We’re hot and we’re tired and we’re hungry. We just want somewhere to eat and to sleep, and outside Colesberg in the Karoo we’ve struck gold.
Off the beaten track, six kilometres from Colesberg on the Philippolis road (R717), Van Zylsvlei B&B and Guestfarm is just what the doctor ordered. A small Karoo farm with 20 clean rondavels and family rooms, it’s run by Annalie Döhne, with husband Deon (whose day-job is as an attorney in the town) filling in as barman in the evenings. Yup, the place is fully licensed too. Even the water tastes good; the previous owner used to bottle it to sell.
We choose roast Karoo lamb and veggies and it’s delicious, just the kind of home-cooked boerekos we love – lashings of lamb with gravy, rice, pumpkin and broccoli. We reckon we’ve hit the jackpot, but perhaps the other choices are equally yummy.
Over a more-ish peppermint-caramel dessert, we discover that Annalie and Deon are a friendly pair, happy to chat and answer our nosy questions.
They’ve been here three years and have already built up what was a very run-down place into a two-star establishment. They have set their sights on a third star in the next few years, all of which takes time and money.
If photos of what the place looked like when they bought it are anything to go by, we can see that they’re well on their way – despite Annalie’s lamentations that there isn’t a single straight line anywhere, making things like floor tiling and curtain-making somewhat of a challenge.
The night is quiet, the Karoo sky full of stars. We sleep like the dead. Before first light we’re back on the road, missing the expected crowing of cocks and a hearty farm breakfast.
But we’re not worried. We know we’ll be back.
More about the Karoo
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