Time for a last visit to the beach to say good morning to the sun as it makes an appearance over the Indian Ocean…and a sad farewell at the same time as we are about to begin the last part of my birthday road trip and head home to Johannesburg. A poignant moment for many reasons. Our first leg of the trip was an 8-hour drive and I really did not feel like doing that again, so we looked for somewhere to break the return leg. Piet Retief or Pongola were the options and we chose the latter.
This was where we decided to overnight. The Dive Inn Guest House, just off the main road as you enter Pongola. From the road, the high perimeter wall and the imposing security gate give prospective guests an inkling of what lies in store for them. When the gate slid open…SURPRISE…this is what awaited us.
An intimate reception area is situated between the dining room and an indoor seating area. Tjis was a warm and welcoming space where we were greeted like long lost friends, rather than like the first-time visitors that we actually were.
Most of the indoor areas were not being used to their full capacity due to the COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, but as you can see, it is an area that invites interaction between guests who are either arriving or departing.
Sunlight through the lush foliage in the back garden…
It was June, so still too cold to try out the pool…
Our room is the one with the open door. And what a delight it turned out to be.
And last, but by NO means least, we found THIS gem, the Dive Inn, in Pongola in order to break our trip home. And what a find it was. Hidden behind a huge grey wall and gate and thus not visible from the road, the welcome that we received from the manager was made us feel that we were returning guests (or even family). A very comfortable bed and a shower with the BEST water pressure of the trip and water that was instantaneously hot were just some of the highlights of our one night stay here.
The unit that we stayed in had a fridge as well as a microwave, not that we needed the latter. Gerdiri, the manager also gave me access to some of the breakfast spreads (marmite and peanut butter) so that I did not have to have plain rolls for supper. Although breakfast is included in the most reasonable room rate, dinner needs to be booked in advance. Gerdiri will cook for guests if given notice, as we discovered when we arrived late in the afternoon. Too late for us to request an evening meal, however, there are fast food outlets just a couple of km down the road in the centre of Pongola.
When last did you find an oversize chess set in the garden of a guest house?
The pool and outdoor entertainment area at night…
Lit is a multitude of colours, the reception area is most welcoming in the evening. The lighting changes the ambience totally, turning it from grey to great!
The huge established palm trees in the front garden gave us the impression of being at a beach resort rather than off the main road in small-town South Africa.
The fountain lights were still on when we awoke in the morning, giving this dolphin a rather surreal colour.
Dive Inn does serve breakfast, and we enjoyed that before packing up for the final leg of my birthday road trip back to Johannesburg.
Breakfast of champions? What better way to start the day than with a healthy continental breakfast. Although breakfast is included in the most reasonable room rate, dinner needs to be booked in advance. Manager Gerdiri will cook for guests if given notice, as we discovered when we arrived late in the afternoon. Too late for us to request an evening meal, however, there are fast food outlets just a couple of km down the road in the centre of Pongola.
Even royalty has stayed here.
To find out more about what they have to offer, click on their logo above.
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