“Yes, salute! What a view.”
Our friends from Zurich have joined us at one of our favourite locations in the Western Cape – the Arum Lily Cottages. Lea and I hop into the deck hot tub, sipping our cool wine as large barble skim the smooth dam surface, cutting the steel blue reflection of the sky with its black whiskers and gaping mouths.
As the light lowers, burning colours of auburn, slashed pinks and purples fill the sky and remap the dam. Time always runs out here because “nature TV” is riveting. Loadshedding (government implemented powercuts) is on the go, but it makes no difference as we anticipate the sky exchanging fiery colours for silver stars.
A Closing Chapter
This is my fourth visit to the Arum Lily Cottages and I know my life will change from today. We have one last night to enjoy the beautiful world as we know it, because tomorrow I’m going to home to find out how ill my Dad is. Deep down, I know it’s not good. So tonight’s dinner, with precious friends, will be a treasured memory of my life as I know it.
I’m so thankful to be here at this family led business; where apple trees, dragon flies, farmer’s tractors, roaming dogs, quacking ducks and magnificent sunsets are the order of the day. This is a day I will be ok remembering.
Before the boys start the fire and the gals soak up the hot tub experience, we push out the kayak. I’m actually recovering from flu so my sundowners has been exchanged for a Corenza C as Lea does all the hard work.
This is the first time I’m out on the dam; usually we just walk around the circumference enjoying the angles of the mountains changing, but she’s the adventurous type and I have no qualms being her “royal” passenger (a self appointed title!).
Before the light is totally gone, we prepare our food in the naturally well-lit kitchen and lounge area. There’s no television at the Arum Lily Cottages so a few hours are electricity-less living is easy to deal with as the soundtrack of the farm is the norm.
As the power returns, we opt to stay outside anyway. Jalapeno cheese toasties, meilies (corn on the cob) and boerewors (farmer’s sausage) are the order of the day. A small farm dog finds us and makes itself at home under the wire chairs and table – potentially the most South African garden furniture outside those flower mattresses!
After dinner, it’s time to head inside before the mosquitos catch on that the fire won’t burn forever. Usually we are here in the dead cold of winter, which sees the cold easily combated with the indoor fireplace, but there’s no need for that on this warm evening.
The Arum Lily Cottages are also well secured, with the farm gate being SMS activated. This means you need to call a mobile number each and every time to get the gate to open. Without this, there is no entering nor exiting. It’s also on the R46, a fairly busy road between the well-known towns of Tulbagh, Wolseley and Ceres, so it’s easy to relax and enjoy the cabin experience.
All sliding doors are closed and locked, windows shut (to help with mozzies, which aren’t actually bad, but more of a precaution) and humans in beds, ready for a peaceful night’s sleep.
More About Cabin 5
Arum Lily Cottage cabin 5 has 3 bedrooms – 2 upstairs (one king/one with single beds) and a main suite downstairs overlooking the deck. The main suite also has an outside shower, which is privately enclosed with bamboo walls as well as being en suite.
Draw the curtains for privacy between the hot tub and bath/bedroom areas for a more private experience. Alternatively, leave the doors wide open and enjoy in-door outdoor living at its best.
When I returned home the following day, my Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. On the 2nd of July he turned 69 and on the 18th of July he lost his battle with kidney cancer.
The Arum Lily Cottages was a place I had always hoped to visit with him due to its peaceful surroundings, low-key setting and well equipped cabins. I know a paper and a Tafel would have gone down well here!
Thank you to Mandy and the Moller team for their patient support during this tough time. We’ll definitely be back!
RIP Pete Shout, 02.07.53 – 18.07.22.