Suurbraak was known as Xairy (Paradise) in Khoi, and it was Hans Moos, the Khoi leader at the time, who invited the London Mission Society to establish a Mission Station in the area in 1812 (how did he get in touch with the Society?). Together with Genadendaal it is one of the oldest Mission Stations in the country. In 1875 it was taken over by the Algemeende Sending Kerk and in 1880 the congregation split, and an Anglican Church was built. Today the town, in the shadow of the Langeberg Mountains, remains largely out of the swing of 21C life.
I had read of walks at Suurbraak so we phoned Ernie and arranged to pick up a copy of the walk, and pay. We parked the car at the Church and set off on the 6 kms Piet-my-Vrou route for moderately fit people, crossing the Buffelsjags River and walking into forest and up the mountainside. (This walk went steeply uphill before turning round and coming steeply downhill.)
There were quite a lot of flowers – certainly enough to keep me happy. I couldn’t identify all of them and think the coloured leaves may be Mimetes Cucullates, one of the Protea family.
Finally we found some level ground, and a view over the town of Suurbraak, impressively far below. And yes, it had been hard work!
More climbing brought us to the astonishing climax of the walk, the lower lookout into the Langeberg Mountains and the kloof of the Caledon River.
The route down led to the edge of the kloof and a weir over the river. We finally recrossed the Buffelsjag River and walked alongside it back to the car.
And then we needed sugar – provided in the form of ice creams at this very handy general dealer.
Fabulous walk, but I don’t think I could cope with the more strenuous one on offer, further up the mountain.