Dear friends and other interesting creatures,
“This town of churches and dreams; this town I thought I would lose myself in, with its backward ways and winding roads leading to nowhere; but, I found myself instead. – Magic in the Backyard (excerpt from American Honey)”
― Kellie Elmore
Have you ever read a book so enchanting that you didn’t want it to end? Or perhaps you had a love affair that you knew in your heart would end, with unlimited lingering, sentimental memories, but in the end you would have to part?
It is that feeling of wanting to keep what is sacred to you, so close to your heart, that you don’t want to share. While I knew the love and longing would always stay, I simply did not want to share the beautiful, simplistic secret that is McGregor. Not yet. I want to keep my gift wrapped!
You see, it caught me unaware. I didn’t expect to fall in love. Notebook and pen in hand I arrived. Very city girl with purple hair and big rimmed glasses. Ready to write down the facts of what was to be a review of accommodation, attractions and restaurants.
Instead I felt pieces of my soul being torn from inside me as I met the people of McGregor, saw the unique Cape style, white washed homes with green tin roofs. I listened to the accents and stories of those within whom I saw McGregor had grown too. Some like bark from an old tree, some excited as spring time blossoms… and some that only knew this one place, McGregor and had no yearning for another.
What I can tell you is… I may arrive Social Media Diva and Blogger like with a cheeky “So? Show me what you got?“, with McGregor giggling “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” already knowing I will leave changed, forever.
I invite you to travel with me over the next couple of weeks as I stumble over the pieces of my soul that has sprouted seedlings and is ready to grow, as I share them with you.
I stayed in various cottages, ate at numerous restaurants, a river boat ride, endless laughter, many a wine to tasting and jokes to share with fine dining and laughter.
My first overnight stay was at the rustic “Ons Huisie”. Set on the edge of town with a view of fields, and Badge mountain (I’m from Jozi, anything that isn’t flat is either a mine dump or a mountain – I don’t even know how to describe a hill!) and the odd cow. I immediately felt in love with it. I found the cottage unpretentious with gorgeous purple flowers arranged on the dining room table situated in the pine kitchen with traditional read ceilings.
The kitchen was very well equipped and I was impressed to find proper, high quality plunge coffee and rusks. Yes, I checked that there were books in the cottage as I do judge a house by the books it keeps. Very happy to report there are current best sellers on the shelves and not books written just as paper was invented!
The back yard is a wonder all to itself, especially for little people to explore with parents overlooking the large porch and braai area. It is all so very pretty, in excellent condition and clearly loved. You will find that Mira, the best representative the area of McGregor and surrounds could ask is exceptional with a wealth of information, helpful and truly, she will do anything to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
The cottage itself caters for four people, but I wouldn’t go bigger than two adults and two pre-teens as the stairs going upstairs are a bit steep and the toilet is downstairs. That said, I know my kids would love the adventure of sleeping in a loft type arrangement. Very cosy and comfortably set out with two single beds, a chest of drawers and with a view of Badge Mountain. Can you hear the whispers and laughter late at night when the kids are supposed to be asleep?
What struck me as so peaceful is the light fabrics used to let light into the cottage, while it works just as well at night when you draw it closed. It was winter so I spoiled myself with a hot water bottle as there was no electric blanket in the cottage, it just felt …. right! I cannot stress the peaceful feeling I experienced in this cottage enough. I loved it!
The main bedroom has a shower very conveniently with the most gorgeous soap! I don’t know where the soap comes from but it is absolutely luxurious. Ample towels are supplied with heaters in both the main bedroom and the lounge.
Over the next few weeks I will share more about fine dining in the heart of town, wine, chocolates, blue skies and the delights to be found in and around McGregor. I purposefully am not posting all at once as I believe the charm and excitement I feel will be lost… so stay with me. This is not a destination, it is a journey!
I wish you a traffic jam that includes a stop street, a single car and a very determined cow!