Road Trip Day 1: Route 62 to Oudtshoorn

Sunday, June 27

Cape Town, RSA to Oudtshoorn, RSA (420km or 260mi)

As depressed people do, we slept in a bit after the USA loss… USA loss, Celtics loss… It all seemed so much.  We decided to go on a sports-soul healing drive across the entire Western Cape and on across the Eastern Cape as well.  Richard encouraged us that our previous plans of just taking 1 day to drive to Addo (where we had reservations for Monday & Tuesday night) and 1 day back was not long enough to enjoy the drive.  After sleeping off the heavy losses, we hung out with our South African family and made some reservations for Oudtshoorn (official site) for the night – in a place where Richard and Carol knew someone who had stayed there before and they highly recommended it.  Additionally, Richard had a spare cell phone and SIM card so we didn’t have to go buy another one!  Even though we had barely used our previous cell, having one available as needed made us feel so much more connected and able adjust plans as needed.  It was so kind of them to let us borrow theirs and it made everything right with our world again (well, other than our USA loss – wink, wink).

We had heard of the Garden Route before we got to South Africa, and knew that we wanted to drive that one way of our trip to Addo – but when we arrived we learned of Route 62 (wiki).  Richard again highly recommended this scenic drive to Addo.  It was a gorgeous route along the mountains, and the striking landscapes seemed to change drastically by the hour.  We rattled off comparisons we were familiar with as drove.  Here is just a short sampling of some the wildly varied places we were reminded in the quickly changing landscape of the drive:  Grand Canyon, American Southwest, Petrified Forest, Australian Outback (although we’ve never been), the Badlands, Washington State, and West Virginia.

To get to Route 62, first we drove N1 through the Winelands and through a mountain range using the Huguenot Tunnel.  At Worcester we turned East on R60.  R60 follows the mountains to R62 and is a gorgeous drive.  We stopped in Robertson (official site) at the Rooiberg Winery (as Richard had suggested), but they were closed on Sundays so we ate at Bourbon Street and had Rooiberg wine there.  We drove through the super cute towns of Montague (official site) and Barrydale (official site) while listening to the game in both English and Afrikaans on the radio.  We thought we could understand the Afrikaans broadcast well enough to know when a goal had been scored and for which team, but it turns out when we get into range of an English broadcast several goals had been scored for both Germany and England that we had been unaware of!

We passed by Ronnie’s Sex Shop – which is supposed to be an awesome pub – but we had just gotten to a good radio station with the game in English and the sun was starting to set so we didn’t want to miss any of the landscape.  (The sunset was gorgeous!)

Despite our efforts, it was dark by the time we got to Oudtshoorn.  The Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, where we were staying, was  about 7km outside of town.  It was INCREDIBLY lux.  We tried to document the luxury details in the “tent” before we headed to dinner at the lodge restaurant.  We had an AMAZING dinner:  South African wine, ostrich wellington, venison loin medium rare, Afrikaans oven bread and malva pudding with custard.  Over the top ridiculously good.  We can’t say enough about the accommodations or the dinner – amazing.  Jeannette loved her HOT pedestal bath with salts and we loved falling asleep to a cacophony of loud birds. A great start to our road trip inside of a trip.

Our route for the day:

Our first start of the Mountain Route:

We saw baboons!

Huguenot Tunnel:

Cute church in Barrydale:

Canyons, just as the sun was going down:

Our tent at the Buffelsdrift Game Lodge:

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