Citrusdal travels with Barry Varkel

As going back to work on the 10th of January 2022 loomed like a head-on collision with an 18-wheeler truck driven by a furiously scorned ex, I decided we had one last opportunity at freedom to hit the road. Citrusdal was to be the destination of choice and the Citrusdal Country Lodge our digs. 

The problem however with travelling in the John Cooper Mini is the acoustics – at speeds in excess of 120 km/h it is very much like trying to make conversation with a woman you’ve just met on the nightclub dancefloor over music pumped out at 120 decibels. So, it’s a lot of “oh yes”; “totally”; “exactly, I also think the ANC is useless”; “what – I remind you of your dad?” 

So, after minimal conversation, we arrived at our digs after about an hour and a half spent on the tarmac. Getting out the car, the blast of 40 plus degrees dry heat hit us like Death Valley lifted up and slapped at 90 degrees across our collective faces. I prayed for air-conditioning. 

The staff at the check-in desk were so very sweet and charming and couldn’t do enough for us. Our room was huge, tastefully styled with a smattering of old Cape Dutch style furniture and a Persian rug which – like in the Big Lebowski – tied the room together. A wall-mounted flat screen TV was positioned dead centre in between two separate queen-sized beds. At last, I could snore myself to death and save my ribs for the morning. My aircon fantasy was realised and with a few tweaks it was purring like a Nordic bikini model in an Ice Hotel. 

All the same, I found the hotel to be an authentic and unpretentious sanctuary. The staff were delightful. The food was delicious and the portions huge. There was a gym I worked out twice at, at 3am in the morning, so as to avoid daytime heat stroke, and a pub two doors down from our room.

It was also perfectly located to launch day trips from. We did one to Lamberts Bay and another to Clanwilliam. 

In keeping with my new ideology of supporting local SA operations in small towns, I will continue on my journey to find the promised land. The future of SA is now a foreign country – they’ll do things differently there. 

Contributed by:
Barry Varkel, an attorney of the High Court of South Africa and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.
Author of Nigiri Law and Goy Vey

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