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McGregor Tourism / About us  / McGregor Tourism Newsletter May 2019

McGregor Tourism Newsletter May 2019

“Summer Holiday”  

We’re all going on a summer holiday
No more working for a week or two
Fun and laughter on our summer holiday
No more worries for me or you
For a week or two

We’re going where the sun shines brightly
We’re going where the sea is blue
We’ve seen it in the movies
Now let’s see if it’s true

Everybody has a summer holiday
Doing things they always wanted to
So we’re going on a summer holiday
To make our dreams come true
For me and you

We’re going where the sun shines brightly
We’re going where the sea is blue
We’ve seen it in the movies
Now let’s see if it’s true

Everybody has a summer holiday
Doing things they always wanted to
So we’re going on a summer holiday
To make our dreams come true
For me and you

Mmm, mmm
Mmm, mmm
Mmm, mmm………

Time for a summer holiday? Well, not really autumn yes, summer no – but time for a holiday in McGregor? Absolutely! McGregor is the place where dreams do come true whether the sun is shining brightly or not.

This is the time of year when you drive along the road from Robertson to McGregor that you notice that there are no piles of grape skins outside McGregor Winery, so you know for sure that the grape harvest is tanked and barreled for this season. Regular visitors will notice that the McGregor crest on the mountain has been newly painted. It looks great. The re-painting was a project initiated and undertaken by the McGregor Young Warrior kids & Johnson/Menzies build team lead by Akkie. This is an achievement that our village is proud of.

 

“So what is so different about McGregor?” is the often asked question. It is a difficult one to answer because it seems to be more about the feeling of McGregor. Some poeple ‘get it’ and others ‘simply don’t’ and that’s ok.

Click here to watch a short video of life in McGregor – to view this please use the password mcgregor

If you are looking for a village that has tarred roads, robots, ATM’s, banks, franchise businesses and streets lined with restaurants, coffee shops, internet cafes and bars……then you should do a quick U-turn and get out as quickly as possible!

If you are looking for a place that is on a road-to-nowhere and is unpredictable and unique, then come along in! There is nothing ‘for sure’ about what you will experience in McGregor. You may arrive on a night when there are no restaurants open for dinner and the option will be to have a delicious burger from Stan and Janice’s Monster Munch Fire-engine Food Truck; or a night chilling out with the locals at Bemind Wines enjoying a glass or two of Ilse’s chilled white and eating a finger-licking-curried-mince Vetkoek lovingly prepared by Jackie and Bruciel (their after-hours job that helps to pay their children’s school fees, so this is a feel-good experience in more ways than one!). If you have pre-planned your visit, you may be one of the lucky ones to get a booking with Fiona and Tom’s Sunday Night Supper @ The Sandbag House or with Philip and Gerard for supper on a Monday night @ 51. If you are in McGregor anytime from Wednesday to Saturday, then you have additional dinner options: enjoy the unique setting and full a la carte menu provided by Billy, Michael and the team at Tebaldi’s Restaurant or make your way to The Farmer’s Table where Tess and Ronel have prepared special ‘this weekend only’ dishes for you. If relaxed music-food-and-wine ticks your box then head for “at the courtyard” where Meg and Steve have just that! Different artists every Saturday and Open-mic sessions every Friday and Fun Sundays on…..Sunday! This part of Voortrekker Street has a cluster of eating / drinking venues so do pop in to Grape De-vine where Susan has a great range of wines etc to choose from. Open-Kitchen is across the road, so check out their chalk board for times and menu. Feel in the mood for a coffee and cake and some retail therapy? Barbara at How Bazaar has all that and more! Anyone for ice-cream? Catey at McGregor Ice has her ice-cream scoop and cone ready and waiting and if you don’t mind a drive up the mountain roads, Lord’s Guest Lodge is an option for meals and Lord’s Winery for wine tasting and cheese platters etc.

 

Did you say there are no ATM’s? Seriously? Well, actually there is one but if the shop is closed or it runs out of cash, then you are in a tight spot cash-wise. So my Mr MacGee tip is: bring cash with you as many businesses (and definitely the Saturday morning market folk) do not have credit card facilities. (Psssssssst another tip to whisper in your ear is to bring mosquito repellant in summer! We have lots of those little critters zzzzing around!) The Saturday Morning Market……starts around 9am and lasts about an hour, depending on this and that! This is where you will see the locals ‘checking in’ with one another and embracing the visitors like long lost friends! Once you enter McGregor, you are part of McGregor! Don’t forget your basket to carry your purchases home. What can you buy at the market? Well, that really depends on the day and the season, so you have to take your chances and see for yourself.

McGregor appears to be a quiet little village with not much happening but nothing could be further from the truth. Make your way to the Tourism Office to have a chat with Shirley, Rhowena or Mario and pick up a calender of events and help yourself to the brochures and pamphlets that interest you. The Tourism Office is the place to visit the small museum; get your hiking permit for the Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail; download the App for the Walking Tour; hire a bicycle for the day; book a bicycle tour of the village and buy some local goodies…..and check your Whatsapp as by now you will have dicovered that the cell reception is very iffy! So iffy in fact that if you see someone talking on their phone in the middle of the street, please drive around them! Don’t mess with their connection wink wink!

McGregor is a small, quaint, peaceful village but sometimes the heartbeat is loud and tangible! Residents of the recently completed low-cost housing development take every opportunity to celebrate life in their new homes and these sounds often ripple over the whole village. If you happen to visit McGregor when a funeral  is taking place then you will be sure to hear the beautiful sounds of the Unistars McGregor Brass Band leading the funeral procession from the home of the bereaved to the church and then to the graveyard. The church bells ring on the hour or more or less and sometimes more and sometimes less, but hey! this is McGregor time, so chill with us and go with the flow.

We believe that the small ‘c’ in McGregor stands for ‘community’ and McGregor Tourism proudly and actively supports the local community projects. We are in the process of loading information about our local comunity projects with the international “Pack for a Purpose” Project. Please click on the link to read all about the various projects and to see how you can be involved and support these wonderful initiatives: The First Step Ballet, McGregor; The Byekorf Creche; The McGregor Arts Community Project; The Mothertongue Project; McGregor Young Warriors and Angel Mountain Biking Academy; and The Breede Centre Trust.

Max Menzies has sent this report about the Bike Project:

in the last 9 months we have dropped approximately 400 plus bikes from Bicycling Empowerment Network/Pedal Power Association, evenly split between children’s BMX and adult Utility bikes – a great collaboration between the folk of the village, Tourism, Breede Centre & MYW’s. The next bike drop will take place around 20 May & it is a new BMX bike type (for the 6 to 10 year olds) I have had imported from China and branded into our McGregor Young Warriors colours of yellow and black through Raleigh SA. The cost of these 200 Raleigh bikes, delivered to McGregor in boxes still to be built up by our MYW ride team is R185 000. R80 000 was recouped by the new bike owners who paid R400 per recipient. Included in that R80 000 is about 20 bikes where village residents have sponsored some of the more needy children – Les & Nancy, Mary, Isabelle, Meg, Gerard, etc. Over and above this one resident donated R10 000, taking it up to R90 000 and the balance of approximately R95 000 was met by myself. I am busy trying to secure 200 helmets donated in time for the handover taking place at the McGregor municipality hall. The bike rental offering has been a huge success with approximately 40 bookings per month for the March & April period – all been managed by Mandall with 40% of the proceeds going towards his studies, 40% to PPA and Tourism the remaining 20%. Plus the bikes look fantastic all lined up outside the Tourism office building. The village tour by bike & mountain guided tours will start from June. Mandall with the MYW team also oversee the maintenance of all the village bikes. Cycling truly changes and improves lives.”

The last bike handover was the 12th of April. The Cape Winelands District Municipality donated 20 bikes to our little village. Click here to view a video of the day.

Some other links / contact details that may be of use to folk who like to plan ahead:

Where to stay – accommodation options

Wahnfried programme of films and live cultural events

Temenos Retreat – for retreats, workshops etc

McGregor Wine Meander – for information of wineries in and around the village

Arts and Crafts – art galleries, pottery studios and so much more

Mind and Body – yoga, massages, Qi-gong, retreats, hiking clubs, walking

Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve for walks, bird hides (wheelchair friendly boardwalk), braille trail

at the courtyard musical events

Eseltjiesrus Donkey Sanctuary Book Fair (17 to 19 May 2019)

Poetry in McGregor Festival Weekend (23 to 25 August 2019)

McGregor Magic Open Gardens Festival Weekend (21 to 23 September 2019)

Millstone Pottery  high-temperature wood-firing jamboree (18 to 20 October 2019)

Please keep an eye on our McGregor Tourism Facebook page and the other one that we highly recommend is the We Love McGregor Facebook page.

So, in a nutshell folks, if you REALLY want to know what McGregor is and what it offers, you simply have to come and experience it for yourself!

We are looking forward to seeing you in our village soon.

Cheers for now,

Mr MacGee

Video credits: Ashley Dowds. Thank you Ashley!

 

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