I have a very special spot in my heart for the Gamtoos Valley west of Port Elizabeth, having visited there quite often while I was working as a tourist guide. Since then we try to get out there every now and then for things like the Gamtoos Citrus Festival, Patensie Boere Basaar and the Gamtoos Adventure Drive and then usually stay in the Patensie area. A little while ago Carol Pearson of The Milkhouse Farmstyle Bar dropped me a line and invited me to bring the family to stay at their self catering farmhouse for a weekend and explore the Hankey area for a change. Although you drive through Hankey to get to Patensie I've never explored the area further than the one or two main historic sights around town so jumped at the opportunity.
We made a conscious decision long ago to give the KidZ opportunities to explore and experience places and things that most people probably never do or show their children and that is why I would never say no to an opportunity like this. The Milkhouse is situated on a farm and is surrounded by citrus orchards. The accommodation is a 4 bedroom farmhouse that can probably sleep about 10 people and can be booked for individuals or as a whole. The Milkhouse Farmstyle Bar is situated right next to it and is open to private functions, special events and guest house patrons. We had dinner there the first evening and the home made burgers and hand cut fries were out of this world. I will do a more detailed post with more photos of the Milkhouse soon.
Our weekend in Hankey was mostly spent being lazy but not without exploring the area thoroughly. Climbing to the top of the berg window at Vensterhoek was definitively the highlight with the stunning view to both sides of the mountain making up for the effort to get there. Visits were also made to the biggest sundial in Africa, Saartjie Baartman's grave and the historic Phillips Tunnel. The KidZ also loved watching the local farm workers fish in the river with nets and Drama Princess even jumped in to help throw back the little fish that got caught in the net. Our time in Hankey made me realise once again that one often overlooks little places like this and bypass it on the way to more glamorous and well know destinations. Is there a lesson to be learned? Look at the destinations in your own back yard first. Its here where you will find the perfect weekend getaway that won't cost you a fortune in fuel and other expenses.
Disclosure: The accommodation and one dinner was courtesy of The Milkhouse Farmstyle Bar
with the remaining expenses on our Sho't Left weekend being at our own cost