“Tree”-mendous Tree houses
Due to our alarming lack of available travel funds, Clint and I decided that our holiday for 2011 would have to be somewhere reasonably close to home, and not somewhere exotic and overseas. The planning challenge was of course, to find somewhere slightly different and off the beaten track. Mission accomplished! Armed with our copy of “Been there, done that” we spent our last two nights of holiday in a tree house, and, pardon the pun, it was an unbe-leaf-able experience.
Our treehouse, aptly named “The Romantic Treehouse” was an almost triple story fantasy wooden house set high up into an old oak tree, complete with balconies, a Jacuzzi, indoor plumbing, a Jacuzzi, a fireplace and, did I already mention, a Jacuzzi? There’s a fridge to keep your drinks cold, a hammock to snooze in, candles in the spa/jacuzzi room, and a mosquito net positioned over the bed, just to name a few added extras aimed at making your stay that much more enjoyable. The entire abode was hand-crafted into a tree, and has gorgeous features like a beautiful front door, stained glass windows, and on a humorous note, a block of wood, which you are instructed to remove for air-conditioning. The whole idea of this stop-over was to explore the Drakensburg, but we ended up spending more time tucked away high up in the branches, sheltered by the trees, reading our books in the jacuzzi and sipping some great wine.
In all fairness, the Drakensburg was pretty impressive. Apart from stunning views of the mountains as far as the eye can see, we were treated to a spectacular storm on our last night there, which provided a much-needed reprieve from the heat and mugginess of the day. To Clint’s horror, which he thought he had disguised well, but not well enough, he had to participate in the Midlands Meander, which is a scenic drive through the Natal Midlands where you can stop at accredited shops, farm stalls and crafters markets to browse the local produce and wares. To his relief, there were a few pubs and restaurants along the way, to keep his beer pangs at bay, and his patience in check. However, there is honestly plenty to do in the area, so days can be spent hiking, sightseeing, river rafting and horse riding, and not just shopping.
Evenings at Sycamore Avenue are a relaxed affair, with dinner being served in the main house on a wooden deck. Dinner is a three-course home-cooked treat, and each meal we had was delicious and well-presented. Back in our little house, candles and fires were lit, stars were watched and wine was drunk, all from a bubble-filled jacuzzi, without the interruption of television, telephones, sirens, traffic or nosy neighbours. Our nearest neighbour was a weaver, and not of the blanket weaving variety either.
Sycamore Avenue Treehouses are located in the Southern Drakensburg region, close to Mooi River in Natal. There are a number of different treehouses, each with its own unique theme, that will inspire your imagination and remind you that not only when finances dictate “local can be lekker”! So if you’re after something a little different, give this a bash, but be assured, like us it probably won’t be your first and last visit to this enchanting little forest.