Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In the Swartberg Mountain Range

For a change some pictures of nature from the southern part of South Africa, here in this post there are mainly mountain roads of the mountains of Swartberg.

While looking at the pictures of the roads they just confirm that one must visit the place. And fortunately here they have not been able to put down the asphalt everywhere as it could spoil half of the fun.

The signpost promised a bit more interesting part of the road.

And so it was. The road climbed slowly upward along the side of the mountain.

And then the crossing with the side road. Which I had already planned beforehand.

The valley of Gamkaskloof in the Swartberg mountain range.

If the label says that that 37 km and 2 hours, then probably one should not get bored. Beforehand – it took me 3 hours to reach the place and 3 hours again back by the same road. And there is only one road taking into the valley and it was built only in 1968. As one cannot drive all the time - you stop the car, come out, take some pictures and quietly continue driving.

Thus, the road led downwards the sides of the mountain.

Some of it was a bit rocky and rough, but nevertheless perfectly drivable road.
And then from behind a curve quite an unexpected car appeared.

The first thought was to get the camera as this kind of a sight really needs recording. And I succeeded - as the cameras are always handy and ready to shoot.

And then I stopped the car, quickly out of the car, and one more picture.

Two and a half hour later the valley appears in front. At last.

The last part of the road down to the valley.

And this part of the road has been covered already.

And over a long period a few video clips.

A third hand would be useful for recording, but .....

Done. Welcome to "THE HELL", Gamkaskloof.

This place is special, since the first settlers came here already in 1830. Meanwhile, nearly 160 people lived here. The valley was completely cut off from the rest of the world and the only access was with horses over the mountains or along the paths. The road was built only in 1962, and from the same year there is the phone line. There is only one road leading to and out of the valley.

A legend says that in 1940 an animal inspector visited the valley and described his visit by this name.

Most of the former homes are in need of repair, as many former residents had left the valley after the construction of the road.

There was a more watery spot on the road as well.


In this case, one has to put the boots on, walk over to the other side and when the water does not reach over the edge of the boot then one can freely drive on. The main issue is not to meet a metre-deep pit in the water. Didn`t meet.

On the way back. And the clouds came along the side of the mountain lower and lower.

This is already Swartberg mountain pass or Swartberg Pass. It was built in 1881 until 1887 and prisoners`labour was used.

This path takes down the hill from the southern side.

In the end some pictures from earlier.



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