South Africa’s Route 62 was named after the famous Route 66 in the United States of America, a highway that connects the urban and rural communities between Chicago and Los Angeles. And like its namesake, it is an adventure to follow this route, which offers the traveler much more than picturesque scenery and some of South Africa’s finest wines.
The South African Route 62, is the traveler’s route which meanders between Cape Town, Worcester, Montagu, Barrydale, Ladismith, Calitzdorp, Oudtshoorn and on its way to Port Elizabeth. Route 62 also passes through historic Amalienstein and Zoar, and the fruit growing and wine producing towns of Ashton and Robertson, with McGregor, Wolseley, and Tulbagh all offering interesting side excursions.
It is advertised as the longest wine route in the world, including the wine cellars and estates of Paarl, Wellington, Tulbagh, Worcester, Robertson, and Klein Karoo Wine Routes, of which Calitzdorp is a part, producing the world famous Calitzdorp Port Wines.
Route 62 is one of three major routes connecting the hinterland of South Africa with Cape Town, and it is definitely the most spectacular as far as scenery is concerned. There is such a kaleidoscope of variety in the scenic experiences available.
Bizarre red rock formations around Calitzdorp are known as ‘Red Hills’ and here geologists have been able to trace the earth’s development over the last 600 to 800 million years. The sea left the red tinted deposits against these Klein Karoo Mountains over 125 million years ago. This phenomenon is said to be found at only two other places in the world. This scenic area is a must for visitors. This area has some wonderful unspoilt natural beauty.
And of course Calitzdorp and the whole Klein Karoo area is known for its ostriches. These unusual birds can be spied throughout this area as you motor along the highway. Weary, stressed out city visitors to Calitzdorp might also like to relax at the hot mineral baths at The Spa.
There is history in every kilometer of this road from Bushmen paintings to architecture, from war memorials to national monuments. As example Montagu is steeped in history and is famous for its, orchards, vineyards, local herbs and healing hot mineral springs. Natural phenomenons are there for exploration with possibly the internationally known Cango Caves being the most popular place to visit and a comfortable hour’s drive from Oudtshoorn.
For nature lovers it is interesting to know that the fynbos vegetation supports a number of South Western Cape Endemics, one of which is the Cape Sugarbird and the orange-breasted Sunbird. There are many Nature Reserves where motorists can take time out to do a spot of bird watching, or study some of the rare plant species. The Gamka Nature Reserve 22 km from Calitzdorp offers hikes, bird watching, floral walks, 4 x 4 drives, and has recently upgraded its Bush Camp accommodation.
Route 62, also known as the Mountain Route, offers the visitor range upon range of striking mountain edifices, snow capped in the winter, with the rich agricultural farms nestling in the valleys at their feet.
You will find hiking trails and 4 x 4 routes, fishing opportunities, a whole gamut of restaurants to suit every pallet, legends and stories, grape picking, and much, much more tourists who have traversed Route 62 once, return time and time again, and they declare that this road provides all of them with an adventure. The scenic splendours alone are fascinating and, for example, the majestic Huis Rivier Pass, begins its twists and turns right on the outskirts of Calitzdorp.
And last but not least, whilst heavy traffic dominates the N1 and N2 routes, Route 62 offers leisurely driving with plenty of time to explore the surrounding areas.
PAARL VINTNERS OPENS CHALLENGE TO ALL
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LITTLE PLACE OF LUXURY
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