3500kms…7 days…Joburg to Cape Town! (Day 1)

The long road ahead....

The long road ahead….

Sitting around in Joburg one evening, trying to figure out plans for the festive season when all of Joburg becomes a kind of ghost town, hubby & I decided to embark on a little adventure – we decided to go on a road trip!! Almost 1400kms away, surrounded by the mighty Indian & Atlantic oceans, nestled against the Table Mountain lies the stunning city of Cape Town (CT), which was to be our chosen destination.

One can reach CT from Joburg in one day – by driving non-stop for 14 hrs, or in several days –  stopping and exploring all the towns & sights on the way. We chose to do the journey in 4 days, halting in towns and cities  – some of our choice and some not. We had left the bookings till late & it was really difficult to find pet friendly accommodation (yes, of course 3-month old Mia was travelling with us)  in the area. December is a very busy period in Western Cape and bookings must be made atleast 3 months in advance – a lesson we learnt the hard way.

In the next few posts, I will attempt to catalogue our 7-day adventure with as many pictures as I can.

Day 1:

Armed with bags of chips, nuts, gum , mints & hordes of chewies and doggy treats, we left early on the morning of 26th. The first day, after driving about 800kms, we stopped in  the timeless town of Graaff-Reinet. It is the oldest town in Eastern Cape and the fourth oldest in all of SA with a large number of restored historical buildings. The best among them is the Dutch Reformed Church, which has been loosely modelled on the Salisbury Cathedral in England. Unfortunately it was closed & we weren’t able to see it from the inside.

The beautiful church at night

The beautiful church at night

The town is surrounded by the Camdeboo National Park, which is well known for the Valley of Desolation – our main reason for stopping in Graaff-Reinet. The Valley of Desolation or the Cathedral of Mountains, as it is popularly known, consists of  towering rock formations. These are dolerite columns, rising to heights of almost 120 metres, overlooking the  Karoo plains. The columns were formed by volcanic and erosive forces of nature over 200 million years.

Dolerite columns

Dolerite columns

valley2

The awe & wonder one feels whilst standing atop these towers is unfathomable. Access to this national monument is via tarred roads, making it easy to absorb the breathtaking beauty without having to break much sweat (or bones!)

The town of Graaff Reinet below

The town of Graaff Reinet below

valley4

Tearing ourselves away from the magnificent natural beauty with great difficulty, we headed back to our B&B for some much needed rest after a long day. There was more driving to be done, more sights to be seen……

Found these ambling on the road, on our way down

Found these ambling on the road, on our way down

3 thoughts on “3500kms…7 days…Joburg to Cape Town! (Day 1)

  1. Pingback: The garden route! (Day 3) | Mia Musings

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