Rudi’s parents invited us for a weekend away with them mid September. Rudi’s father and two male siblings all have a birthday in September and his parents usually go away to celebrate. His parents have time share and they have been kind enough in the past to allow us to share it with them sometimes. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much. At some point I didn’t even want to go since Rudi and I had been CONSTANTLY fighting the week before we were set to depart. After we kissed and made up I got excited to go. I wasn’t expecting too much from the accommodation. I thought we’d be staying in the prefab places that are tiny and cramped. The other places we’ve been to with the time share weren’t bad at all though.
I was a bit nervous about taking Babyice on such a long drive in the car. He already gets impatient and squirmy when we are driving around from place to place. We stopped at the Engen One Stop on the N1 and bought some lunch and I bought a big packet of chips. These thoroughly entertained him all the way to Montague! He seemed perfectly happy and content all the way there. Of course he had already had his nap, so he didn’t sleep at all, but he was happy and I was happy.
We arrived at Avalon Springs and drove straight past the prefab buildings. We went to the hotel reception to book in and went up to our lodgings. We stayed in the beautiful mountain chalets. The places are SERIOUSLY nice! Huge TV in the living room, beautifully fitted kitchen with everything you would need utensil wise. Under floor heating. A semi private jacuzzi for each chalet and an en suite and flat screen for each bedroom (our unit had two bedrooms). The braai area was completely kitted out too. They even had a potjie pot to use! Not to mention the breathtaking views! Once we had settled down and everything was unpacked, everyone wanted to go downstairs for dinner. Rudi’s mom doesn’t really eat in the evening, so she volunteered to keep an eye on Babyice while we all went down. Rudi’s two young nephews, brother and father all decided to swim in the heated pool. I wasn’t really in the mood for being wet and coming back up to the cabin wet (even though the bathrooms had their own hairdryers). I sat at the bar and had a couple of cocktails. We ordered pizza from the pizza place there and eventually all were driven back up to the chalet. The walk back up to chalet is quite steep and challenging, so they have golf carts that will take up and down if needed. My calves certainly felt it after the weekend! I only went up once and down twice the whole weekend, but they were sore for days! We decided to give the jacuzzi a try as the little people and Rudi’s dad went to bed. Rudi’s brother joined us, but after 20 minutes or so all I wanted to do was get out because it was cold! I later spotted a sign saying that the jacuzzi’s only get a feed from the hot springs until a certain time.
The next morning I woke up with a really bad headache. I put it down to the cocktails I had the evening before and took some painkillers. The headache persisted ALL WEEKEND in varying degrees. No amount of painkillers seemed to help. I also noticed a little blood in my nose and had a few bouts of nausea (not too bad, mind you). Then it hit me! The only thing that I could think it could be was altitude sickness, which I then googled. Yes. I did. The symptoms matched. It certainly put a damper on the weekend, but I still lounged next to the pool with a cocktail (I just *had* to) and swam a bit. On the Saturday evening Rudi’s brother and I watched a movie while Rudi went down to the pub to gamble a bit with his mother.
We left quite early on the Sunday, despite only having to leave the Monday morning. I had put in leave for the Monday as well, but I had to cancel my leave to attend our long service awards ceremony (I received my 10 year service award). Admittedly I was a bit eager to leave, hoping getting back home would relieve my headache. It didn’t really. It persisted till the Wednesday. So I’m not sure why the hell I felt like crap all weekend.
All in all it was really a lovely place and had I been feeling better I would certainly have enjoyed it more. The cocktails from the bar are lovely, the staff are friendly and helpful. The heated pools are divine. I would love to go back again! If we are ever afforded the opportunity to go back, I’m going to take altitude sickness meds. Just in case.