We had arranged to take a road trip into the Little Karoo, via Swellendam and Oudtshoorn with our friends, They then returned to their house & we went to the Botlierskop Private Game Reserve. An incredible drive through landscape neither of us had seen the like of before. We included a trip to Prince Albert over the Swartberg Pass which must be one of the world's great drives.
|The view from the terrace for breakfast, overlooking Gordon's Bay|
|We stayed a night in Swellendam and this Bourganvillia was outside our |
cottage. As it was well into their summer there were not too many flowers
to be seen but this was impressive
|Knowing how he likes hydrants, this one is for Ian Wilson!|
|A very typical gum tree bark.|
|Not a bad backdrop to a house! This is Swellendam. It seems incredible|
how green the mountain tops are in such a hot climate and this was
after an exceptionally dry summer.
|We drove over Tradouw's Pass and went down into the Little Karoo and |
Barrydale. A fascinating, small town on route 62 which I do not think has
changed in decades.
|On the outskirts of Barrydale, on the main route 62 road is the charmingly|
named cafe "Diesel & Creme". A converted garage it oozes character
and offers customers some very innovative and tasty fruit cocktails
|A fascinating wine producer, specialising in sweet wines, also had a small shop selling local foods - a magnet for Kate & Gill.|
|You cannot go all this way and not try the wines!|
|The Swartberg Pass is an impressive drive, 27km in all, unmade, very poor|
condition in places, steep inclines but sensational views and scenery,
especially on the north side.
|The view looking south from near the summit (there is nowhere to stop |
at the highest point). Just two more mountain ranges stretching into the
|A view looking back showing the road coming up the mountain.|
|Some of the rocks on the north side are very impressive and have the richest|
terracotta colour I have ever seen. This doesn't show the size very well.
|Looking down at the road we will take. To give an idea of the scale, if you look |
carefully you can just see a car on the track above the boulder towards the
left of the image.
|This view gives some idea of the landscape in the more cultivated parts of |
the Little Karoo - scrubland, although there are olive trees here. 40 deg C
when this was taken.
|We did a loop over the pass to Prince Albert and then back on an ordinary |
road and even here the scenery was spectacular. The main roads are
good with little traffic. Driving is a pleasure.