Thursday, 4 August 2016

{Mpumalanga} The Panoramic Route

A couple months ago the family and I took a weekend getaway to the beautiful little town of Pilgrims rest. This short breakaway was spent at four starred Crystal Springs Lodge just outside of Pilgrims Rest Town (known for its mining history during 1873 Gold Rush as well as the Anglo Boer War) located in the beautiful province of Mpumalanga (Graskop area). This short getaway introduced me to more of the beauty South Africa has to offer as well as some of the incredible sites in the country i had always hear about but never seen.

We decided to spend the day (as most South Africans would on a Saturday or a Sunday) slowly making our way to the various sites we had listed on our weekend "bucket list"- listed below. 

What makes this area such an attraction besides the fact that it it on route to the Kruger National Park (and the truly spectacular surroundings). This area of Mpumalanga has one of the worlds largest green canyons known as the Blyde River Canyon. This beautiful canyon holds a number of unique attractions which makes up most of the Panoramic route. I will share these attractions in my post shortly. 

I was also reminded that the 1873 Gold Rush had a huge influence on the discovery of this canyon. Some of the attractions such as Bourkes Luck Potholes was discovered during this time. 

We firstly started our sight seeing tour of the Graskop area at The Pinnacle. What a unique thing it was for me, a local South African girl to see. I have seen images of rock formations like this in pictures around the world. I did not expect to see this unique formation in South Africa. This Pinnacle is a single rock which, in my opinion looked as though it was floating in the valley of the mountain. It is definitely worth a visit.

The entrance fee per person into the Pinnacle  R10 per adult.

Our second stop was the whole point of the Journey - God's Window. This part of Mpumalanga has sentimental value for my husbands family. We knew that we had to seize the moment that day, according to some of my friends and family who frequent  the area have said that often Gods Window is overcast and covered by clouds but this particular day had exceptional for the area.

I must warn anyone that hasn't visited God's Window and plans on making a stopping this way in the future to pack comfortable shoes. There is quite a walk involved to get to the view point. 

Entrance into God's Window per Adult R10

The third stop for us was Bourkes Luck Potholes. It is the only place in South Africa where you will pay to see a natural "pothole". It really is a wonder to see. These potholes were formed over centuries where two rivers, the river Treur and the Blyde Rivers join at the Blyde River Canyon. The joining of these rivers over time has worn into the sand rock forming these Potholes.

The Three Rondavals - R20.00 entrance fee per person

We couldn't very well make a trip down this way and not stop in at the picturesque Pilgrims Rest Town . I must say, this little town is such a gem but i really feel people don't visit this town enough. I'm not sure if people aren't aware of the Town or don't make enough time to stop by but really, i loved it and if you know you're going to pass by, why not support the residents? Now I'm sure you're wondering why I am harping on about this, but Pilgrims Rest Town is a historical town in South Africa and was quite the destination during the Gold Rush in 1873 when Pilgrims Rest was proclaimed a gold field after gold had been discovered in Pilgrims Creek.

What i loved about this lovely town was that while I was walking down the street i felt like i was walking into an old vintage Black and white movie. All buildings in this village have been maintained to keep its original historic appearance (From the post office to the petrol station and even the signage on each building). 

All the historic buildings have signage like the one in this picture above

All the houses have been maintained to keep their historic appearance 

We stopped in at the Pilgrims Pantry for lunch, it was a toss up between the Royal Hotel, Pilgrims Pantry (there were two other options but had narrowed our choices down to these two) and so we settled for the pantry. It was a fantastic choice. The service and the food was pretty amazing. 

Notice how the Cappuccino had gold sprinkles which 

Have you traveled to this part of Mpumalanga and what was your favourite part?

Mentions in this post: 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

{Flashback Friday} Sun City

Christmas may be very much over and done with, and all this cold weather (it is winter here in South Africa) makes me feel a little nostalgic as I am missing the warmer (and almost unbearable) weather and the Christmas festivities which is why i decided to post my Flashback Friday of Christmas 2015 for Christmas in July. :)

Having Christmas lunch at the Palace in Sun City was a pretty grand experience.  

I'm pretty tempted to put up a Christmas tree & try make one of these ginger bread houses!

Friday, 8 July 2016

{Tried and Tested} Skoon Skincare

As you all know now, I have been searching for a local skin care brand that I can use in the future not just as an attempt to support locally produced product but also to save on costs and lastly to know what ingredients are found in these products. After all, we are putting these products onto and into our skin and bodies daily.

My first attempt at local skin care products started with a post on Skin Creamery. To be honest, I was a little nervous at turning my back on an international brand I had been faithful to for a while, so i started with the everyday cream and although I thoroughly enjoyed it my skin needed more. This is why i turned to Skoon Skincare as my second attempt at Local South African Skincare products. This time around I pretty much ordered the full range in travel sizes so I could decide which products worked for me and which products didn't. 

Skoon Skincare gets major brownie points from me. Why I say this is it is a big deal for me to place an order online and have to wait 7 days before the parcel gets delivered. I wont lie, it sucks! However, I was thrilled to have my parcel arrive 2 days after I placed my order (round of applause) so I got to test these lovely products sooner than I expected. 

I loved the packaging!

Isn't this a lovely sight? 

Since I received my parcel at work I couldn't wait to get home. Part of my winding down routine is to take my make up off  and have a hot bath. I immediately dove right in and went with the lovely creamy cleanser along with the face cloth in my picture below, what an experience! I loved the cleanser and the little travel face cloth will most definitely come in handy on holidays and small getaways. 

I am impressed with this moisturiser, it is fast becoming my "the one". I could certainly see the difference before I applied the moisturiser and after I had given my skin time to absorb the cream. I also decided to add a few drops of the glow drops and WOW, when  combined with the Glow drops, i think this combination becomes a force to be reckoned with.  

I am not the type of girl who will easily try a face mask so i took a big risk buying this Ruby Marine Hydrating Mask. Like the Super Moisturiser, when I applied the face mask, I could immediately feel and see the difference. I generally have a dry complexion and even more so this time of the year (winter in South Africa) which was also why I bought this hydrating mask. Although this product's purpose is to hydrate over night, i found i didn't need to keep this ruby marine mask on over night,a few hours was enough for me. 

These glow drops are a gem! This little sample removed all doubts and now i am sorry I didn't buy the actual bottle. With the harsh dry conditions we have had in winter, this Skoon Glow Drops concentrate has been an answer to prayers. I have added drops to my moisturiser (not just my Super Moisturiser from Skoon but also other moisturisers) i have in my make up and even my foundation! 
I chose the travel sizes as my testers. I loved that Skoon Skincare gave me this option, it took away the stress of buying a product I might not like and in doing this it has encouraged me to buy all their products in the future!

 I am so excited to try out their eye creams when they are available for purchase, I'm hoping Skoon Skincare will release these soon!  

Have you tried out this local Skin Care brand and what stood our for you?

Friday, 24 June 2016

{Drakensburg} Weekend in the mountains

I have so much I want to say about my weekend away in the Drakensberg Mountains a few weeks back, but I don’t think anything I will say will do the Drakensberg Mountains justice.

 A few months ago I mentioned that my husband and I were spending our second wedding anniversary away in the Drakensburg with friends (who happened to get married one year after we did on the same day as us) and at the time I hadn’t been to the Drakensburg mountains for a number of years so staying in a small part of this beautiful province last year taught me this year that I have been pretty naïve about the Drakensberg mountains.  In fact I realised that I am very much a tourist in my own country (and here I was  confident about being a born and bred South African) 

I was reminded that the Drakensburg Mountains is a World Heritage Site and I truly felt privileged that this Heritage site is in South Africa. It proves to me time and again what a beautiful country i live in. I say this with total confidence as i have traveled to some beautiful countries, i have seen some incredible sights and South Africa amazes me each and every time. 

The family and I spent this time away at the Champagne Sports Resort. We chose this venue as it was fairly central and the list of activities were endless, this was important for  some of the family and friends we went away with to ensure everyone could do as they pleased.

My plans for the weekend was to do as little as possible. Take In the fresh air and just spend some time with family and once again take in the beautiful scenery. How could we not when Champagne Sports resort made sure we were as comfortable as possible. 

The reception area

This is a view of the lounge area in the resort

This is a panoramic view of the bedrooms
This is the view from the Hotel room's balcony

Other things to do in the area was go for a chocolate tasting at the Chocolate Bar (just across the road from Champagne Sports Resort) There you could pair coffee with chocolate. We opted for the chocolate fondant and coffee -  It was a real treat!  

And last but not least, there was this quaint little village or centre if you will (Thokozisa) on route to Champagne Sports resort. There is a lovely restaurant, deli, bar and stores under one roof. It really is worth ambling through if you have the time. 

Have you been to the Drakensburg area and what were your favourite parts?