Latest News! 3rd March, 2014

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Newton Wines vineyard in the Elgin Valley Newton Wines vineyard in the Elgin Valley

This week, we foresake the heat of the Northern Cape for a break back in the more temperate climate of the Western Cape. Just west of False Bay lies a mountainous section between Somerset West and the Overberg. This 300 meter high mountain plateau is host to Grabouw and the Elgin Valley. This week we have a trio of beautiful drives on offer. They can easily be driven in a single day.

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1. The Highlands Pass is a 12 km gravel pass suitable for all vehicles, that starts near the Bot River Estuary/ Arabella Golf Estate and crosses the Mount Hebron Nature Reserve and a portion of the Kogelberg Nature Reserve and traverses the Highlands State Forest. Explore hiking trails and MTB routes and try some fine wine tasting at the Iona wine estate near the summit.

2. The Elgin Valley Road is more of a country drive than a pass. Having said that the route contains two mini-passes (both unofficial) and traverses picture perfect apple orchards, neat rows of vineyards, pine plantations with blue lakes  in a mountainous setting. There are several weekend getaways along this road. It is well worth the read to discover some of these unknown gems so close to Cape Town.

3. The historic old Houw Hoek Pass takes you back in time to 1831 when 600 Pounds Sterling was the total budget to construct this pass. There is some fascinating history and a mind-boggling 'phone a friend question' begging to be answered.

Later in the week we will be featuring the Van Der Stel Pass and two others in the Overberg district.

Looking forward to the autumn? As this post is being written, a gentle rain has settled in over the Cape Peninsula. Hallelujah!

Trygve Roberts


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