Clarens, Free State

This past weekend, Valentine’s weekend 🙂 Jamie, Barney and I drove the 3 hours to the country to a town called Clarens in the Maluti Mountain range.  You talk about BEAUTIFUL!  We rented a quaint little cottage about 2 km from the town. #nofilter!

IMG_0013

The little town was just like any small, country town you have envisioned in your mind right now.  It seemed almost untouched by modern times, but still comfortable.  The town and area were so non-threatening, relaxing, enjoyable.

The Free State is a province in South Africa that is mostly colonized by farmers, so from Joburg to Clarens you saw pastures and pastures of cows, sheep, horses even wildebeest and zebra!  And the animals get to roam free…so comforting.  There were also GIANT fields of sunflowers!

Sunflower field between Joburg and Clarens

Sunflower field between Joburg and Clarens

We had never seen so many sunflowers!  We had to pull over and take pictures.

On Friday night we stayed in and braaied (South African word for “grill” or “BBQ”).  Saturday morning we went and had breakfast at a cafe in the town, walked around and checked out all the shops, then met a nice lady in a travel agency that gave us a map of the town and told us all the things we could do in the tiny town of Clarens!  Some things are archery, white water rafting, hiking, self-driving tour of the National Park neaby, and many other things.
We opted for the self-driving tour of the park,
Golden Gate National Park.IMG_3553

Barney got to ride along, too, although he naps easily 🙂

The rolling hills, mountains, ponds, streams, animals….it was breathtaking.  We saw at least 20 zebra just grazing on the field nearby.  And we saw baboons…see my travel tip about these fellers.

After we were done with our drive we went back to to the town to a local brewery/pub.  IMG_3610They brewed about 7 of their own beers and also made homemade ciders and fruit juices from the apple and cherry orchards they own!  It was wonderful and the beer was really good!

Sometimes you just need to get out of the city – so that’s what we did!

  • Antique Shop in Clarens
  • We went during a Harley festival (unbeknownst to us), but all was good!
  • Trade Store and Butchery
  • Golden Gate National Park
  • Golden Gate National Park