Long weekends with the family and the in-laws can actually be fun: choose your destination so that everyone can do what they love or call their hobby. In our case grandpa wants to read a book and not see anyone else (my kid also calls him “grump pa”), my wife wants to relax and sit on the stoep and the kids want to catch frogs and feed Springbok. 45 minutes of gravel road from Touwsrivier is the wonderful farm called Slanghoek Karoo Mountain Retreat, in between mountain ranges, and far away from luxuries like cell phone reception or electricity.
Your water comes from boreholes (and landed me a colitis), solar panels power your lights and forget about calling the office. But both bedrooms are en-suite and gas geysers guarantee warm inside or outside showers. Best of all – there is a vast network of farm jeep track – and ideal for an hour a two of seriously fast gravel road riding, plus some porterage over rocky hills, some dry river bed crossings and some sandy sections.
I found it ideal for quick intense training rides without hours in the saddle – and all in springbok covered mountain landscapes. What was also great, that the road network is perfect to learn to ride – my wife enjoyed the easy yet breathtakingly beautiful riding and my little brother in law finally managed to ride a bicycle himself. If your are looking for a mountain retreat for the whole family, Slanghoek Retreat is a great option which is less than 3 hours out of Cape Town.