¨ The year 2020 has had many challenges for everyone – so what better way to celebrate and say “GOODBYE” to it than to be away with others who feel the same!
We have chosen OUDTSHOORN with the stunning LA PLUME BOUTIQUE GUEST HOUSE – as our accommodation base for the 3 nights. Karin, the owner, has combined old-world charm with modern comforts to ensure extraordinary service & personal attention. (See: www.laplume.co.za)
DAY 1: Wednesday 30th December: Cape Town to Oudtshoorn: 441km
After leaving the city we will head to Swellendam and then via the Tredoux Pass (means ‘Womens Pass’) which will bring us out in Barrydale, which by now will mean you will be hungry. Diesel & Crème will be our lunch spot (their milkshakes are legendary – ‘feel like a child again’)
After lunch we head to Oudtshoorn – 176,3km! Arrival at La Plume expected after 4.30pm. Settle in and dinner tonight will be in-house. Dinner is traditional home-cooked cuisine meticulously prepared by their chef and served in their spacious, candlelit dining room of the 1902 Victorian homestead.
DAY 2: Thursday 31st December:
Today we leave after breakfast and head over the Swartberg Pass to Prince Albert where we will have a coffee break and browse some of the shops to ‘gather’ (as we women enjoy doing!)
Read notes below:
We head out of Prince Albert and do the route to Klaarstroom where we will have a lunch stop and you can enjoy a toasted sandwich of note made on homemade bread or a fresh salad! After lunch we will amble along Meiringspoort Pass, stopping at a few spots that are a photographer’s delight.
Read notes below:
To return to Oudtshoorn we go through De Rust and then it is only 35km back to La Plume where you can have a swim in their salt pool or a short ‘zzz’ before our Old Year’s dinner.
This evening we will enjoy a sumptuous dinner with champagne at midnight – perfect to toast the end of 2020 with friends!
Breakfast / dinner included
DAY 3: Friday 1st January 2020:
Today we will ‘stay @ home’ for the day and enjoy La Plume. Sometime in the day (to be advised later) Bartel, the owner of La Plume will meet us in the gazebo, and we will enjoy a drive with him in his open type game vehicle on his farm. Learn about day to day activities in the life of a full-time farmer, as well as the giant birds (ostriches) and the trials and tribulations of farming with them, from an expert in the ostrich industry. A picnic lunch will be available under the gazebo in the garden and the rest of the afternoon will be at leisure, before. (Optional visit to Cango Caves or Cango Wildlife Ranch).Breakfast / Farm Guided tour / dinner in house.
DAY 4: Saturday 2nd January Oudtshoorn /Cape Town 448km
After breakfast we must sadly say good-bye to the peace and tranquillity of La Plume and must head back to Cape Town taking route R328 where we will have a coffee break at Eight Bells Mountain Inn (lovely relaxing way to start our journey home), with a short lunch break in Swellendam. (Probably at La Belle Alliance where you can pick up a reasonable luncheon!)
After our break into this fabulous area, we trust that you will come home raring to go in 2021 – we will have you back at home in the late afternoon.
A bit about the Swartberg Pass
The Swartberg Pass is for many South Africans, the rubicon of gravel road passes. There is an allure and a mystique around this old pass, coupled with its status as a national monument, which elevates this pass to the very top of the list. It was Thomas Bain’s final and best piece of road building. Most of the historical points of interest are signposted along the pass. There are names like Die Stalletjie (Small Stall), Witdraai (White Corner), Fonteintjie (Small Fountain), Skelmdraai (Devious Corner), and of course Die Top, the latter sign is almost completely obliterated by graffiti by some folk who might feel they have just crested Everest and have this burning desire to paint their name on the well-known sign.
The pass is long at 23,8 km and it takes about an hour to drive, excluding stops. You will be treated to a wide variety of incredible scenery. The pass is not suitable for anyone suffering from acrophobia. It can be driven in any vehicle in fair weather. The Swartberg Pass has almost too much to offer the traveller with a never-ending changing set of views – each as awe inspiring as the one before.
A bit about the Meiringspoort Pass
The pass is a gateway that connects the Little Karoo and the Great Karoo, through a gorge with a 25 km road crossing the same river 25 times in the span of the 25 km. It runs between the modern town of Klaarstroom in the north, and the town of De Rust in the south. The mountains it crosses are those of the Swartberg range (Afrikaans for black mountain).
The Swartberg is amongst the best exposed fold mountain chains in the world, and the pass slices through magnificently scenic geological formations. The Swartberg chain runs roughly east–west along the northern edge of the semi-arid area called the Little Karoo in the Western Cape province of South Africa. To the north of the range lies the large semi-arid hinterland of South Africa, the Great Karoo.