We left PE on a grey day for drive the 325 kms to Oudtshoorn, choosing to travel through the Langkloof on the R62 rather than along the coast. The Langkloof is a valley of c.160kms with a climate which is ideal for growing fruit – it is also very beautiful.
We crossed the Gamtoos River and beyond Humansdorp turned off on the R62, intending to stop for coffee in Kareedouw. It was a good decision because the coffee and pancakes in The Sweaty Dutchman (unfortunate name) were quite excellent. We didn’t really have time to explore further, which was a sadness as the Dutch Reformed Church is apparently marvellous, and this is where John Vorster was buried.
The weather started to improve and the scenery was quite wonderful – every day we set off seemed to be more beautiful than the day before! Just before Uniondale the R339 took us through the rocky Uniondale Poort, also known as Queen Street.
Uniondale was our next, brief stop. This small town was formed in 1856 with the combining of the two towns of Hopedale and Lyons. During the Anglo-Boer War the town was attacked by Commandant Gideon Scheepers in January 1901, although the town was protected by five British forts. It is clearly an interesting town – it will have to join the ‘next time’ list.
The original Dutch Reformed Church is known as the ‘Voortrekker Saal’ and used for community projects while the new Dutch Reformed Church was built in 1884, and firmly locked; the Pinkster Protestant Church (the Uniondale Congregational Church) was built c.1865 by the London Missionary Society. We walked around the block on quiet streets and then the driver was keen to set off again.
And so we set off on the next leg, into more open countryside with mountains everywhere.