Day 11: Swell in Swellendam

Like I said yesterday, the Fossil (aka Desmond) sprained his knee in the early hours of Sunday morning during our “Still Bay Stalker Strikes” episode. So, we’ve taken a break in our Walk 4 SOS Huskies journey while we wait for his knee swelling to go down (kinda appropriate that we’re in SWELL-en-damn, right?).

So this morning we mostly drove the Mahindra PIKUP around Swellendam. The Fossil went into tourist guide mode and talked endlessly about the towns’ history. Interesting stuff, like the mountain that looms above the town is called Langeberg (and it is – a long mountain, I mean). And that many of the old Cape Dutch style buildings we drove passed were built when the town was established in 1743 by the Dutch East India Company.

And that the town wasn’t named after some swell at Endam Hotels in Turkey but was named after some turkey called Hendrik Swellengrebel, who was the Cape governor at the time, and he dropped the ‘grebel’ part of his surname and replaced it with his wifes’ maiden name, which was Damme. So, the town should really be spelt Swellendamme but maybe that wouldn’t fit on the road signboards so they dropped the me.

Anyway, we eventually arrived at the pet-friendly Arumvale Self Catering Country House who had kindly offered to host us for tonight. The self-catering Rustic Garden Cottage is a stand-alone unit away from the main house and we could park the Mahindra PIKUP close to the unit so the Fossil could easily offload our stuff while I waited on the verandah.

That verandah is a really cool place for a Husky to chill and the wall is low enough that I can easily rest my paws on the ledge for a better view of the countryside – and cows, and horses, and chickens! Of course, I’d love to jump over and chase after them all but my leash was tethered (we Huskies are great escapists, and when we do escape we run – and keep running!).

The weather was overcast when we arrived and the view of rainfall over the Langeberg mountain looked picturesque (like the picture below, although I was watching the cows, not the rainfall).

The Garden Cottage is rustic and equipped differently to the Suites. It’s not connected to the national power grid, so it has solar powered lighting, a gas cooker and fridge, a Weber kettle braai (BBQ), and a fire place with a generous amount of free firewood, and complementary tea, coffee and rusks (but no doggy biscuits for me like The Plettenberg Hotel provided when we started our journey – hint, hint).

The Rustic Cottage has a combined bedroom / lounge with a comfortable double bed (no, that’s not where I slept. I have my own blanket on the floor). Not that I used it, but the Fossil said that “the en-suite shower and toilet has a classic rustic farm ambiance while providing all the necessary facilities needed for a comfortable and enjoyable farm-style visit”.

And then there’s the gardens, and paddocks, and a river at the bottom of the farm which can be heard gurgling from the rush of recent rains. When the Fossil interviewed the owner, George Missing, he said that he and his wife Bev had bought the property eighteen years ago, and in all that time the river had never stopped flowing. How’s that for coincidence – both Des and George have wives named Bev (this post is turning out to be a naming story :-).

And here’s another coincidence; remember the picture above that I shared in yesterday’s post? Well, George’s wife Bev owns the Grace + Merci restaurant! So, we started our Swellendam trip almost squatting on their restaurant parking lot and ended up being hosted in their farm cottage at Arumvale!

Just remember to check availability and make a booking before you arrive in Swell-en-damme or you too may end up sleeping in your car like the Fossil and I did when we arrived :-).

That’s all for now Husky lovers. Wanna talk to us? WhatsApp the tall fossil hanging onto my leash. Here’s Des’s number: +27 (0)82 374 7260. We’d love to hear from you!


PS. That extra X on the end of my name is supposed to be a kiss (yeah, I know it’s soppy).

BTW: if you happen to be anywhere along our walking route between Plettenberg Bay and Cape Town during late July to mid-August 2021, look out for us. We’ll be walking along the beach (or not), or on a hiking trail (unlikely), or along the side a main road. Come over to say “Howzit Husky Boy!” (and ” Hello Fossil Man” if you want).

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