8th May 2012
Schwarzberg Mountains in the distance, living up to their name – Black Mountains
We’re about to go through the pass across there, going via Ootshourn where we had already stayed and seen the Ostriches and the Cheetahs at the Karoo Wildlife Park,
But had to rush to Cape Town next day as we were on a mission, and missed out this important pass, built in 1875 by the road engineer, Thomas Bain after heavy floods swept away the previous road, depriving local farmers of their link with the nearest seaports.
What a classic little village Shoemanshok is on the way to the pass
I just love this Aloe piercing the sky at the hilltop lording it over the valley
And here are the Ostriches, curious as ever
We’ve arrived at the top without passing another car, thank goodness, but we had no idea
How difficult going down the other side was going to be, it was quite breathtaking!
These road repair trucks are right at the top of the mountain, which is reassuring to know there’s somehone around if we break down!
That little white road in the middle of the photo is where we shall be arriving at the bottom of the valley
It almost looks like the Great Wall of China!
The Road goes through this narrow gorge with sheer vertical cliffs on either side,
And then comes out into a almost flat landscape
We stop at the pretty village of Prince Albert, with the Dutch styled houses lining the street, and bycile of course.
And of course stop for a drink at the Lord Milner Hotel built by the British, originally used as a Spa Hotel in the middle of the dry area of the Karoo
These Double Decker buses get around don’t they?
We get talking to another couple also stopped for a drink at the Lord Milner,on their way to visit Africa’s largest giant telescope, just a few miles away. Which is appropriate,because South Africa has been designated to be used together with Australia and New Zealand as the main research telescope for discovering the origins of the universe and how life began, using long radio waves.
Our first view of the Wine Growing area approaching Montagu
Montagu is another very pretty Dutch town with well preserved houses, we stay in Mimosa Lodge which has rooms built in the garden behind