Lambert’s Bay for our overnight stay.
Arriving in the last moments of afternoon, we checked into @The Bay guesthouse just in time to watch the sun set over the sea from our balcony, before heading in search of a seafood dinner. As the host town for the annual Lambert’s Bay Crayfish Festival, we expected great things from our reservation at Muisbosskerm Restaurant and we weren’t disappointed.
The evening buffet was superb – fish served baked, smoked and grilled, succulent crayfish oozing with lemon butter, and traditional eats such as waterblommetjie bredie and hotnotskool stew, with home-made bread. We retired for the evening satisfied after a fulfilling day, and ready to resume our steady northward journey.
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