Day 7 : Montagu
Drive Time : 2 hours +
Leave Barrydale and take “Route 62” direction Montagu
It’s only 66km!
Montagu is a very strange, off-beat little town famous for the most crazy things and creative people. If you are not a curious, open-minded sort of person you may find the whole thing a little too weird, but turn on your inner child and it becomes an absolute delight. Highlights for us include the Francois Krige Studio, which is really worth a visit: he was an internationally renowned artist who lived here for many years and died in 1994 (paintings go for around US$10 000, if you’ve some loose change) but you need to book in advance to go in.
Just outside of Montagu there’s also the Sheilam Cacti and Succulent Garden (www.sheilamnursery.com) on the R62 in Robertson was established in 1954 and boasts 2000 species of plants. Even if you’re not really into plants, the sheer variety and beauty of what the Schwegmann family have cultivated here is worth a visit.
Soekershof Walkabout Maze is something a little different in almost all aspects incorporating the world’s largest hedge-maze, succulent gardens and a stone-age cinema, the concepts are almost as weird as the hosts. Open your mind for strange stories, legends and quests.
In case a maze and a cactus garden is a little too mentally taxing, take a trip on a river barge at Viljeonsdrift, www.viljoensdrift.co.za, sipping something light and snacking on their deli food as you drift down the river. It’s a total bargain at R45 per person, including a glass of wine!
Places to Stay :
Tel : 023 614 2351
Whilst Mimosa Lodge is quite a lot bigger than most of the places on this tour (it has twenty three rooms and a restaurant), it has a much cosier feel than its size would indicate. Being a country retreat, it has wonderfully verdant gardens, a small and beautiful swimming pool and well (but not ornately) furnished rooms. If you can, try to get the Orchard Suite, which has its own small pool.
The drive back to Cape Town
You could also go via Robertson on the R60 too, (a pretty town) and then to Worcester (not such a pretty town) and then onto the N1. A really nice stop off is the Willow Creek olive farm on the road between Worcester and Robertson. They have a superb range of olive related products, particularly the lemon infused olive oil. This is the short way home.
From the N1, you simply drive all the way to the end, which becomes Buitengracht. From there, you’ll recognize it. Welcome home!