After the excitement of the snow we experienced here in Jozi last week and hearing Ava screeching about how it was snowing, Walter and I decided rather spur of the moment to head towards the snow last weekend. We found fantastic accommodation (or so we thought) in The Berg. We planned everything down to the finest detail. Hop in the car early on Saturday morning, play in the snow, check in at our accommodation and then head out for some more snow play.
I packed Ava’s bags carefully, ensuring that she had thermal long john’s and plenty of spencers and warm clothes and off we set, full of excitement for our weekend in the snow!
We arrived in Harrismith and were greeted by the snow. It covered the verges on the side of the highway, was stacked up against the walls of the houses in the area, the hill was packed with the snow and it lay in piles all over the grounds of the local petrol station. We were super stoked that we were going to show Ava the snow!
Ava was asleep when we pulled in at the petrol station, but when we woke her up and pointed out the snow lying on the ground she immediately demanded:
“Take me there!”
We had a glorious snow ball fight and honestly, I’m not sure who was more excited, Walter or Ava. Ava and I especially enjoyed ganging up on Walter and pelting him with snow balls. When we were done we decided to check in at our accommodation before heading out for some more snow hunting. The hotel was only about 20km’s away and it was really freezing in Harrismsith, even with Ava’s thermal underwear and Walter’s thermal socks, the wind and cold were biting.
It’s from here on out that our best laid plans went totally pear shaped!
Firstly, by the time we arrived at our accommodation, the temperature had climbed from 12 degrees to 25 freaking degrees, I kid you not and there was not even so much as a patch of snow anywhere to be seen.
We bundled out of the car to go and complete the check in, Ava all red-cheeked and sweat from said thermal underwear and Walter and I both feeling like we were about to melt.
The lesson I learned was that websites lie! The hotel we were booked into was …. er… shall we say… rustic? And not nearly as nice as their website portrayed it. We were shown to our room and Walter took one look at the broken sleeper couch our little Princess was supposed to sleep on and announced there was not a snow balls hope in HELL that he was paying for this accommodation.
After a shouting match in reception and threats of the tourism board and Hello Peter
they, begrudgingly sent us on our hot and sweaty way without having to pay for the remainder of the fee and refunding us our deposit.
Great! Only problem, we’re now a 3+ hour drive from home, late on a Saturday afternoon with no overnight accommodation and one seriously hot and tired toddler, who is repeatedly asking her Dad where the snow is!
After some frantic phone calls, we eventually managed to get a last minute check in at Champagne Sports Resort
. What a pleasure to deal with them. Because of our late check in, they didn’t have any family rooms available and Ava is too large to sleep in a camp cot but by the time we arrived at our room with our bags, they’d already set up a single bed mattress on the floor for her. By this stage, the temperature had climbed further to a sweltering (when you’re wearing thermals) 27 degrees.
But we had a fabulous time. The resort is amazing and I’d really like to go back there for a long weekend with friends. Ava had a great time with all the activities, she’s quite the little sports woman and was thrilled to play Putt Putt, soccer and netball.
We weren’t too worried by the lack of snow given that the whole of Harrismith was laying thick with it so we figured we’d leave early the next morning and have a play in the snow on our way home.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans?
To our utter disbelief, when we arrived in Harrismith the following morning, less than 24 hours later, all the bladdy snow was gone!
Walter spent the remainder of the drive home grumbling about our expensive weekend away “vir vyf f*kken sneeu balletjies”!
In the end it was a fabulous weekend, even though it wasn’t what we’d hoped it would be!