Weekend Getaway: Feeling the 'G' force
A tent over a river and a honeymoon suite in a school bus. Nick Yell stops by a couple's dream home
Harold uncovered Angie's G-Spot in a most unusual way. On a motorbike ride from their home in Plettenberg Bay along the predominantly gravel road to Wittedrift (the R340), they eventually came to a T-junction with the Knysna-Uniondale road. Heading towards Uniondale, they decided on the spur of the moment to pull off the Prince Alfred Pass - another Thomas Baines masterpiece - at De Vlugt and have a braai next to the river.
After swimming, eating and soaking up the country sunshine, they headed back to Plettenberg Bay with a treasure-chest full of memories. But, the experience they'd shared that day, where Angie had proclaimed to Harold that she had at last found her "G-Spot", convinced them they wanted a smallholding of their own. If only they could find a spot like the one they'd discovered.
Some time later, Harold was being shown some properties for sale between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, but there was nothing that really met his needs, or his pocket. By the end of the day, when both the agent and Harold were a little exasperated by their lack of success, the agent mentioned a little piece of land up the Prince Alfred's Pass, "but it has no services, and no buildings on it," he said.
Sure enough, it was the same piece of land on which they'd braaied that memorable day. Angie's G-Spot had at last become a tangible asset. And since that day over two-and-a-half years ago, Harold and Angie have been determined to make a lifestyle out here that enables them to sustain themselves as well as share their small piece of paradise with others.
How long you spend here depends on just how mellow you want to get. Because, spending time with these two salt-of-the-earth folk is bound to rub off on you. In addition, most people in this region are afflicted with a malaise known as "Outeniqua Rust", an endemic condition said to be caused by an infusion of seaborne ozone mixed with a blend of heady indigenous forest leaves, which tranquillises most residents within three months of their settling here. I mean, I only stopped for a Coke and ended up being entertained by these wonderful free-spirits - along with their two pot-bellied pigs and a stick-throwing-addicted daschund called River - for nearly two hours. I found it hard to leave this Bohemian-like paradise: it was like taking acid without having to get all goofy with cartoon characters from your youth. Far more natural, and sustainable.
The buildings housing the overnight rooms, ablution block, deck for the sleeping tent, as well as the pub and restaurant, are all made from local stone and timber and so blend in very well with the surrounding trees and riverine bush. The rooms are rustic yet comfortable - leave your hairdryer at home as there's no electricity - and be prepared to walk to the communal loo in the middle of the night. Yet, there are hot showers, the water being heated by a wood-fired donkey boiler system that works as well as any electric geyser does.
If I'd stayed over, I would have definitely chosen the tent on the deck overlooking the river. And if you go there in the months ahead, Harold will have completed his honeymoon suite - in a customised 1957 Bedford school bus. In fact, Harold and Angie's own bedroom is also housed in a school bus, most of which has now been hidden by the wooden structures that have been added to it as their lifestyle and comfort requirements have evolved over the years.
But if, like me, you don't have time to stay over, just have tea - it's bound to be memorable.
If you go ...GETTING THERE:
From Plettenberg Bay, take the R340 Wittedrift Road, which will intersect with the R339 from Knysna to Uniondale after about 35km of reasonably good gravel road. Turn right at the T-junction - Angie's G-Spot will be on your right after around 10km. From Knysna, follow the R339 (on the left, about 7km out of town) and from Uniondale, pass through Avontuur.
WHAT IT HAS:
A pub, tea garden, restaurant and various overnight accommodation options. It also has oodles of charm and authenticity.
WHY GO THERE:
If you've never travelled the Prince Alfred Pass, one of the best-kept gravel road passes in the country, this is reason enough to stop in at Angie's G-Spot. And, once there, you're likely to enjoy the host of friendly and unusual pets, the swimming, the food, mountain-biking and walking trails, bird-watching, and even sport on a big screen TV. But, most of all, you'll enjoy the mellow company of your hosts, Harold and Angie Beaumont.
The restaurant serves a variety of good food: from savoury pancakes to quiches to their signature bushpig potjies and lamb curries; but there are facilities for you to braai your own meat as well.
Between R125 and R150 per person sharing.
Call 044 752 3017 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org