It’s a changing landscape where the gravel road drops from steep mountains to the valley floor and then climbs back up again, over and over. Along the way you’ll come across descriptive Afrikaans names that are testimony to past circumstances.
There’s Dam se Drif, where a dam was washed away, and Doodsklip (death stone), where legend has it that a fisherman who had a bit too much to drink tied a line to his big toe and had dozed off when a huge fish pulled him into the water.
And there’s Moordenaarskloof (murderer's ravine), where a construction crew blasting to build the road uncovered a human skull.
But by far the most amusing are a pass called Holgat (hollow hole), which sounds vaguely rude somehow, Pisgoedvlakte – named after euporbia plants called pisgoed (piss things) because they’re believed to cause urinary disorders in male stock animals – and Poepsloot (poo furrow).
Poepsloot is a particularly steep hill on Combrinck’s Pass, which snakes its way up with some very tight turns and breathtaking drops. The word describes ‘flatulence coming from oxen straining to pull wagons up the steep incline’, says our guidebook.
For us, it could equally describe the state of humans driving along a bad road surface on the steep, narrow passes in the area. Take your 4x4 out on a rainy day and you’ll see just what I mean!
More about the Baviaanskloof
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