THE BAIN MASTERPIECE
With each traverse of the Swartberg Pass, the monumental achievements of Thomas Bain become more evident. Try picking up just one rock that weighs around 80 kg and start doing the maths of how many rocks were packed to support this amazing road and the amount of physical effort that must have gone into the 3 years it took to build the pass.
With our latest camera technology we are now able to produce far superior videos to those dating back to 2012, so in order to do the Swartberg Pass justice, we needed to execute the new filming project with precision. We studied the weather forecast in detail and selected our day, which happened to coincide with it being a Sunday. Everything was perfect, except for the large amounts of tourist traffic, which created considerable dust issues. This meant having to stop more than 20 times along the pass; get out and wipe the camera lens clean. The mountains had very little water flowing and it was the driest we have ever seen the pass.
What was of interest that of the 48 vehicles we passed along the pass, a staggering 31 were Toyota Corolla or Etios models (undoubtedly rental cars). There were 2 medium sized tour buses, 1 vintage car (1919 Ford Model T), 8 proper 4x4's, with the rest being an assortment of bakkies and cars of various makes. We have driven the pass many times over the years, but have never before encountered a traffic flow that equates to 50 vehicles per hour. Effectively it means that the popularity of this pass is on the increase. Having the pass closed for much of 2017 probably also produced a knock-on effect of more people wanting to experience it. It augers well for tourism in the region. Thomas Bain must be happy!
The repairs are well advanced with only a small section near Malvadraai still being under construction. The road is very narrow here, but it only lasts for just over 100m, where the road width once again returns to a normal. Kudos to the road builders who have rebuilt the old stone walls very closely resembling the originals built by Thomas Bain.
Our new video set consists of an animated overview video, which is backed up by 6 x 5 minute videos covering the pass in much more detail than before. In the process, we have been able to add in much more of the fascinating history as well. Feel free to take a drive along the pass with us and enjoy the crystal clear and super-smooth HD footage.
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New videos added this week:
Kalmoesfontein Pass - a 4 km long pass packed with hairpins between Riebeeck East and Alicedale in the E/Cape..
Sebico Pass - A narrow, stoney and rough pass near Britstown in the Northern Cape (4x4 recommended)
Thought for the Day: "If you can dream it, you can do it" ~ Walt Disney