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.
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 Dam, built 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.
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!
Suitably fortified we set off on the R407, the LONG and stunningly beautiful dirt road to Klaarstroom.
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.
Finally we reached the tarred road, just short of Klaarstroom, and turned left for Meiringspoort, the pass through the Swartberg Mountains.
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!
And finally we were in 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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