The Bend

The Bend

Sharon, Emma and I were lucky enough to get invited to a friend’s house at The Bend, an offer we happily accepted. Sadly the trip got off to a rocky start when a few last minute issues arose in the office and I only managed to sneak out at around 6:30pm. Thankfully Sharon and Emma were packed and ready to go when I pulled into the driveway. We weren’t in the clear though as a massive storm was passing overhead and we were therefore forced to make the 150km trip more slowly than I’d have liked.

Our planned take-away dinner stop was therefore quickly replaced with a garage pie in an effort to save time. This proved to be somewhat of a mistake as I was unable to eat it while driving, and it was quickly forgotten under my front seat.

We finally arrived at The Bend just after 8pm. Emma had fallen asleep an hour earlier but the excitement of meeting her new friend, Isabel, meant that she was soon wide awake. Dave and Bridget had just lit the braai and I was lucky enough to sneak a few rashers off their plates to fill the gap left by the uneaten pie. The rest of the evening was spent catching up on the lost years since our school days, and trying a few of Dave’s home brews, including a fantastic Porter.

The next morning we were all up by 6am, having kids and all. It was still overcast and chilly, but that wasn’t going to keep us in the house. We enjoyed coffee, rusks and hot cross buns for breakfast before heading out to one of the dams on the property. As is apparently tradition, we forgot the milk for the picnic which meant that Dave had to head back to the house. I meanwhile took the girls for a walk around the dam while the mom’s laid out our picnic.

View from the Haynes' at The Bend
View from the Haynes’ at The Bend

Dave arrived back just as the girls and I pottered back from our walk, bugs in hand for show and tell. We relaxed at the dam for a few hours, picking flowers and enjoying the fresh air, before heading back to the house.

Back in the comfort of the house Dave and I pulled out his quad copter and took some aerial footage of the Bend. Despite our best efforts we couldn’t quite figure out the auto pilot (using GPS), but got some great footage none the less.

The afternoon weather was less than ideal so Dave took the opportunity to show me around the property while the girls napped. We drove past the various dams, some of which were spectacular, before heading for the inlet to Spring Grove Dam. It’s filling at an amazing rate and the inlet certainly looked like a promising venue for large brown trout. Sadly Dave was out of action due to a biking accident so the fishing had to wait for a future trip.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent playing with the girls and enjoying a few more of Dave’s home brews. We also set up the Christmas tree in anticipation of the approaching festive season and Dave’s annual family holiday.

Emma and Sharon paddling in one of the dams
Emma and Sharon paddling in one of the dams

The next morning Dave and Bridgett prepared a fantastic breakfast of crumpets, bacon, Mascarpone cheese and a tomatoes. It was truly amazing! With the sun shining we then headed back to the dam in the hope of getting in a swim. We packed the Crocs onto the roof of the Gator and headed out.

Again we enjoyed a hot brew which adequately prepared us for the swim ahead. Isy and her mom seemed immune to the nip in the air and were in the water in no time at all, jumping off the pier. Emma and I meanwhile went for a paddle around the dam before braving the cold water with the other girls.

And sadly that was the end of a great weekend. Emma fell fast asleep while we packed up, and we she eventually rose at close to lunch time we clambered into the car and headed home. I’m not sure what the hotel is like, but The Bend is definitely worth a visit.