Monday, May 19, 2014

A week in Prince Albert

Our camping activities in the first half of this year underwent a few difficulties.zOur camping trips for the first half of this year ahve been hampered 

Firstly I was ill at the beginning of the year with Septicemia and in hospital in January. When I was discharged, my recovery was fairly slow and we just managed a few short trips to Langebaan and Mountain Breeze in Stellenbosch as per my previous post. We also stayed for the long weekend in March at Ganzekraal with the Trekkers Outdoor Club.

In April there were school holidays then Easter and then a few more public holidays enabling people to take long weekends. All of these are times when I do not go camping because of the crowds.

Colleen and I discussed where to go for a decent break away and decided on Prince Albert in the Karoo. We have stayed there several times over the years and know it vey well. We had always stayed in various self catering establishments before but decided this time to camp as we now have the Skipper and it is very well set up with our "own stuff".

We have just come back from a wonderful week there and were joined by Colleen's brother, Robert and his wife, Cynthia in their lovely 1989 model Gypsey 3 caravan. They bought this new and it is still in immaculate condition. 

The campsite is on a working olive farm on the outskirts of the town and has received very good reviews from other campers who had stayed there. It is very well maintained. The ablutions are fairly old but spotlessly clean and I can heartily recommend the campsite.
Wendy, the manager is always around, very friendly and helpful.
All set up.

View over the olive groves from the processing/tasting/sales centre

B+W version of the view over the olive groves

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Prince Albert is a typical Karoo dorpie with many attractions. I will try and list some of them. Firstly there is Gay's Dairy who supplies wonderful Guernsey milk and cheeses. Their cheese's are served on the Blue Train and have won many awards. The Prince Albert Regal was my favourite as it a sharp well matured cheddar. The Parma Prince is also outstanding.  It is vacuum packed and they assure me will last for around 5 months if kept refrigerated, so bought lots home. The Lazy Lizard coffee shop also bcame a favourite of ours during the week. Karroo lamb pie and vegetables for R65.00. Lovely meal! They sell freshly baked bread and rolls and have a great selection and jams and chutneys etc, all locally produced for sale.

We went for a "wine tour" one day, starting at Soet Karoo Wines in the main street of the town. They have a vineyard in their back garden and produce really good Port style wines in a converted garage behind their house. Very interesting people and part of the Perold family that first cultivated the Pinotage grape. We went on to Fernkloof and then Bergwater, who supplied the wine for Prince Albert of Monaco's wedding, both situated in the Prince Albert valley towards Meiringspoort. Stocked up with wine at all of them.

Bergwater Wine Estate.

The local butcher, Karoo Slaghuis has excellent meat and takes great pride in what he does. Firstly, I am extremely scathing of the quality of the boerewors that one gets in the Cape and his was without doubt the very best boerewors I have had for very many years. We even just had a boerewors braai one night and bought a few kilo's home with us. Lamb chump chops and very tender and tasy T-Bones were also braaied during the week. Lamb knuckle potjie also went down well.

We went for a hike along the koppie next to the town and it was pretty easy going with nice views.

View over the Karoo from the Koppie

Same view just a bit closer up

View of the town from the koppie

We also spent time just walking around the town itself. There are a lot of old houses and buildings from the Victorian era. There is also nothing to beat that Karoo atmosphere. 

Newly restored Theatre.

Fransie Pienaar Museum

Sunrise over an olive grove


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