After leaving Cape Town, head east on the N1 to Worcester, take the R60 to Montagu and you’re there, at the start of Route 62.
Apart from being billed as the ‘longest wine route in the world’, which is pretty cool, Route 62 takes you into the beating heart of the Little Karoo, where the mountains are craggy and the ostriches greet you with a crooked smile.
Montagu, and the Cogman’s Kloof hole-in-the-wall that you drive through to get there, is all about Cape Fold Mountains, those gloriously slumped layer cakes of geological formations.
In terms of how the village looks, Cape Dutch vies with Georgian-style for attention and elegance. Good restaurants, an excellent farm stall and comfortable lodgings await.
Less than 70km east lies Barrydale, which looks from a distance like a dream village in the mountains, lost in time. In actual fact, it’s a very buzzy destination, full of artists and restaurateurs and a good network of farmstays and guest houses. Barrydale has a labyrinth for the soul-searchers and, for the lovers of wines and brandies, the Barrydale Cellars.
The tarred R62 is a scenic drive, but if your vehicle is a little more rugged than a low-slung sedan, why not try one of the many side roads that takes you over the mountain passes of the Little Karoo?
By now you will have realised that this Route 62 jaunt is also a bit of a shopping trip. Calitzdorp is where you buy your port wines for those deep winter nights by the fire. It’s also a lovely little town, and your eyes never stray far from the majestic Swartberg Mountain range that has been your companion so far.
En route to Oudtshoorn, make a pit stop at the Bella de Karoo farm stall. The Karoo Space team favour their breakfasts, general welcoming smiles and friendly banter very highly.
And then you’re suddenly in Oudtshoorn, home of the meerkat experience, the ostrich farm, the Cango Caves, diving with crocodiles, feather palaces and an annual cultural carnival that just can’t be beat.
Oudtshoorn markets itself very well, and one of the best starting points for your stay in this area is a visit to the CP Nel Museum, where you will discover the town’s fascinating past – before experiencing its exceptionally enjoyable present…
- Karoo Space has compiled a great Ebook series called Karoo Life I, II and III – available HERE on Special.
For more information on the towns you go through on this route, click on the links in the story.