You’ll find Rietrivier on the western half of the R332, on your way from Willowmore, not long after you’ve crossed the beautiful Nuweberg Pass. Just about 140km of stunning scenery lies ahead of you, not to mention another three spectacular wilderness passes.
A friendlier and more welcoming couple you couldn’t hope to find. They’ll tell you about the history of their farm, where to go hiking, where to see San rock paintings or a waterfall, which farmer to visit if you have an interest in bonsai, where to stop for a snack, what the condition of the road is likely to be (something that’s always of interest to travellers venturing between Geelhoutbos in the middle and Komdomo in the east).
Henriette will give you info pamphlets and maps, show you photographs that make the area come alive and give a good idea of what you really don’t want to miss along the way. If you haven’t already booked, she can suggest places to stay, whether you want bush camping, B&B, self-catering or sophisticated lodge comfort – even if you fancy sleeping in a tree house at the neighbour’s or in one of five caves on their own farm (more about that in another post).
We camped at the Populiersbos campsite on their farm, a grassy and shady site with a flush loo and shower with donkey boiler set off to one side, a power point, a tap for water, and a braai. If you don’t like having to feed a donkey boiler with wood until the water is hot, or you don’t enjoy seeing the mountains and stars in the open space between walls and roof as you shower, this is probably not for you. We loved it.
Boetie was fixing his irrigation system nearby when we started to set up camp and came to see if there was anything we needed. He stayed for a chat, interesting titbits tumbling out of him at breakneck speed. The following morning, he stopped by with a jar of homemade rusks and his cup of coffee in hand, ready to share and chat some more. We enjoyed his company, his view of the world and his sense of humour.
By the time we left, the couple had given us a much better picture of what the Baviaanskloof was all about and best of all, we felt as though we’d made new friends…
See more about the Baviaanskloof
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