For the duration of the adventure race you are based in Prince Albert at the Swartberg Hotel and surrounding luxury Bed and Breakfasts. The picturesque town of Prince Albert is known as the "Jewel of the Great Karoo" and lies at the foot of the iconic Swartberg Pass. There's lots to do and see in the town after you've stretched your legs on the bike in the morning. You can either drive to Prince Albert or fly in to George Airport and transport will be arranged. The daily routine is typically as follows:
Breakfast happens at the hotel in the morning either indoors if it's nippy or out on the front porch in warmer weather. You then saunter down to the MTBAfrica event field to load yourself and your bike on to the bus.
We then whisk out to the middle of nowhere, give you a quick lecture on how to use a GPS navigation device, strap it to your bike and bid you farewell on your adventure race for the day. Your time gets measured on a Strava Segment as you navigate the pre-loaded track back to the beer tent. If racing and Strava is not your thing, relax and enjoy the adventure and the camaraderie.
The routes vary from day to day with differing terrain. You will traverse the iconic Swartberg Pass, ride across the plains of the Great Karoo and experience the farmlands on the southern and northern foothills of the Swartberg Range. It's a real Karoo experience incorporating both the Klein and Groot Karoo.
Water stops are always fully stocked and provided at the halfway mark
The scenery is always spectacular whether you climbing 12% inclines in the mountains or hammering the flats out in the desert.
The days ride ends again at the MTBAfrica Event field in Prince where a choice of craft beers and lunch awaits you.
Afternoons can be spent exploring the town and its attractions like Gay's working dairy or the Art collection at the Seven Arches Gallery, Wine Farms, Olive farms and virgin oil presses or just relax at the numerous antique and coffee shops. A nice afternoon nap is another option.
Evenings are spent socialising and enjoying local cuisine at African Relish, Simply Saffron and other restaurants in the town.
Late night entertainment isn't a big thing in a Karoo town, but there is the wonderfully renovated "Showroom" and art deco theatre which hosts musicians and shows, with the occasional movie as well. You can also venture out of town on a moonless night and do a bit of stargazing. Watching the sunset over the town before dinner from the nearest koppie is always a pleasant outing.