A hot little spot in the Karoo
22 Feb 2013 00:00 | Chris Du Plessis
Of course it had to come — so to speak — a counterpart to Ronnies Sex Shop: a complementary Klein Karoo pit stop to balance the opposing universal forces on the South African roadside landscape.
Enter Angie’s G-Spot.
“Hot Beer, Bad Food, Bad Service, Kak Accommodation” reads the disclaimer doubling as a welcome sign to the establishment. But the owners are failing miserably at trying to live up to this claim. As you step over the threshold, a beaming proprietor hands you an ice-cold beer. And people walk, drive and pedal many miles for Angie’s impromptu, gut-busting dishes.
The establishment also delivers even less on its promise of carnal pleasures than its older brother near Barrydale. But satisfying advanced states of satyriasis is not the primary objective here. The main aim is to achieve absolutely nothing. And Angie and her partner Harold take getting their guests to do as much of that as possible very seriously.
Entering from Knysna, the R339 reels, rattles and rolls along the Prince Alfred Pass through dense indigenous forest before opening up to gobsmacking vistas of the Tsitsikamma foothills and the towering range beyond. About two-thirds of the way through the pass, you ease into the sleepy enclave of De Vlugt. Apart from popping into the tearoom to buy some home-made jams and sip a cuppa, the only other logical thing to do is turn off for a beer or eight at the above-mentioned sign.
Do not, if you are a ZZ Top fan, burst into tears because one half of the group has met its untimely demise. The grinning, shirtless figure of Harold Beaumont behind the bar with his Tolkienesque beard tickling his bellybutton, Outback headgear and fading tattoos, is just another South African in search of serenity.
After a search that took Harold and Angie across South Africa’s entire surface, they found it here on the banks of the Keurbooms River, promptly parked their bus and started building on to it using raw materials from the immediate environment.
An eclectic array
The result is a makeshift wasp nest of metal, wood and stone complete with spacious en-suite bedroom, study and enclosed porch. Step out and you’re on the beach beside the natural jacuzzi created by a confluent of rounded rocks and riverine reeds, where semi-submerged patrons can often be seen floating about with beers held aloft.
A few paces past the open lapa and you’re in the bar — an intimate little cavern complete with kudu-, python- and bush-pig skins, an array of obligatory untoward slogans, an antique ring till, and a Captain and Coke-wielding Harold as part of the furniture.
There you can kick back with an eclectic array of anyone, from rosy-cheeked cyclists ordering double waters, weathered old bikers brimming with riveting tales, local farmers arguing about the weather and the odd stray kugel and her RayBanned boyfriend who have sunk too deep into their seats for the next leg of the trip back to Jo’burg.
For them, an obvious solution is to book into one of the tented camping spots or the raised wooden bungalows lining the western end of the site, while Angie, the deftest of bush-chefs you may hope to find this side of the Ostrich Curtain, decides what dish she will whip up that night. She’ll prepare cure-all omelettes the next morning for you too.
If you have the energy, you can drive or saunter a few kilometres up the pass, past Sir Thomas Bains’s house in the village and the needle-like rock formation named after him up the hill — all the way to a waterfall with wallow-ready rock pools —before you head back for a lunch of who-knows-what-but-it’s-sure-to-be-lekker at base camp.
Drive past this precious getaway at your peril the next time you negotiate the Prince Alfred Pass.
Why you should go: Great long weekend getaway for friends or families to celebrate an occasion, or for couples who want to get away from it all.
Accessibility: One hour (60km) from Knysna on a winding dirt road, now known as the R339, built by Italian convicts. Or turn off on to the R339 at Uniondale (30km) to avoid the detour via George to Knysna. There’s also a turn-off to Plettenberg Bay on this road. Not recommended for normal sedan vehicles after heavy rain.
Cost: R300 a night for double-room bungalows. R450 for a family bungalow (four persons). R450 a night for a riverside on-deck tent (sleeps two) and R100 a person for a camp site.
Contact: Angie or Harold on 044 752 3017 or [email protected]worldonline.co.za.
View the original online publication here