McGregor is a small town in the Western Cape Mountains where the zinging country air belies the relaxed approach to daily life. Just over 150km from Cape Town, there is plenty to do here, as long as you embrace that whatever adventure comes your way, it’s probably going to do so rather slowly.
Don’t be in a hurry in McGregor - instead wake up when you want to, tell the time by the sun, eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty (or just drink) and take some time to chat to some of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet, who happen to call McGregor home.
McGregor seems to attract the kind of inhabitants who tried city living, but eventually moved out here to devote their lives completely to their passion. Whether it is donkeys, art, olives, wine, cheese or simply alternative living, everyone seems to find a place in here.
I only stayed for a weekend, but I could easily have spent a week. My first stop was the Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary on the outskirts of town. Make sure you visit this sanctuary to meet the donkeys and hear their stories. I can attest to a newly developed soft spot for these animals, as well as for the people committed to helping them.
Once you arrive in town, you’ll spy a building called Villagers. In here you will find the Rhebokskraal Farm Stall and Rhebokskraal Olyf Kombuis, together with Annalien’s Art Gallery. Owners the van der Colff family are one of those that left city living to pursue their dream of having their own olive farm. At the Farm Stall you will find olives prepared in what seems like every which way possible. To satisfy your curiosity, you can order a tasting platter and try a variety of different options at once. It’s near impossible to leave without a jar or two in tow.
On the other side of town is Lord’s Wine Estate. Wine tasting at Lords is not even optional – it’s a must do on your trip. Although a relatively small winery, their wines have been recognised internationally and have won several awards. Jakkie, the owner, loves visitors to join him for his daily afternoon drink. Make sure to try the Pinot Noir, my personal favourite, and purchase a bottle or 3 to share the love in the spirit of McGregor when you get back home.
Just after the church (the main landmark for directions) you will uncover a little piece of heaven - Temenos Gardens. Temenos welcomes guests to come and ‘just be’. Listen to your own heart and body and create your own retreat experience. You are welcome to join the meditation and yoga sessions or you can just wonder through the gardens and appreciate nature at its best.
For a beautifully relaxing country experience, head over to McGregor for a short break…and let the country air and pace calm your soul.
The weekend was organised by Mira Weiner of McGregor Country Getaways. She can be contacted on 076 411 9477.