Retreat Guest Farm: A Weekend in Piket-Bo-Berg
I quickly realised that I'd struck gold with my find which exceeded every expectation.
It’s been a difficult year for many of us and this July was a particularly hard one for me so when my mother said she needed to escape to city for a while, I was more than happy to pack my bags and accompany her.
I quickly put my love of online window-shopping to good use and scoured the web for a secluded spot that still had all the creature comforts we’d want and plenty of activities to keep us busy if we felt so inclined. While looking in the Cederberg region on Airbnb, I stumbled upon a lovely looking cottage that I thought would do the trick. (I now realise that I had, in fact, struck gold with my find which exceeded every expectation that I had).
So when our depart date, a Thursday afternoon in the middle of August, finally rolled around, we packed the car and made the short hour and a half drive to Piket-Bo-Berg. We left the bustling city center behind us and with every passing green pastures and sunshine yellow canola fields, we felt our worries and stress slip away. Finally we arrived in Piketberg and from there wound our way up the mountain pass, past fruit farms to Retreat Guest Farm.
Retreat Guest Farm
We stayed in the smallest of their three cottages, the Langeberg Cottage. From what I’d seen online, it was a tastefully furnished two-bedroom cottage with a fireplace and open plan kitchen and lounge area. While our expectations were not incorrect, they were far from adequate. The cottage had everything we needed to be comfortable without becoming cluttered, and the decor was chic and inviting. Jane, whose family own the farm and who runs the Airbnb page, greeted us at the door and informed us that she’d turned on all the heaters and the electric blankets for us - a welcome treat as our weekend was a chilly one.
The cottage is situated on a working citrus and almond farm. And while it was too early for us to see and sample their citrus, their almond trees were just blooming when we arrived and we were able to munch on a complimentary bag. The cottages are surrounded by nature but it often felt like nature wasn’t only on our doorstep but that it would come, quite literally to our doorstep! Not only were there small birds, some geese and guinyfowl fluttering around our little front garden, two mornings in a row we spotted a sweet little bokkie on the lawn.
We made use of the cottages outside braai twice and each night we’d light a fire inside which kept the cold at bay. Each morning, I woke up to the sound of the birds singing in nearby trees and would quietly get up, make a coffee and watch the sunrise with them.
There are several activities that can be enjoyed on the farm without stepping out the doors of your cottage including reading in front of a toasty fire and playing boardgames. But stepping out your front door isn't just a friendly suggestions, it's almost mandatory in order to take in the full beauty of the rugged Piket-bo-Berg landscape.
You can enjoy a swim or canoe on the dam and or walk around the farm, breathing in the sweet scent of the almond blossoms. You might even spot a duiker or two between the fynbos. There are also two main hiking trails: the Pederkop hike and the Yellowwood hike.
The Pederkop trail will take you to the top of the hill that stands watch over the farm. With your head in the clouds, you can look down on the beautiful valley and take in the fine fynbos lined paths. The Yellowwood hike is a circular walk around some rugged rocks. You'll feel as if you've entered a magical forest with each turn bringing new vegetation and a different landscape into view. The path isn't always obvious but it is rewarding and you might spot some ancient rock art too.