The Berghouse and Cottages

We are so lucky! The Drakensberg has been calling our names and we’re heading down this weekend to The Berghouse & Cottages. This magnificent farm is in the Northern Drakensberg and looks onto one of the most majestic landscapes in South Africa, The Amphitheater.

The farm has beautiful scenic hikes and tracks for mountain biking and trail running where often you will come across Zebra, horses, Eland or Baboons! Picnic spots that overlook the river or a cascading waterfall are all the reasons for visiting and most of all because I can call this beautiful place my HOME!

At the moment the farm looks a bit like an artists painting with black stripes creating checkerboards across the landscapes. These are from the firebreaks to control any fires that might dance across the dry veld. Although to some this might seem quite dull, the Drakensberg is sprinkled white with snow and in the evenings, the sunsets are like no other.

Each cottage is has a unique look about it with a “rustic-chic” feel as quoted by many of the visitors! Outside the cottages in their camps are the family favourites – the miniature horses. There are about eleven of these cheeky miniatures on the farm as well as the taller ponies we call “Basotho-ponies” that take the guests for out rides on the farm.

Have a look at this video to get a better idea visually of what I talk about. Here are a few pic’s my dad or I have taken of the farm and it’s beauty. More will most certainly follow after the weekend!


White vinegar to the rescue!

Who would have thought that I would be using vinegar to do my laundry or to wash my hands? No one! You might think that I am completely crazy but after hearing the story about using vinegar instead of fabric softener in my washing machine I had to do some research. We have tried and tested the following, and they work wonderfully! Vinegar is our latest household hero!

A colleague at work introduced me to the use of vinegar instead of fabric softener. After asking around, the result of fabric softener creating white lines in clothing became quite a common tread in the conversation. The general reaction was that the vinegar would make the clothes smell! Well, after trying it – it really doesn’t. It is a lot less harmful to the environment and removes stains as well as that musky, damp smell from towels or gym clothes. We have all jumped on the ‘band wagon’ and have all had great success!

Summer is the rainy season in Johannesberg. Because the tiles on our outside balcony are such a light colour, the wrought iron table and chairs have started staining the tiles after all the rain.  If one pours some vinegar over the stain marks and then sprinkle salt over it and leave for 4 hours, the rust disappears. The reaction of the salt and vinegar seems to lift the rust out of the tile. Now that we have clean tiles outside, we have added a little AstroTurf to prevent any rust forming on the tiles again – closest bit of garden lawn we’ve had since living in the flat!

Outside garden

Research has shown that washing your hands often, becomes very dehydrating to your skin. A new remedy is to mix vinegar and a bit water in a soap pump with a little essential oil (I like to use lavender) and use this to wash your hands instead. The vinegar immediately kills all germs and the lavender moisturises the skin and of course smells wonderful!

Hand Wash

Have a look at the article “ingenious uses for white vinegar” for some more ideas for around the house.

I would love to hear from you on any other remedies that you may know or have tried at home!