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Sleeping on an Ostrich Farm!

The Swartberg mountain range is one of the most gorgeous areas we have ever seen.  The mountains, big open skies, windy roads, it is breath-taking!  Of course, getting there is not for the faint of heart.  Single lane paved roads, a lot of gravel/dirt and a WHOLE lot of nothing!  Hours of driving and we only passed a few cars.  We also got a flat tire on a dirt road on the way, right outside a remote village in a not so desirable area.  (I had no idea that Matt even knew how to change a flat... this never happens to us in New York, lol!)  Thank goodness, we had a full spare and were able to get on our way soon after.  The Swartberg area is is the perfect stop between Cape Town and Addo if you didn't want to drive the entire 9-10 hours between the two destinations.


Road Trip With KIDS
Other European tourists still thought we were crazy doing as much driving as we did, only breaking up the drive for one night.  However, the 5 hour drive between Addo and Swartberg went so fast (minus the flat tire).  The baby slept a bunch and Dylan had "free-for-all" tablet time.  Sometimes I would climb back to sit with the boys and occupy them: reading books, playing "Paw Patrol" or giving them food. ;-)  At one point, I was up front with Matt and we realized the boys had the WHOLE bag of pretzels and they were throwing them at each other and laughing so hard!  Although that would NEVER slide at home, Matt and I were like... "welp, at least it's a rental and they are occupied", lol!  By the way, I am normally even worse than the boys at road trips, but I got internet on my phone with our rental car's mobile hotspot, so I was able to keep busy too ;-), and Matt enjoyed the gorgeous mountain views, some of the most beautiful landscape we've ever seen.

We made a few stops to pick up snacks. get gas, and bribe our 3 year old with a popsicle to go potty as well. ;-)  A few of the places we stopped seemed a little sketchy; people knocking on our windows and peering in at the kids; it definitely made us feel uncomfortable, so we would generally avoid gas stations or shops where there was any "riffraff".  One of our favorite stops was buying this HUGE bag of freshly dried fruit- pears, apples, peaches, strawberries, you name it; all for under $10.  We love all the fresh, unprocessed food when we are out of America. ;-)

Accommodations
The Swartberg Country Manor was absolutely gorgeous.  Beautiful landscape- a back drop of mountains on all sides, and of course, ostriches!!!  The manor is a converted farmhouse of the original European settlers of the area, dating to the mid 19th century.  When we arrived, we quickly changed and took the boys to the pool to swim for a bit before heading to see the ostriches and explore the manor grounds.  For dinner, we ate, yes, OSTRICH and it was soooo yummy, like a really tender steak.  The food at the Swartberg Country Manor was so tasty and very well presented.  Prices were very reasonable, much less than what we would have paid at home for what we got... a glass of wine was $3.

The next morning, the boys woke up soooo early!  I have no idea why they did, but Matt and I were not expecting it!  We had made breakfast reservations for 8 but there was no way we would all be able to wait that long to eat, lol!  Matt quickly walked over to the main house and we were able to go as soon as they opened.  Walking over to the main house with the sun hitting our backs and looking out at the gorgeous landscape, we both had the feeling like we were at camp.  Except, everything was fancy, the food was amazing and we didn't have sore backs from a bad mattress, lol!  It was just so relaxing, sitting out on the porch and looking at the most gorgeous view, everything felt so peaceful.  We all ate made-to-order breakfast, Dylan ordered a huge plate of bacon and ATE IT ALL. (I'm still getting used to this whole boy mom thing) ;-)


We would definitely recommend stopping at the Swartberg Country Manor as a perfect stopping point between Addo and Cape Town.

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