I have been up, over, down and through the Swartberg mountain range! What a treat! Another memorable experience to jot down in my own little history book (a.k.a. my blog), thanks to my friends Lisa and Willie. Please visit the link to view their beautiful photos.
So why, after all the times that I’ve heard about the Pass before, have I never seen it? Cowardice I tell you, plain and simple. I don’t like driving over mountains. It usually involves a pass, sometimes more than one. The roads can be narrow and treacherous with many a blind spot and a mighty long drop on the side. Driving those kind of roads makes me tense. I instinctively want to go into my hunchback impersonation mode – huddle, squint and of course choke the life out of the already lifeless steering wheel – while crawling around the bends. Hairpin bends mostly!
I’m pretty sure my car feels the same way about mountain roads. I mean, why else do we seem to move (if we do) more in reverse than forward and upward a mountain?! Don’t know from where my car got the heebie-jeebies, but me – I probably watch too many action films with bumped-off-the-mountain stunts.
On the drive last weekend I was more than happy to take the backseat behind our very competent, designated driver. This meant that I didn’t have to drive and I was further away from any scary long drops, even if the vehicle wasn’t. Clever, huh?! I only realized the geniusness behind this move when we reached the Swartberg Pass, but still.
I was relieved to see the wall on the edge of the road once we started up the pass. It reminds me a little of the curbs on city or town streets – you’ll notice if you bump into it or drive over it. Great forethought that!
Like so many times before when I’m “climbing” mountains, my thoughts went back in time, imagining the way our ancestors would have made this journey with their ox-wagons, making road as they went. I can only imagine how much “fun” that must have been!
By the time they reached this side of the mountain they probably jumped for joy at the sight of little treasures like this small waterfall. Personally I couldn’t take the picture and get back in the car fast enough. It was invigoratingly chilly on that side of the mountain with an icy wind almost blowing us off our feet.
I’m not sure if it is because of the recent heavy rain in the area or a mountain stream of sorts that had water seemingly seep from the rocks where we stopped for a quick brekkie. Let’s let my imagination go wild and say that the mountain was actually sweating in the harsh late morning sun and let’s conveniently forget that the sun in winter isn’t all that hot.
And down we went on the other side . . .
After a quick drive-through of Prince Albert – a town which would make for a good photo walk – we took another scenic route home through Meiringspoort.
Again I say – what a treat! Not only did I see amazing scenery, I also had the company of good friends (who just so happen to be great photo-op spotters!), and a live little furnace (a.k.a. sweet miss Rosie) to warm my hands on.
Thanks again guys!
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I don’t know what you were thinking but this long drop is not what I’m referring to in my post. Just, you know, in case you were wondering or a little confused by my lacking translation skills.