Located in the foothills of the rugged Langeberg Mountains is an eco mountain reserve that is perfect for a quick cape getaway.
By: Janine Avery
The end of the year is always hectic. The festive season looms on the horizon and with it comes the addition of concerts, markets and events to the calendar. Work seems to ramp up as you endeavour to cram as much as you can in before the end of the year. And the threat of more time on the beach, means longer hours in the gym and more time spent thinking and worrying about meal plans.
So, after a busy few weeks, my husband and I decided we needed a break. We wanted to find somewhere we could climb off the treadmill and just escape from the rat race of life. And so it was that we packed our bags and headed off to Starry Starry Night, a small secluded spot in the mountains near Montagu.
After a few hours of driving, we came to the turn off to our private retreat. Travelling up and up around a 2 kilometre gravel and strip road through magnificent fynbos, the hills and valleys of the surrounding winelands dipped below us, creating a panoramic vista. Through a couple of baby blue painted gates and we had found our little home away from home.
Home away from home
Although technically not that far from the towns of Montagu and Barrydale, the appeal of Starry Starry Night is that this is a place where you can just stay put and indulge in the seclusion and beauty of nature.
We chose to stay at the quaint Luna Cottage – one of three self-catering accommodation options on the property – equipped with a queen-size bed, a sleeper couch and a fully equipped kitchen. But for us it was all the special touches by the owners that really made the place a home – the kitchen was stocked with plenty of completely condiments, including hot chocolate, marshmallows and biscuits for smoor making, local honey, and even delicious homemade rusks.
An indoor fireplace beckoned for those cold winter nights, with a smattering of magazines and books to choose from, while the outside deck with its sun loungers, yoga mats and swing chairs was a great spot to meditate or just sit back and relax, or look up at that promised starry, starry night when the sun went down.
But the appeal of this mountain retreat goes way beyond the accommodation. Once we had settled in, we decided to take a walk around and get equated with our surroundings where we came across a darling little herb and vegetable garden where you are welcome to pick what you need for your evening dinners or to spice up your evening sundowner. There is also a chicken coop and kiddies play area.
Serenity and solitude
Venturing beyond the confines of the immediate surroundings, a number of hiking trails were just waiting to be explored. There were three different trail options to choose from with varied distances. We decided to do the short trail to the rock pool and little waterfall, which after all the recent rains was simply spectacular. And such is the seclusion of this place that we had it all to ourselves. Bliss.
But as the dark set in, there was one place that was calling our name – the wood fired hot tub. A short walk from our accommodation, and situated alongside a cold pool and boma, the hot tub can be booked privately in the evening. You can also decide to add on a platter of delicious local goodies to enjoy with your sundowners while spending the evening soaking in the hot water and taking in the spectacular views.
And even though we were only here for a short time, here in the embrace of the mountains, time just seemed to slow, and the worries of the world faded away. Serenity and solitude where the order of the day, offering a refuge from the hustle and bustle of daily life and renewed energy for the rest of the year discovered. The ultimate escape from the chaos of world.