WELCOME TO MOUNTAIN ECO PODS!
We are so happy to have you stay. Please read on for extra information and how to troubleshoot various aspects of your stay like the hot tub and gas geyser / solar system.
WI-FI Password: ecopod12
Devonia (cleaning and amenities): 062 418 7700 or 084 064 7754
Patrick (groundsman and amenities – wood, no power, no water etc.): 083 387 4973
Dora (all house keeping and issues you may have): 072 678 1409
EMERGENCY CONTACT DETAILS
Mike (in case of emergency): 082 376 8826
Villiersdorp Security: 028 840 1711 / 083 269 3660
Villiersdorp Police: 028 840 8000 / 082 444 1834
Fire Station (Worcester): 023 348 9060
Ambulance: 028 840 1159
All emergencies: dial 112 (from a cellphone)
You are currently staying on a working apple and pear farm. The mountain forms part of the farm, and with the majestic views we are so lucky to have, we decided we had to utilise the space somehow. We built the Lake Lodge in 2010 on the edge of the Theewaterskloof Dam which has become so popular with large groups of friends and family for the past decade or so and saw the increasing need for smaller groups wanting to escape from the city for a weekend or midweek stay. After a lot of plotting and planning we partnered with a local company who manufactures eco-friendly units from old shipping containers. Our vision was to build units as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible that look as though they just grew or popped up in their surroundings. We are proud that they are completely off the grid and self-sufficient, while still maintaining a certain level of luxury. We hope you enjoy your stay!
Below picture on the left shows half the Leda Pod being transported to it’s site, and on the right very much still a container being built off site.
WOOD-FIRED HOT TUB – NB TO READ TO MAKE THE PERFECT TUB!
The hot tub is wood-fired. Wood is provided against the edge of the pod towards the Grabouw side. To heat it up, open the lid with the wooden handle and make a fire inside the stainless steel box. Make a relatively large fire to start to ensure the water heats up sufficiently. Once the fire is properly going, close the lid but leave it slightly ajar where the slit is on the top, so that air can draw. Give the water a bit of a stir every 15 minutes or so to ensure the heat is evenly distributed. The water will take about 1 – 1.5 hours to properly heat up. Once it’s close to your desired temperature, make sure the fire isn’t too big otherwise the water becomes too hot. Once the water is hot the fire only requires a piece of wood added every now and then to maintain the temperature. Please take care not to put the stainless steel lid down onto the plastic hot tub or the wooden deck as it gets very hot, and we are concerned about melting the hot tub. Please use the stones on the hot tub or the ground at the back for this. Once you have finished using the tub in the evening we suggest placing the blue cover over the water and it will retain heat quite nicely for the next day.
ELECTRICITY SUPPLY (SOLAR AND BATTERY POWERED)
The eco pod is completely off grid. We don’t draw any electricity from Eskom, which means no load-shedding schedules – yay! This does, however, mean supply can be slightly limited and may cut from time to time. For example if you use your normal hair dryer / hair straightener this will likely drain all or most of the electricity supply and you won’t have any until it can recharge in the sun, which will take a few hours. Please use the small low-watt hair dryer supplied in the bedside drawer. The geyser, oven and hob are all powered by gas.
GEYSER / HOT WATER TROUBLESHOOTING
The geyser is powered by gas. If you have not had power and you are now without hot water, head to the back of the house where you will see a big white box with black hexagonal shapes. This is the geyser which would have been switched off when the power went off. Just touch the black hexagonal shapes and it should switch back on.
Please ensure all fires are completely put out when you go to bed. The wood that clads the pod is fire retardant, but being in the thick of the fynbos puts the pods at risk of fire damage if guests are not careful. Thank you for being vigilant and caring about our little slice of nature.
In the event of a fire inside / at the Pod:
Try to extinguish the fire using the fire extinguisher in the large kitchen cupboard and call for help. Call one of the emergency numbers below, and evacuate the Pod as soon as it is safe to do so.
In the even of a fire outside the Pod:
If there is a fire on the mountain or somewhere nearby which puts you in danger, call the emergency numbers below and evacuate the Pod safely.
BRAAI + FIREPLACE
Please braai in the braai on the verandah, and use the inside fireplace only for fires to warm up the pod and create a cosy atmosphere. You would think it goes without saying, but please don’t braai in the inside fireplace.
If you go out for the day please lock up, it is not necessary to activate the alarm during your stay. The red button on the set of keys and attached to the wall are panic buttons. We have never had any security incidents on the farm but are realistic about living in SA so thought we would provide you with peace of mind. We can hear this alarm from the main house and it also alerts the local security company.
RUNNING/HIKING/WALKING ON THE FARM
You are welcome to cross the main road and go over to the main farm where you can walk/run amongst the orchards. There is also a relatively easy hiking trail if you look out from the deck towards the reservoir to your right. This trail is not challenging and is about 3km long. You are welcome to traverse the mountain further but there are no formal trails.
The Theewaterskloof Dam is available for you to use if you bring your own paddle skis/canoes or motorised boats. You are also welcome to go down for a swim. All motorised boats are to be registered at the Theewaterskloof Sports Club before using them on the dam.
If you would like to eat out there are a few options in the area:
- Stettyn Vineyards – on the other side of Villiersdorp you will find this charming winery. They recently redid their tasting room and now offer delicious cheese and charcuterie boards and fresh oysters to go with their wines. Their menu is attached, we highly recommend it as a nice local outing. Tasting room bookings can be made online https://www.stettyncellar.co.za/contact/
- Kelkiewyn in Villiersdorp has basic lunch options like toasted sandwiches etc. https://www.facebook.com/KelkiewynVilliersdorpOfficial/
- Alwyn Vincent in Villiersdorp is also simple fare and has pizzas you can order. It recently started the occasional sushi night, please call them to enquire. https://alwyn-vincent-bistro.business.site/
- Melting Pot at Oak Valley is excellent for Asian fusion fine dining. Bookings are essential. https://www.themeltingpotcafeteria.com/
- Franschhoek has a large variety of options. For more relaxed dining we recommend Tuk Tuk Microbrewery or Hey Joe, and for fancier fare try Chef’s Warehouse at Maison or Protégé, the latter serves a great breakfast.
- Botriver also has some good options, a favourite being Farro at Gabrielskloof for lunch and/or wine tasting. https://www.farrofoodandwine.com/menu
- Our local Kelkiewyn has a lovely refurbished tasting room where you can taste all Villiersdorp Cellar has to offer.
- Stettyn Wines just past Villiersdorp offers a great tasting and if you have time you can settle into a cheese board too.
- The Elgin and Franschhoek Valleys are abundant in wine tasting options. We recommend Paul Wallace in Elgin (by appointment) and Oak Valley. Haute Cabriere is just a stone’s throw away over the Franschhoek pass.
ELGIN RAILWAY MARKET
The Elgin Railway Market is a must-do if you are wanting to go home via Somerset West. It’s set in a refurbished old apple shed where you can watch the old steam train’s arrival from the deck.
CAPE CANOPY TOUR
Voted one of the top experiences in the world and the second best tourist attraction in Africa, it is a must for the adrenalin seekers and adventurous at heart. Call 021 300 0501 to book as bookings are essential.
When you want to check out on your day of departure, kindly do so before 10h00. If you would like to linger a bit longer, we may be flexible on this depending on guests checking in, so let us know and we can try our best to accommodate you. Please leave the keys in the door and let Camilla or Devonia know you are going. Devonia: 062 418 7700. You can Whatsapp or call.
Thank you so much for booking to stay at Mountain Eco Pods, we hope it will be a relaxing time soaking up the nature around you!