Taking the road less travelled from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
Dairne John returns home to South Africa after 32 years living away and embarks on a road trip with her Tasmanian-born husband. Her photos say what words can’t.
Thirty-two years I’ve lived away from South Africa, yet still the country calls to me.
Africa tugs. The smell and feel of it. It has its own beauty. The thorn trees and the aloes, the mountains and the sea. It’s harsh yet soft.
And so it was, some weeks ago, that I set off on a trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town with my Tasmanian-born husband, taking in a road less travelled, the scenic Route 62.
What an adventure, driving through the bone-dry semi-desert known as the Karoo to Prince Albert, nestled in the shadow of the Swartberg Mountains. A seemingly endless road, snaking away into the distance; country hospitality; magnificent mountain passes; and a cutting with a ribbon of water falling from way on high. On to fertile wine lands and fruit orchards at Montagu and Stellenbosch. And then we come upon the cold Atlantic on the west coast at Paternoster, where the locals eke out a living from the sea. White-washed houses and a bay that curves away – all white sand and soft between the toes.
Cape Town beckons and we’re there in a few hours, settling into our accommodation at Bo Kaap, home to the country’s oldest mosque, brightly painted beneath Table Mountain. With the morning call to prayer, we’re up and off to Cape Point, hot-footing it up to the lighthouse. And, finally, at journey’s end, tracing our way along the coast to the Cape of Good Hope, the south-western most point of the African continent.
It’s difficult to put into words, as you’ll see by these photos.
Meerkat at a farm stay in the Northern Cape
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