Bestie road trip, last day

swartberg

After our revitalising breakfast, and with our backpacker experience a thing of the past, we  said goodbye to the camels and headed down the R328,  the back road between Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp that winds its way through beautiful farmlands and private reserves at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains. It’s a much more interesting road than the other less-travelled road, Route 62.

We saw very few people or other cars except for the occasional farmworker waiting for a ride and one kind man who stopped to ask if we needed help – we were messing around trying to take a selfie so we told him we were fine, thank you. Given the quality of our selfies, we did need help, but I doubt a farmer could help.

This was another case of a road that should take no more than an hour or 2 but of course it took us half the day. Many stops, one over-dramatised fall, many clicks, a picnic lunch, a good long snoop around a boutique winery while the owners are away … the road is long when you indulge yourself.

Finally we reached Calitzdorp and rejoined the main artery back to Cape Town. Time was getting on and Cape Town was still a good 3,5 hours away so we reluctantly put foot on the accelerator and started sending text messages to children to advise our ETA.

All roadtrips must end and this one was much much too short.  We’re having a reunion on Sunday at a wine estate just outside Cape Town … I’ll drive this time and I’m going to plan at least one mystery stop.

Read about the previous days here and here and here.

DSCF1852

We stopped to take a gawp at a beautiful farm and farmhouse and were thrilled to see that there is no Mrs Botha. I suggested we leave our phone numbers but we forgot.

carolines cliff

This is the so-called cliff down which Caroline fell.

20140617_120531

The wind was blowing, the angle was wrong, but this is one of our selfie attempts.

another gravel road into the mountains

Another dirt road with Swartberg not too far away.

aloes

Aloes wherever you looked.

mountains and farm

Pastoral tranquility as seen from a very small pass.

 

Caroline

We stopped for lunch at a caravan/camp park next to the Calitzdorp Dam. The park has potential with such a lovely location and the cute idea of having caravans permanently positioned next to shady wooden decks. Sadly, it’s in a deplorable condition.

round lunch

Today’s picnic lunch was round.

DSCF1912

Not lunch.

snooping

We discovered a small boutique winery and we told by the gatekeeper that it was closed but the owners are away so we can have a look around. We did just that. A thorough snoop resulted in a massive fit of envy for people who live in such beautiful surroundings in such a very very pretty house. There was baboon poo in the garden so it’s not heaven, but close.

 

mountain

Sunset light on the mountains

no more stopping

Back on tarred roads – direction: home!

About Francoise Armour

I run a small touring company (Tours du Cap) at the bottom of Africa, to show visitors the beauty and vibrant culture of the country I have lived in since my parents brought me here from France as a child. I enjoy taking photos and wish I had learnt to do it properly. I enjoy writing but don't do enough of it. I enjoy walking in the mountains that surround me and I marvel over the views and the flowers and the amazing rock formations. I have a small, cute, clever, black dog of indeterminable breed, named Vida, who reminds me regularly that walking and getting out is not only for when tourists want it.

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Disclaimer

A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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