Trip from Cape Town to George
As you gathered from my last post, last week I went to George to visit a Toastmasters club. The trip is about 450km, so it is about a four hour drive. Because my meeting was in the evening, I had the whole day to get there, so I took a slow drive.
One of the most spectacular views of the trip is at the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass just outside Somerset West. You have a spectacular view over the Helderberg mountains, towards False Bay on the left, and the Stellenbosch wine farms on the right. To use a cliche, it really is quite a breath-taking view.
Soon after the pass you go through the Engen/Grabouw region, which used to be mainly a fruit-growing region, but more and more of the fruit farms are being converted into wine farms, producing some wonderful wines.
It is a good thing that I was not in any rush, because soon after as I passed through Caledon, I hit the first of a series of road works, which were being operated as stop-go systems. Although it was painful, I must be honest and say that the delay’s were not really that long. In total, I was not delayed by more than 1/2 hour or so.
When I was very young and we used to go on family holidays, we would get bundled into the car early in the morning, and then stop at the restaurant at the garage at Riviersonderend (lit: river without and end). I have not driven through there for years, so I had quite a nostalgic moment to discover that the same restaurant is still there. I could swear that they even have the same tables and chairs. but alas, I had already eaten so I did not stop over for breakfast
Shortly after Riviersonderend, I passed through what used to be the farming town of Swellendam. Now, I have also not been through there for many years. We used to have friends that owned farms in the area, so I used to stay there from time to time when I was younger.
But like many of our small towns, it has become a haven for artist, potters and B&B’s. Almost all of the shops down the main road were some sort of art studio, followed by rows of B&B’s. It looks like a very pretty town to spend a few days in, but it is certainly no longer the farming community that it used to be. However, the area is very typical of the South African sheep and wheat farm landscape.
The next town is Riversdale, and you can see my thoughts in my last post.
The Alcare Aloe Vera factory is close to Albertinia, about 100km from George. I was quite interested that almost all of the parts of the Aloe leaf is used, including the outer leaf, flesh and juice. They all have medicinal properties. They have a huge range of skin-care products, so I bought Lois and myself a few goodies.
What was also good is that they support sustainable farming, and fair practises for the workers etc.
My final thoughts are on the Gouritz River, where you can go bungee jumping or bridge swinging. The jump is a total of 64m, with a freefall of 45m. Even though they were offering the bridge swing for a special of R100, no way! There is just no way that you are ever going to get my to jump off a bridge!