Barrydale, Route 62, Western Cape Karoo


By Chris Marais

About 20 klicks on the Cape Town side of Barrydale on Route 62 you’ll find out how to rock the Karoo – in style.

Marius Slabber and Janet Brewer came out here to farm some time ago and ended up with a fantasy made real – the Karoo Route 62 Rock Roadhouse Saloon, a music venue in the scrub desert. What in the world could be more romantic?

Savannah – on the bill at the Karoo Rock Saloon on Route 62.

Most weekends there’s a live boogie going down, out here in the land of meerkats and mountains, usually involving a bit of Jose Cuervo, a touch of Tex-Mex, a dollop of All Right Now and a generous helping of Voodoo Chile.

Weekend escape artists, overlanders and biker clans all stream over to the Saloon, pitch their tents and light their braai fires within hearing distance of the sound stage. The bikers wear Black Sabbath T-shirts, club jackets, boots and leathers. They all love rock, lots of hard rock music. The heavier the metal, the colder the beer, the wider the smiles.

The bands play loud and dress motley. A lovely guest singer called Savannah flies in from Namibia, begins with a Suzi Quatto number and then raises the house with Johnny’s Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues.

One of the signs at the bar, which sports very large portraits of Jimi Hendrix and Slash, says: “Alcohol. Because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad.”

This is a short extract from Karoo Roads – Tales from South Africa’s Heartland by Chris Marais & Julienne du Toit. It will be available as a First Edition Author-signed Print Book from November 2020 at R350 including taxes and counter-to-counter Postnet service.


To order, contact Julie at and she will put you on this exclusive list of Karoo Lovers – and Karoo Space supporters.

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