Today, we will take you to interesting passes in diverse places. Autumn and winter are often the best months for travelling and exploring. This is a great time to take the family out and discover our beautiful country with its young, vibrant and fascinating history. We move from the tiny town of MacGregor (a haven for artists, poets and writers) to nearby Strormsvlei ( a place so small, few have even heard of it, but it was once a major thoroughfare for wagon traffic to the Cape). Then we doddle off to Mpumalanga to tackle the Skurweberg Pass.
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Our cover photo this week shows a baby porcupine - so young is was still unsighted and hard of hearing, but the sense of smell was acute. It was completely unaware of our presence until it sniffed a shoe and then all hell broke loose as it rattled its multiple sabres. These rarely seen nocturnal animals are true survivors. The photo was taken on an MTB trail at the Farleigh Forestry section on the Garden Route.
With five new passes filmed over the last ten days, dodging torrential rain and hail storms, it's been an eventful week. We have two great new off-road passes filmed (Attaquaskloof Ox-wagon route and the amazing Antoniesberg pass) which should be online in about two weeks time. Now that all the holidays and the elections are over, our news bulletins will revert back to their bi-weekly format.
Today we look at three diverse passes in various parts of South Africa, from Mpumalanga to the Northern Cape and finishing up in the Western Cape. We also discovered Angie's G-Spot. (details below)
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You have to love an official sense of humour. Our cover pic this week leaves the driver and passengers in no doubt as to what to expect in terms of corrugations!
The public holidays have meant the Mountain Passes South Africa team have been able to double up on production. We have just produced our 300th pass! Believe it or not, there are still another 50 odd passes to go (that we know about). We will be travelling again from the 7th to the 17th May, so there will be no news bulletins till we are back. So tuck in and get your fill. Since it's voting season, please put your stamp of approval on our site by registering with us. That gives you the latest news first as well as access to the route files, which makes navigation incredibly simple. You can read more about the route files on our HELP page.
We have our standard trio of passes on offer ranging from an interesting suburban pass in Cape Town to the notorious Robbers Pass in Mpumalanga
[Click on the picture, the title or the READ MORE button to access the hyperlinks to the passes]
The MountainPassesSouthAfrica website hit a new record last week logging just under 30,000 views for the prior 4 week cycle. If you are not a subscriber yet, we invite you to become one. Advantages are that you get the freshest news and new passes first - plus you have access to the route files (which makes finding passes on your GPS a very easy matter), plus you receive an email version of this e-newsletter, inviting you to read up on the latest passes. The subscription process is straight forward. Just click on the green REGISTER button in the right column of any page; complete the fields and the rest happens automatically.
Holidays provide opportunities to try out new destinations and what could be more fun then heading out into the country. We have reduced our news bulletins down to one per week, until mid-May, once life returns to normal. This week as usual, we explore some new destinations:
1. Remhoogte Pass - This fairly easy tarred pass lies on the R60 between Ashton and Swellendam and is the biggest of the trio of passes on this road.
2. Mpageni Pass - A big pass in Mpumalanga also known as the "Old Nelspruit-Kaapmuiden Road". It is long and steep with great views over the Crocodile River Poort.
3. Nelshoogte Pass - Traverses the State Forests between Barberton and Badplaas and is over 12 km long. A beauty.
Our cover picture this week features the amazing Atlantic Road in Norway. It looks like it's straight from a science fiction movie, but it is the real McCoy with some outstanding engineering involved - and a reminder that winter is around the corner for the Southern Hemisphere and how fortunate and blessed we are to live in a country with such a mild climate.
Easter is history and probably for the first time in many years, it didn't rain in the Western Cape over the long weekend. The national death toll from road accidents at time of writing was in excess of 80 souls. We sincerely hope all our readers, followers and subscribers are excluded from that list. Now comes that tricky part where you have to get your mind back into a work routine. Of interest in the Western Cape, was the large number of families who decided to stay at home this Easter.
We have another interesting trio of passes on offer today from Limpopo to Swellendam.
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Mountain Passes South Africa is a website dedicated to the research, documentation, photographing and filming of the mountain passes of South Africa.
Passes are classified according to provinces and feature a text description, Fact File including GPS data, a fully interactive dual-view map and a narrated YouTube video.
We are as passionate about maps as we are about mountain passes. A good map is a thing of beauty that can transport you into the mists of time or get your sense of adventure churning. It is a place to make discoveries about deserts and seas, mountains and lakes; of roads leading into places you have not been before; a place to pore over holiday destinations or weekend camping trips. A map is your window to the world.