The days in Tulbagh had been magical – the weather was hot, the skies were clear, the scenery was magnificent – but we had an itinerary to follow, and so we set off early in the morning to drive the 168 kms to Matjiesfontein, avoiding the N1 as much as possible.
Our first treat was Michell’s Pass, planned by Charles Michell, the Surveyor General for the Cape Colony, to link Cape Town, Wellington, and Tulbagh with the interior. It was built in 1848-50 by Andrew Geddes Bains.
As we popped out of the pass into Ceres, ready for refreshment, Deja Brew beckoned and we drew in for a very good breakfast, and interesting chat with the owner.
We were now in the Warm Bokkeveld and it felt and looked quite different from the Tulbagh Valley. We followed the R46 out of Ceres and then turned off on to a dirt road, the Bo Swaarmoed Road, to cut off a corner before rejoining the R46 and heading for the N1.
By the time we reached Touws Rivier we were clearly on the edge of the Great Karoo. The town used to be an important railway junction and marshalling yard, but I found it a sad sight today. We didn’t linger and set off again on the N1 towards Matjiesfontein.
A curious monument on a hillside caught my eye, we turned off the road, and found the Matjiesfontein graveyard – post to follow.
And finally we were in Matjiesfontein itself and booked into our chalet in the Motel.
Hi Ms Blackham.
In October 2018 my wife and I did the same trip, in a few hours from Riekeeck Kasteel to Touws River. Loved it. we wanted to follow the old wagon trail inland. It was the trip of a lifetime, turning my research into places names and mountains. We travelled West to East. My wife’s mother was born in that small railway town in TR; in the segregated part. We both live in Sydney. I am writing the story of the her/our journey. The photos of the mountains brings back memories. So quiet on the roads too. best
Glad you liked it! Beautiful country – hope it has a future