We invited Jason McCall and his partner Kate to experience Midlands Saddle and Trout, and give us feedback on their stay.
After a few weeks of seriously stressful radio work * Note : Stressful doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it * – (it just means after getting one more message from Tannie Sharleze from ooomhlanga about the bladdy drivers on the road I’m gonna lose it because I am not agony Aunt McCall call me with your life dramas ) – anyway after all that it was with a sigh of relief that Kate and I got to kick it to Midlands Saddle and Trout – And yes despite it saying trout – I was after the bass – so we packed three rods ( you cannot be too careful) – and headed into the Midlands – for a weekend of R and R. Note: * R and R is rod and reeling – I fully intended on breaking my fishless streak which has left many, including myself – wondering about my ability to land anything but the elusive reedfish . ( not an actual fish so don’t tell me reedfish don’t exist blah blah etc etc )
We arrived on a chilly night and as one does – there were giggles and girly shrieks of joy as we explored our HUGE chalet – the shrieks were from me by the way – I am unashamed to say. Security literally knocked on the door and I had to explain that there were no kids in pain, in fact, I had to explain that we didn’t have any kids. ( Not yet, I am not ready to be a dad okay! Sheesh)
The chalet we stayed at happened to be bigger than the actual house I stay in – with a Jacuzzi slap bang in the middle of a bathroom which could accommodate a good 5 horses. Not that one should ever put a horse in a bathroom – it was just a debate we had. I feel like horses are a great indicator of room size. Trust me on this, please.
After a night of braai-ing under a perfect starry South African night ( shock horror gasp, what a terribly un South African thing to do) – we called it for an early morning of fishing … surely I had to break that crappy streak of 0 fish in a year…
Side note: we did stay up to watch ( on the DSTV in the chalet mind you, the terribly bad movie Disgrace – a movie adaptation of JM Coetzee’s book ( which I studied many years ago) – Can someone please tell John Malkovich to never ever do that again. It was awful.
Fast forward to the next morning:
Lo and behold a 5am wake-up – a cup of fresh coffee and we meandered down to the bass dams on the property – amazing crystal clear and still as a sleeping horse in a bathroom ( okay okay enough with the horse bathroom references – but they could sleep in there peacefully, just saying). No sooner had I had my first cast and I was ON DAD – taking in a good 5 fish over the course of the day. Kate – now wanting to be outdone also hooked up – albeit with a few more missed fishes thanks to some horrific rod set ups thanks to me ( no talk of sabotage please)
Oh, I almost forgot – so one of the unspoken about but SERIOUSLY impressive things to do at Midlands Saddle and Trout is birding. We saw dozens of species of birds and Kate had a massive bird of prey land on a dead tree behind her. Not some Yellow bill kite either – this thing was HUGE. Like hand-over-your-fish- or- I’m–taking-you-back-to-my-nest kinda huge. AMAZING.
Time seemed to be the only enemy for us – as we spent the day interacting with the many horses ( well obviously there are horses – look at the name of the damn place, gosh) <- —-again this was a debate that rocked up after comments such as “oh wow look at all the horses they have” made their way into the day…
Now, if you know me – you will know that horses and I are not the biggest of friends – something about them not liking mice and other small things – and me not trusting anything that has a skull bigger than my torso – but that’s a conversation for another day – what was hilarious was the fact that this weekend was a weekend full of learning, learning how to avoid the reeds, how to braai 4 tonnes of meat in record time AND learning that I am allergic to horses. But of course – Jason doesn’t get the usual break out – oh no – after a brief interaction ( which I really liked ) with one of the most awesome horses I ever did see – I broke out in this hives / punched face hybrid type reaction – not ideal. Of course – the laughing from my other half didn’t stop – I swore that she actually had dreams about it too – I could hear the laughter in her sleep!
To make matters worse – we had the MOST AWESOME massage booked ( yep- they have messages there too) – which followed our round of adventure golf. A note to adventure golf designers – ITS OKAY to have more than a par 3 hole on your course – let me tell you – if you want a challenging putt course – go and try break even at Midlands Saddle and trout – you won’t. There are waterfalls. Water hazards. It’s awesome.
Kate and I had the most incredible couples massage – which by the way I have always felt a bit edgy about – not because it’s awkward – but because I tend to fall asleep mid massage and three people then witness me snoring, drooling and occasionally talking in my sleep – never a good thing to experience. Nobody needs that. Not this time – the ladies at La Vita Spa were awesome and gave me one of the best massages to date!
We then spent the night at the restaurant and entertainment area – watching a huge bonfire attract the many guests with its flames and warmth. Shout out to the waitron who brought marshmallows you are the real MVP .
And to the DJ – mixes were fantastic – on a completely unrelated note – can you imagine how awesome it must be to be MC Hammer. EVERYONE dances and knows the lyrics to CAN’T TOUCH THIS. You cannot buy that kind of fame.
It’s been one hell of an adventure – A big shout out to the team from FLEXI CLUB for the amazing chalet – to First Group – you guys run a tight ship and have the most amazing hospitality and of course to Midlands Saddle and Trout – I cannot wait to come back again.
Oh yes! one more thing – if you are like me – and you WILL NEVER EVER be able to catch a trout – because your skills are KAK – at the reception entrance – there is a small pond – in it are four trout – go there and take a selfie like right up close to the water. I mean, you could do that. People will totally believe that you are a trout whisperer.
If you are ever in need of a real getaway that offers everything from golf, ( next time I take on the mashie course) – to fishing to massages to the most amazing meals – give Midlands Saddle and trout a buzz – trust me on this –you won’t regret it.
Unless you are allergic to horses. Then maybe just don’t go near them or you will end up with pictures like this. Still, a fish is a fish!
All details and everything you need to know is here: http://www.midlandssaddle.co.za