Saturday, March 21, 2015

Baviaans Kloof

Today we definitely bit of more that I had bargained for.  The plan was to drive to Vera's, two, maybe three hours and then drive back to be back just after lunch and then to spend the rest of the day much like yesterday.  This was not to happen.

The pass turned out to be more technical that expected and a lot slower, it also didn't help being caught behind a convoy of 4 vehicles that were unbelievably slow and there simply isn't anywhere to overtake them.  One has to wait for them to realise that you are behind them and then for them to find a place to pull over.

For large sections of the pass, it is strictly a single lane road and if you meet any oncoming traffic, like we did then you both have to stop and work out on whose side the closest area is where the other would be able to squeeze past.  In our case we had to reverse which I don't like doing up a steep mountain pass with limited rearward visibility but there really was no other option.

A near miss, yesterday or the day before because the gouge marks in the road hadn't yet been damaged by the rain.  Now that is what I call a hostile native!  Another near miss was when a Kudo jumped out of the bush not two metres in front of us and we had to brake hard so and not to run her down.  What a graceful animal!

When we finally arrived at Vera's five hours later and we had to make a call to either drive back for five hours or take five hours to go around on the tar road.  We chose the tar road option partly because the track back is quite rough and partly because Caron would have been on the outside edge going back and she doesn't cope with heights anymore.  Even for me there is something very disconcerting not being about to see any edge when looking out the drivers window; it makes you feel like you have already driven off the edge which, by the way doesn't have a nice armco barrier and most often not even a rock or dirt railing, it just falls away down into the valley hundreds of metres below.  To make things even more interesting, the road isn't flat or cambered towards the mountain side and often is cambered quite steeply towards the outside edge, there is no real danger of sliding off but it is a bit unsettling.

Getting to Vera's was a pleasant surprise because it turns out that Vera is one of the locals whom the Eastern Cape Tourism board has set up with a very small restaurant and curio shop.  Her menu is very basic and consist only of tea, coffe and rooster brood with a variety of fillings.  I had cheese and tomato rooster brood which I have to say was absolutely delicious and if you are ever this way, you really should stop and have a bite.

The trip back in a parallel valley (going from Uniondale to PE) couldn't be more different whereas Baviaans Kloof is really rugged and close and relatively untouched, the other valley was broad with lots of farms and orchards and really quite beautiful.  Baviaans Kloof is also beautiful but in a more untamed manner.

1 comment:

margaret said...

You really are getting a taste of primitive Africa. But it sounds (mainly ) wonderful - a trip we would love to do one day but probably won't. Very sorry about your reaction to your fish supper. Very strange and very inconvenient considering how much fish you eat. Hopefully there was some other explanation.