Karoo views and landscapes along the Swaershoek Pass

I don’t know how many times my tourism friends in Cradock and Somerset East have asked me if I have driven over the Swaershoek Pass yet. I just heard about the beautiful Karoo landscape and stunning views but because the route is 76km of dirt road I’ve been a little hesitant. But that changed recently when the N10 road outside Cradock was blocked due to protests and I had to take the alternative between the two mentioned towns in the…

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Karoo road works stop-go scenery

Some people absolutely hate stop-goes at road works.  I used to be one of those but recently have changed my whole outlook on them.  I make a point of it to get out the car at each one to stretch my legs and to take in the surroundings.  Even chat to the driver of the car in front or behind me.  A week or two ago I drove up to Johannesburg for the Getaway Show and encountered road works on the way up…

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Cradock Moederkerk

Driving through the Karoo Heartland town of Cradock the other day I just couldn't help but to stop and snap a few pics of the "Moederkerk" in town.  I've played around with a couple of effects and this is what I came up with. Oh yes, and what is a post without a little bit of interesting historic info? The first Dutch Reformed congregation (and also the first church) in Cradock was established in 1824.  The present building was completed on the original site…

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Cradock’s Tuishuise and Victoria Hotel

 Driving through the Karoo from the interior to the Eastern or Southern Cape coast (or the other way around) and looking for a spot to sleep over?  The Karoo Heartland has some excellent overnighting spots in towns like Cradock, Graaff-Reinet, Nieu-Bethesda and Somerset East.  If Cradock is your overnight destination of choice then you really don't need to look any further than the iconic Tuishuise and Victoria Manor Hotel.Die Tuishuise  on Market Street in Cradock is made up of 30 beautifully restored Karoo style cottages.  These cottages date back…

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Daggaboer Farmstall in the Karoo Heartland

About 50 km south of Cradock on the way to Port Elizabeth and the cool breeze of the coast, is one of the Karoo Heartland's most popular farmstalls.  Daggaboer Farmstall is one of those "you just have to stop and try their goodies" spots and was voted the WEG & GO! travel magazines' best farm stall in South Africa in 2011.According to their website they are best known for their• Cheesecake, lemon meringue & milk tart• Crunchy koeksisters, millionaire’s shortbread, fudge…

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Karoo Heartland Churches

Looking through everything I have that still needs to be posted I decided to take three Karoo churches and make up one Random... Karoo churches post.  Just about every small town in the Karoo Heartland of the Eastern Cape has a remarkable church of some sort.  Cradock must have one of the most memorable Karoo Heartland churches there are.  It stands at the top of Church Street and is known as the ``Mother" Church.  The church was completed in 1868 on the same site as the…

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Karoo sunrise

A 4am departure on a road trip to Johannesburg meant that I was just south of the Karoo town of Cradock when the sun started to lick at the horizon.  It wasn't long for the clouds to be on fire and I couldn't help but to pull over to take a picture with my phone which I Instagrammed immediately.  The Karoo always has something breathtaking to offer visitors on a plate.

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Schreiner House in Cradock

Olive Schreiner (24 March 1855 – 11 December 1920) was a world renown South African writer and is best remembered for her novel The Story of an African Farm which has been highly acclaimed ever since its first publication in 1883.  She was born in Wittebergen and grew up Healdtown from the age of six.  Between 1868 and 1870 she lived in Cradock with her brother who was the headmaster of the local school and two other siblings.  Although Schreiner only lived in Cradock for…

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27 miles to Cradock

Back in the old days distance stones were used to indicate to travellers how far they had to go to the next town.  These days there aren't a lot of them around and often they are found on old and back roads.  But trust Geocaching to take me to one of them on the N10 on a trip to Cradock.  This stone indicates 27 miles to Cradock and 80 miles to Grahamstown.   

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