Latest News! 27th January, 2014

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The era of steam The era of steam - Photo: Troy Goldie

We're back from another 10 day pass filming expedition in the Southern Cape with lots of HD footage of some magnificent South African mountain passes. This time round we were blessed with perfect weather for filiming and only one rainy day. The Western Cape experienced some severe flooding just one week before we started this trip, which meant some of the smaller passes were still closed. This week we kick things off with what we call the BMW pass for it's "sheer driving pleasure" {Expand this page to read more and access the link}

The Hoogte Pass (or Great Brak Pass) is just over 10 kms long and has big sweeping views over the ocean and beaches, wide curves, gentle gradients and super-elevations built for speed. Bikers love this road and so do the local traffic authorities, who collect plenty of revenue with laser and camera traps. You have been warned.

Located between George and Groot Brak Rivier the pass winds it's way from 1 meter above sea level to 202m at the lip of the coastal plateau near the George airport.

For pass hunters, why not also drive the old national road, which is still publicly accessible and is now called the R102. Find the start in the village of Groot Brakrivier under the new N2 bridge next to the river. Immediately thereafter, you will arrive at a T-junction. Go left and follow the road through some lovely suburbs of mainly holiday homes, whereafter the R102 skirts the Glentana golf course, before crossing under the N2 again as it twists and turns its way up to the coastal plateau. You can rejoin the N2 again a few kms further at the next on/off ramp. This pass will be featured separately with it's own video footage.

Along this road you will also find the railway line and the Groot Brak station where the steam trains used to ply the line through to George and Knysna. Severe flooding about 15 years ago caused massive damage to the line and Spoornet deemed the repairs not to be economically viable. For hundreds of thousands of local and international visitors, a ride on the "Outeniqua Choo-Choo" was the highlight of a visit to the Garden Route. How about Rovos Rail taking this project over and turning it into a profitable reality?

Click here to go to the Hoogte Pass page.

Over the next few weeks you can look forward to productions featuring the Cloete's Pass near Herbertsdale, the Jan Muller Pass which crosses the Gouritz River through a cleft between the Langeberg and Vreys Mountain ranges and the fabulous Rooiberg Pass near Calitzdorp. This one will be a 2 part series as it is really something special and not many people even know about it.

Enjoy the drive!

Trygve Roberts

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Mountain Passes South Africa

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.

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