I lose my inspirational mojo terribly quickly. If my surroundings don’t change, if life becomes a bit tedious, if I let my mind wander unsupervised by an adult then I become this mopey mess. Half way through the year, I felt my shoulders slump and my vision become clouded and I knew I needed a break. It hasn’t helped that Mr H and I have had a pretty rough start to the year (deaths, car crashes) so when the chance to escape into heart of nature came knocking, I snapped it up in an instance.
Akasha Mountain Retreat sits amongst the mountains overlooking the Duiwenhoks dam and winding river in the lush area of Heidelberg. About a 3 hour drive from Cape Town, it has one of the greatest expressions of foliage and indigenous plants in the Western Cape and its eco system is magnificent with an over abundance of life. The retreat itself belongs to Chris and his wife Elana and its proximity to nature (and almost to the supernatural) gives Akasha its incomparable edge.
The retreat sleeps 8 – there is a master bedroom with private bathroom complete with shower and a large bath tub, a double room and a room with twin beds, sharing a second bathroom with a walk-in shower. The 4th bedroom is a separate double suite. The decor is influenced by Morocco and was designed by Elana with great attention to detail. The kitchen is a dream with an abundance of cooking implements, beautiful glassware, crockery and tagines and trays for Moroccan-style dishes.
After unpacking, I opened a bottle of wine (obviously), Mr H and I stood on the porch with a glass each and both thought that we’d be happy to stay here forever. As night rolled in, the sky unashamedly revealed her stars and without a street or city light to be seen, they shone in all their glory. There was no hum of traffic, no beeping of taxis or cacophony of human noise.
Heavy clouds and intermittent rain hit the next morning but it didn’t stop us visiting Baleia Bay for some wine tasting, followed by a trip to the local wine shop in Heidelberg (stocking some great names). In the afternoon Chris took us down to the river to see the dam and to show us the boat and canoes that can be used by guests, pity for us the weather didn’t let up. That evening, Chris brought over a plethora of percussion instruments and his guitar and we were treated to a musical evening beside a roaring fire. He even offers lessons, free of charge, to guests and it certainly made up for not getting out on the water.
The following morning I took my yoga mat onto the lawn outside and saluted the shy sun – it really would make an excellent retreat for yogis – no matter the season, the location is perfect, the hues of green shining particularly brightly in the morning mist.
Leaving Akasha behind, we were bid farewell by the wild horses that roam undisturbed on the land and spots of sunlight lit up the dam waters and left flecks of gold upon the gentle waves. It was almost heartbreaking to say goodbye but I have made a promise to my spiritual and mental well-being that I will return.
Why stay here:
To get away from it all and truly relax.
There is no television and whilst you can get reception, you shouldn’t need it. Immerse yourself in the incomparable view, the vivid greenery and the beauty of the winding river.
A fire at night, a glass of wine and a homecooked meal, by your own hands, is all you need. Plus friends and partners.
What to bring:
A camera is an absolute must.
Warm clothes if you plan on going soon.
A car that’s not too low as the road to get there isn’t paved.
For more information or to book your perfect stay, email Chris here
Disclaimer: We were asked to review Akasha and I had a freakin’ awesome time.