Tuesday, March 30, 2010


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D and I celebrate our anniversary on 29 April.

The year we got married (1995) is the first year that 27 April (Freedom Day) was made a public holiday in South Africa. This is great as every year since (I think we may have missed one or two) we simply take a couple of extra days off work and go away to celebrate.

Suits me down to the ground as I don’t like a lot of physical possessions but I do love experiences.

We went to Ireland last year and did a full-on UK trip in 2008 (which was actually the reason I postponed my laparoscopy) so this year it’s local. Until I get brave enough to either travel with babies properly or get the grandparents to babysit.

You know I’m fussy so I don’t like to stay in places that are not nice – I love the comforts of home and want those on holiday too.

I asked my friend Natalie (since they’re always off SOMEWHERE) if she could recommend a place a couple of hours from Joburg so that it’s not too far but still far enough.

She suggested Dullstroom or Clarens – incidentally, I’d always wanted to go on holidays to either of these places.

Dullstroom has become very tourist-oriented (which means they charge BIG BUCKS) so initially Clarens looked good.

Until I looked closer.

The type of places that were “suitable” for me all catered to huge families (6 and 8-sleepers) and they all charge a surcharge if there are only a few people. Fair enough. But I had a certain number in mind and didn’t want to exceed the budget so…

My mother in law is coming on holiday with us!

We actually have been on holiday with her many times in the past and she is very easygoing so it’s a pleasant time.

It will also be nice to have an extra set of hands for the babies.

So we’ll be away for just 3 nights during the last week of April.

I’m a bit apprehensive but also excited.

One thing I need to do is either borrow a camp cot from someone or go buy a cheap one. I could have rented one but at R125 per day, I might as well buy one and keep it for future travels.

If anyone reading has been to Clarens, what are your “must-do” activities or places to eat?

Any travel tips?


  1. Hey Leigh
    Can't wait to hear about your trip, I've also ALWAYS wanted to go to Clarens!!!!
    Re. travelling thing, we just came back from a holiday to Plett where we DROVE down, looong drive with a baby. The only thing I can suggest is take lots of breaks along the way. If your little angels are anything like Ava, she gets very uncomfortable in her car seat for extended periods. Very naughty I know, but on the way back, I actually gave her some Panado syrup so that she'd sleep and not be aware of the discomfort. Worked a charm!
    I have a camp cot you're welcome to borrow, its the Graco one, very nice and its brand spanking new, if Ava has slept 10 nights in it its a lot. So let me know!

  2. No travel tips but sooooo looking forward to yours! :)

  3. We have traveled some with the girls, in fact we just got back! This time I didn't take a pack-n-play (which I am assuming is similar/the same as a cot) and I opted to put them on a bed. I ordered extra pillows and blankets which I used to barricade them in with. I continually checked on them till they were asleep and it worked wonderfully!

    1. Take their crib blankets and lovies.
    2. I always took two "snack" bottles when we went out in addition to any "meal" bottles that they would need. That way if they get fussy I can quickly hush them.
    3. Personal opinion- no stroller! It sounds crazy but if you're going anywhere where they may be crowds, small walk ways or turn areas, unpaved paths or just land to cruise the stroller may not be your best option. I left our stroller and the only part I missed was using it to carry my drink. It saved a lot of room in the car and was much less hassle to carry them in the baby carriers. We have baby bjorns. It also helped to attract less attention!

  4. Mandy, we could NEVER put them on the bed – they roll around such a lot, even in their sleep. I literally can’t turn my back on them for a minute.

    Love the snack bottles but the stroller, I don’t think I could hoist a squirmy baby (they are like energiser bunnies, both of them) around LOL

    Did you get good pics?


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