Feeling young by the barbecue fire in Harties

It is over to level two lockdown. We survived it. It is time to breathe, let the fun begin in Harties at Mr. C. After four and a half months of limited movement and rights, it is finally time. Book a night or two out of town and settle in for a sunset drink overlooking the tranquil water of Hartebeespoort Dam. You deserve a drink, and you deserve a break, this lockdown situation was no fun, it has been intense. Take a short drive if you live in Gauteng and head northwest towards the Hartebeespoort Dam. Up against the hill in Schoemansville, you will find Mr. C. The bar is well stocked and ready to welcome you with a drink of choice as the fire lights up. I can't think of a better way to spend the first night away from home sitting by the fire, enjoying a few drinks, having a barbecue and playing rock n' roll oldies into the night.


If you are adventurous in this cold August, the pool is heated, you can swim. There are many activities to choose from in the area. A sunrise balloon ride over the Magaliesberg mountain range is available to book. There are many boat cruises available for sunset. The elephant and monkey sanctuary is a quick drive crossing the old dam wall to walk into nature with the animals by your side, eating fruit out of your hand. There are many restaurant options to choose from, from comfort food to fine dining, the area is a culinary feast.  The activities and the town is buzzing, but I prefer to settle in at Mr. C and enjoy the hospitality and home-cooking. 


The trees by the pool throw wintery August shadows onto the daybeds. It is a perfect spot to settle in with a great read. The running pool water is calming, and the daybeds next to the pool are comfortable, ideal for a cheeky nap. I wake up almost half an hour later a bit confused about my surroundings, the stress of the lockdown will take some time to fade away. It is essential to take small breaks at the moment to refocus for the rest of the year. I hear Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra playing in the background, a little bit of romance and escape to fill my head with new ideas and playful daydreaming. The gin cocktail in my glass sips effortlessly, soothing my taste-buds and thoughts as I flirt with creative business risks floating over my diary pages. Will it fly or will it stall. It is a beautiful day next to the pool to let the ideas on offer run through my thoughts. I make better decisions going back to work after a few days of quiet contemplation enjoying massages, some fun times at the bar, and a few good tunes I can tap my feet too.


I look into the dry highveld sunset, the dark orange sun disappears over the mountain treetops, brushing faint pink and red hues onto the clouds. Next to me, the flames dance melodiously, warming up the twilight mood. 


A barbecue fire makes me feel so young, the excitement of a long night laughing till my stomach hurts. It has been a luxuriously lazy day, reading and relaxing by the pool, the evening wind is cold, the winter has been long. It is the last bit of cold moving through the country, the snow in the Karoo is pushing icy winds into the country cutting into every crevice and corner. The fire is warming, people are moving closer to enjoy the smokey cozy wood fire, A few shy, silly jokes are bouncing around. A few guys are playing darts working their way into a bottle of whiskey. Bottles are popping as the red wine is flowing, sharing crazy lockdown stories.


I book a night or two away, with a short drive from home at a venue encouraging me to be lazy, with staff offering a personalised touch. 


A fireplace to inspire stories. People with youthful banter, a stocked bar, matured meat to barbecue, and golden oldies to reminisce and rock the night away.

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