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The three ‘f’s’ would be the best way to describe the Swartberg Pass; Fortitude for attempting the crossing of the pass, Fear which drivers experience on some of the hairpin bends and Fascination for the amazing design of the pass that was completed so long ago.
The Swartberg Pass crosses the Swartberg Mountains in the small Karoo and can be accessed from the north at Prince Albert and via Oudtshoorn in the south. In the 1870s, inland farmers had pleaded with authorities to provide a route over the mountains for them to reach Mossel Bay in order to ship their goods to Cape Town. The job was handed to Thomas Bain, South Africa’s best known road builder and this pass was likely his most challenging. Bain was a resourceful man and had an eye for grade lines, as proven in the many other passes he had already completed. For this task he used 200 convicts and... Show more