This last weekend was awesome!! My dad started the planning of this trip more than 6 months ago.  The idea was to have a surprise weekend away for my mom’s 60th birthday.

It’s her birthday on the 7th, and because I have a wedding this coming weekend, this weekend away was organised before her birthday, so that we could be there too 🙂

This trip involved many many secret phone calls, emails and coffee meetings between various family members just so that we could all surprise my mom.  She knew she was going away with my dad to the Cavern… what she didn’t know was all her children and grandchildren would be there too, as well as her brother!

It was awesome! My dad chose the perfect spot.  The Cavern was just perfect for our extended family… it catered properly for the kids and was comfortable, had the most incredible food and service… and the hikes around the hotel were just beautiful (and somewhat challenging but doable for the kids)

The only thing I can really moan about, were our beds… they were hard and squeaky so even though the kids were in a separate adjoining room to us, we heard every movement everyone made…. which didn’t make for restful sleeps.  But other than that, I cannot fault the hotel.  Our family suite was ok, it was close to the kids diningroom, and we did feel they needed to be refreshed somewhat… especially after seeing my parent’s gorgeous room on the other side of the hotel.

I was most impressed with the place, especially after hearing how they do all their own sewage and water filtering as well as a lot of the veggie growing for the menus.  It’s a most impressive operation actually.

Anyway, on to what we got up to… we swam a lot.  We hiked a lot.  We ate a lot.  We chatted a lot.  We drank copious amounts of mojitos… which were just yummy and so not expensive! … and now for some photos 😉

These birds were hanging around the tables under the trees, and waited for titbits.

The kids absolutely LOVED this slide going into the swimming pool, and spent hours going down it.  I also went down it a few times… great fun 🙂

Bradley read every sign we walked past on the hikes, and would read loudly so that the whole family could hear.

On Saturday we tried to find Lone Rock, which apparently has some bushman paintings on it…  well… we gave up after hiking for 4 hours and going up 3 hill/mountains! I was shattered by the time we got down, and so very proud of the boys… they went across rivers, through forests and climbed steep mountain slopes! The little kids, Connor and Erin, went back to the hotel before we climbed the really steep parts… but my word, I was still impressed that they got as far as they did….

Then on Sunday morning we drove to Mont Aux Sources to see the mountains there… because we had the little kids with us we didn’t go into the Royal National Park though because we knew we weren’t going to do any hikes. So we just took photos there, before making our way to a local craft market to buy some goodies.

Love this because it reminds you how close the hotel is to Lesotho.

Loved the basket work in the shop, and this table would be just perfect in my house! I bought an umbrella stand and 2 walking sticks for the boys

Then after lunch and a swim and a spa treatment (my mom and I had the most amazing hot stone massage) and a nap… we did another hike.  This time we walked to the Grotto and the kids got to walk behind a waterfall before climbing another mountain 🙂

The view across the valley… the thatch roof you can see is part of the hotel…

It was SUCH an amazing weekend!  I recommend the Cavern hotel to any family wanting a trip to the Drakensberg!

PS. I’ve included my daily photos in this post, because I’m too lazy to do more 😉  and if you’re wanting more… I’ve put more of my favourite photos on my photography blog.