Oudtshoorn to Swellendam

Today was our final lengthy drive in South Africa – 283 kms from Oudtshoorn to Swellendam, starting at 12.00am. I felt sad as I looked back on the Swartberg Mountains above Oudtshoorn, then we turned towards the Outeniqua Mountains above George and the long road ahead.

The Swartberg Mountains behind Oudtshoorn
The Swartberg Mountains behind Oudtshoorn

We drove over the Outeniqua Passa new road dating from 1951 and an easy drive this day. The neighbouring Montagu Pass would have been more fun, but perhaps not with our limited time and ordinary car! The Outeniqua Mountains are part of the Cape Fold Mountains – I can’t being to imagine the force which created these chains of rock.

Heading into the Outenequa Mountains
Heading into the Outeniqua Mountains
In the Outeniqua Pass
In the Outeniqua Pass, looking at the road of the Montagu Pass

We didn’t linger in George but continued down the coast road to Mossel Bay to visit the Bartholomew Dias Museum Complex.

Mossel Bay
Mossel Bay

Bartholomew Dias reached Mossel Bay on 3 February 1488 while trying to find the sea route to India. He turned back shortly afterwards and it was Vasco da Gama who completed the trip to India in 1497-99. The Museum has a full-size replica of Dias’ ship.

The statue of Bartholomew Dias
The statue of Bartholomew Dias
The tiller of the Bartholomew Dias
The tiller of the Bartholomew Dias

The Post Office Tree, a means of sailors exchanging mail, dates from 1500 – how extraordinary that anyone believed a letter would be collected here at all!

We wandered around the Munrohoek Cottages which were built by Alexander Munro c.1830, and noticed there were some pretty plants in the gardens surrounding the museum. Then it was time for an ice cream by the sea before joining the road again.

The sea at Mossel Bay
The sea at Mossel Bay

Finally, we saw the Langeberg Mountains behind Swellendam, and the cottage at Roosje van der Kaap – our haven for the next few days!

The mountains behind Swellendam

Roosje van der Kaap, Swellendam

The cottage at Roosje van der Kaap

The view of the mountains from the cottage in the evening light
The Langeberg Mountains from the cottage in the evening light

You may be interested in
A trip through the Outeniqua Mountain Passes
Bartholomew Dias

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