Graaff Reinet to Oudtshoorn

It was going to be another very hot day and so we set off early to drive the 329 kms from Graaff Reinet to Oudtshoorn. 

The road south from Graaff Reinet
The road south from Graaff Reinet

Aberdeen is c.50kms south of Graaff Reinet and we just popped in and out to break the driving – apologies to Aberdeen. But we did notice the extremely tall church spire (I couldn’t fit into one shot) and some nice Victorian Karoo architecture. Back on the road we paused at Beervlei Dambuilt in 1953 to control flooding and deliberately emptied in order to accommodate fresh floodwaters. Unfortunately, after the water stands for a period it is too salty to be used for irrigation.

The Karoo
The Karoo
Beervlei Dam
Beervlei Dam
Beervlei Dam
Beervlei Dam

Beervlei Dam

Willowmore finally came into view and Sophie’s Choice was obviously the place for tea or coffee – but it had been an early start and scrambled eggs and delicious bread were soon added! Real china cups and saucers and silver tea service – amazing!

Willowmore in the distance
Willowmore in the distance

Suitably fortified we set off on the R407, the LONG and stunningly beautiful dirt road to Klaarstroom. 

The road out of Willowmore to Vondeling & Klaarstroom

Between Willowmore & Vondeling

The road out of Willowmore to Vondeling & Klaarstroom

The road out of Willowmore to Vondeling & Klaarstroom

Between Willowmore & Vondeling

Vondeling seemed little more than a disused railway station with a water tower to service steam engines.I have now found that it is also a centre for making angels! Steam engines – I remembered travelling from Pretoria to Graaff Reinet in a steam engine train, and adding a second engine to cross the Lootsberg Pass! That dates me!

The road crosses the river just outside Vondeling and fortunately for us it had not rained recently. (The Traka River after rains here.) Our next destination was the T-junction with the main, tarred road at Klaarstroom.

The river crossing just outside Vondeling
The river crossing just outside Vondeling

The road from Vondeling to Klaarstroom

R407 between Vondeling & Klarstroom

The road from Vondeling to Klaarstroom

The R407 near Klaarstroom

Finally we reached the tarred road, just short of Klaarstroomand turned left for Meiringspoortthe pass through the Swartberg Mountains.

The road through Meirginspoort
The road through Meirginspoort

16-2-15 GR to Oudtshoorn LR-0452

The waterfall in Meiringspoort
The waterfall in Meiringspoort

The waterfall in Meiringspoort

16-2-15 GR to Oudtshoorn LR-0459

Meiringspoort

The rocks in Meiringspoort

The rocks in Meiringspoort

It had been a hard drive from Willowmore and so once through Meiringspoort we stopped for tea and coffee at the first friendly café in De Rust!

16-2-15 GR to Oudtshoorn LR-9345

And finally we were in Oudtshoorn.

Oudtshoorn
Oudtshoorn

You may be interested in
A road trip including Willowmore
The Vondeling River under water
The topography of Meiringspoort, with photographs

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