We asked the Lawrence family (winners of this month’s Olympus Family Fun photo competition – to tell us about their favourite holiday spot, Tweede Tol Camp and Picnic Site in the Limietberg Nature Reserve.
When did you first go to Tweede Tol?
As an individual I’ve been going there for two weeks every year since 1986. My family would meet the same campers every year, as we all enjoyed camping on our favourite ‘plots’. For the past 17 years I’ve been with Carla-Lee and we’ve enjoyed camping there together, so the campsite holds a lot of memories for us, and we continue to create memories there as a family with our seven-yearold son, Daniel. We love Tweede Tol so much that we sometimes even take a drive there out of season, just to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet that the place offers. What made it even better was that my wife’s family eventually started joining mine on our camping trips to Tweede Tol.
How much fun did you have at the campsite as a kid?
Well, as kids we would explore all the different hiking trails over the course of our two-week holiday, and obviously we’d enjoy swimming in all the rock pools. There are rocks you can swim under, slide off and dive from. Sitting around the campfire telling ghost stories and scaring each other was also always great fun! Oh ja, and we also loved scaring the ladies when they came out the bathroom: we would hang rubber spiders and bats from the branches above the ablution door, and it was great fun hearing them get a skrik! What I also loved was that all the children in the campsite would play games together. Now, as an adult, I enjoy the fact that we get away from technology, from the television, the cellphones, laptops and iPads, and have the chance to all just enjoy the peace and quiet. Tweede Tol offers nature at its best. I now sit around the fire telling my boy what I did at his age, and watching him enjoy himself makes me really happy.
What was the best part about camping at Tweede Tol?
As a kid I never really looked at the facilities and probably took for granted that swimming in the clean river water gave me the opportunity to skip a few showers. Now I look for clean and comfortable facilities in a campsite, and at least Tweede Tol offers the basics of hot-water showers and clean toilets. The lights also stay on till 10 p.m. in the toilets. The campsite never really had ‘features’ back then, but for me the entire place is a feature in itself. I guess the best part of camping at Tweede Tol will always be sitting around the fire and enjoying great company, having a few drinks and meeting other campers who feel the same way about the place. I must admit that since becoming an adult I have taken a great interest in food and cooking, and I really enjoy making the family great meals on camp.
What are the hikes like – and the feeling of elation when you get to the waterfall and swimming pools at the end of a long hike?
The hikes are great because you get to stop at all the different rock pools and the small waterfalls on your way up. The water is always refreshing and, after doing it so many years running, you really know the every twist and turn, and even every sharp rock you’ve stepped on! But the feeling when you get to the waterfall is always the same: you stand there for a few seconds and simply take it all in. What I love about the place is the fact that it’s never full, and your group can always find a rock pool to enjoy on their own. Over the past years the routes of some hiking trails have changed, but they are.