Road-Tripping to the Cape – Part.2

In Road-Tripping to the Cape – Part.1 I ended up with our first glimpses of the spectacular Cape mountains…  Well, by 16h30 we were entering one of the world’s most beautiful passes – – – Swartberg Pass – – – (little did we know it at the time)!!! 😀 **

Entrance to the Swartberg Pass

This pass goes through the Groot Swartberge (or directly translated ‘Big Black mountain’)… Yikesy!! 🙂 We entered from the small town named Prince Albert… We did not have any accommodation booked for this evening & was holding thumbs that we’ll get a place along the way… 😉 (Our initial plan was to camp in the Karoo National Park, but by not booking – – – and only 26 camping spots – – -we were those people that got shown in another direction)!!! 😀

We were definitely two very very very small subjects in this enormously breathtaking creation!!! We were awestruck even before we officially entered this pass (stopped regularly for photos along the way!!) 🙂

Right at the entrance we captured our memory!!!
Entering the Swartberg Pass (HDR)

 I researched this pass a bit and found interesting information that I think most of you will find super interesting… 😀 I am quoting (for lack of a better description) snippets of this information from the Prince Albert Tourism Website… 😉

“… Prince Albert lies at the entrance to the 27km Swartberg Pass, considered one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world: an untarred road winds to the summit 1,583 metres above sea level in steep zig-zags and sudden switchbacks,  with breath-taking views at every turn… “

I also have an HDR of this shot, but my trusty little snapper has a much wider angle than my slr... so I decided to go for the snapper shot - the scale of these majestic mountains seem more impressive!!!

Around yet another corner (HDR)

“… The entrance is through a narrow Cape sandstone kloof where the eye is drawn upwards by the convoluted rock faces to the sparkling sky above. The only sounds are bubbling water, the wind in the trees and birdsong. Several picnic sites near the river provide tranquil spots to stop and absorb the peace and splendour …”

“… The natural characteristics of the Pass are magnificent as are the man-made features. This was Thomas Bain’s last engineering masterpiece …”

A typical view of one of those sudden switchbacks & Zig-zags (HDR)

Looking back on the road we have driven (HDR)

 “… Along the way there are relics of an old prison, toll hut, hotel and other interesting historical sites.

Often covered in snow in winter, the mountains’ unique micro-climate supports fynbos and a rich bird population, in contrast with the arid zone flora and fauna outside its cool, shady kloofs. Watch out for black eagles and klipspringers.

The Swartberg Pass is now part of a World Heritage Site …”

Yay, I’ve seen a World Heritage Site!!! 😀 That doesn’t happen often!!! 🙂 In my holiday update I posted a photo of me taking a photo of the landscape… Well, I’m not sure that this is the best that it can look (I will still be experimenting with it until I find the perfect look), but nevertheless, here is my 360 panorama!!! (Let me know if the quality is very bad… for some or other reason it did not want to show my photo & I had to rescale it way smaller 😦 Else, I’ll try it in a post of it’s own!!!) 🙂

360 Panorama of the Groot Swartberg Landscape!!!

Not long thereafter we reached the summit, called “Die Top” (or in english – The Top)!!!

"Die Top" (HDR)

Close-up of the sign - I loved that the different clubs & organizations all left their "mark" here... so much character!!! (HDR)

Where we came from... (a view to the left) - Certainly the top!!!

Where we are heading... (view to the right) - a much different landscape!!!

 We spent almost two hours travelling those 27km’s… (but seeing that we spent so much time taken photos, I am not surprised!!!) 😉 We travelled on the exit road out of the pass – still without a place to sleep 🙂 – until we came across a camp site at the foot of the mountains… We were in luck!!! 😀 Seeing that this road is off the beaten track, we were fortunate that there were not many people camping there!!!

Beyond exhausted from the day of long driving hours, excitement over the majestic pass & stress over where we were going to sleep, we set up camp in this dream spot!!!

Our express set-up for dinner!!! (in true South African style)

Our bed for the night!!! A camp-site with a view!!! (HDR)

I this is where I will be leaving you tonight!!! If ever you are fortunate enough to visit this site…. my photos doesn’t even nearly do it justice!!! 😀 Thanks for stopping by!!! 🙂 **

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15 thoughts on “Road-Tripping to the Cape – Part.2

  1. SL Schildan

    Ohh, so awesome!!! Also I love your little camper tent. It looks like it unfolds out of the bed of your truck yes?/no?

    It’s too bad there is not a LOVE THIS button.

    Do we get treated to additional days’ photo for the rest of the journey?? Keeping my fingers crossed. (Note: we cross “fingers”, you cross “thumbs” :D)

    Reply
    1. xandreverkes Post author

      Hahaha… Thanks Shez!!! Also sometimes wish there’s a “love” button!!! 😉

      Yes, our tent simply folds out!! It is fixed on the sides of the truck, so you still have all the space below for luggage or whatever!!! 😀

      Of course there is lots more to come… 😉 we are only on day 2 now!!! 😀 **

      Keep well Shez!!!

      Hugs!!

      Reply
  2. johnstirlingphotography

    Hi Xandre – I am really enjoying ‘accompanying you and ‘he who thinks he’s boss” on your holiday! Can’t wait for Part III! Cracking selection of photographs! A few years back we had a caravan and found ourselves in the same position in Scotland – we hadn’t booked sites and everywhere we tried was full – it was dark and we couldn’t see anything but the road when we came across a little campsite with only one space left, for one night! Our lads were still young children then and we were concerned about not getting somewhere to bed down because it is against the law here to camp at the side of the road! When we woke up early in the morning, we found ourselves on the edge of the Firth of Clyde looking out on the most beautiful view of Ailsa Craig (huge rock in the middle of the water that has been quarried to use for curling stones for a long, long time!) in beautiful sunshine! These are the moments that make caravanning and camping ‘risky’ but ‘stunningly spontaneous’ and ‘fantastic fun’! Now that our lads are in their mid-twenties and have their own lives, we have a 2-berth motorhome which we go off in whenever Penny is on holiday! Your panorama is smashing, Xandre, but people need to click on it to open it up to get the full effect and clarity! It worked out very well! Love the scenery and the tent on the pickup! Hope you are well on with Part III!

    Cheers

    John

    Reply
    1. xandreverkes Post author

      Thank you John!!! Yes, I agree – camping takes you places that you wouldn’t really experience otherwise!!! (unfortunately I’m not much of a camper – but mainly because of the bathrooms – It grosses me out – always have, always will!!!! 😉 ) Sounds like you had a stunning camping spot!!! Would love to see dome photos sometime??

      Hopefully Part.3 will come sooner rather than later!!! Untill next time John, keep well!!!! 😀 **

      Reply
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  4. the island traveler

    Cape mountain looks spectacular. Love the fact that you and your hubby both enjoy doing the same things. You both explore the world with so much passion and adventure. Just beautiful……and breathing fun, fun, fun. have a great weekend.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Road-Tripping to the Cape – Part.3 |

  6. Pingback: Arriving in Stellenbosch – Part.4 |

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