Today we did a "circuit" from Oudtshoorn, driving over the spectacular Swartberg Pass then back via the Meiringspoort Pass. The Swartberg Pass was completed in 1888 by Sir Thomas Bain. It is still a dirt road. Our little hire car was in first gear for half of the ascent and the brakes were a bit weary at the bottom!
|Approaching the pass|
As we ascended the southern side of the pass we were enveloped in cloud. Visibility gradually reduced to about 50m in foggy "mizzle".
|In the fog on top|
When we drove over the top of the pass we descended out of the cloud very quickly - the cloud base on the leeward side was far higher than on the windward side. The scenery which emerged was spectacular.
Once over the high pass there's still work to do. The road descends dramatically into a deep gorge and runs alongside the river to exit the Swartbergs.
|View from inside the gorge|
The rest of the loop back to Oudtshoorn was a nice drive too. Mountains all around and interesting farming country between. We had lunch in Oudtshoorn before driving south to the coast and east to Kynsna where we are staying tonight.