KAROO TRIP (2)


OUDTSHOORN (SOETDORING)

April & May 2021

After a delicious breakfast at the Country Hotel in Montagu, we’ve thanked the staff for a great stay and loaded our luggage in the car again.

DAY 2:

Today we are travelling to Oudtshoorn – about 240km (149 miles) further – and we are looking forward to drive through beautiful mountain passes. The weather however, was not looking great – soft rain was falling when we’ve left Montagu.

Rain on the Op de Tradouw Pass:

We’ve travelled through the ‘Op de Tradouw Pass’ between Montagu and Barrydale and could not really took any photo’s, because most of our ride was in rain. But, as we’ve got to the bottom of the pass, the sun came out – happy days!

The rain clouds lifted as we’ve completed the ‘Op de Tradouw Pass’

Hello to ‘Ronnies Sex Shop’:

As we’ve been on this road before, we knew of an interesting pub next to the road … ‘Ronnies Sex Shop’ … but don’t get too alarmed … it’s not what you think it is 😁.

An old tractor (and our car in the background) at Ronnies Sex Shop

‘Ronnies Sex Shop’ was actually just ‘Ronnies Shop’ when it started back in the late 1990’s. A pub between towns where a weary traveler could stop to have something to drink and eat … but business was not great then, and Ronnie’s friends decided to put the word ‘sex’ to the name … and there you go, the irresistible sign brought in loads of passers-by 😄.

The outside sitting area of Ronnies Sex Shop – me, waiting for a cup of tea 😉
Ronnies Sex Shop is one of the most popular Route 62 pubs

We were quite fortunate to have Ronnie himself coming out to our car and welcoming us to his shop. He offered us a glass of champagne (when he heard we were on our anniversary trip), but since it was still early in the morning (and we had to drive), we’ve opted for coffee and tea!

Ronnie posing in front of his very own pub

The inside of the pub is … well, shall we just say ‘interesting’ … ladies’ underwear is hanging from the roof, messages of travelers are written everywhere and a whole lot of different badges and currencies are displayed on the walls … for sure not your ‘normal’ pub!

While we were sitting there, a couple of cars stopped to enjoy something to drink (and had their pictures taken in front of the sign ‘Ronnies Sex Shop’). I wonder if this is a case of ‘sex sell’ … 😜.

Anyway, we still had to travel to our next destination, so we’ve waved goodbye to Ronnies Sex Shop and got back on the road.

It got a bit overcast once again and we’ve had some cool weather on our way to Outdtshoorn.

Beautiful cloud formations over the mountains

Lovely Huisrivier Pass:

Our next pass was between Ladismith and Calitzdorp, namely the Huisrivier Pass (translated House River Pass). This pass is 13,4km (8 miles) long and has 39 bends, corners and curves that are packed into this distance.

Although it was still misty over the mountains, we’ve decided to stop at a widen area where we could take some photo’s.

The original pass was built in 1897 and renovated during the 1950’s, followed by further improvement and pavement in 1966.

Lovely view into the valley

From here, it was only half an hour’s drive to Oudtshoorn. Our accommodation for the night was actually outside Oudtshoorn, but since it was still early, we’ve decided to have lunch at a restaurant in town.

History on Oudtshoorn:

The town was named after Baron Pieter van Rheede van Oudtshoorn who came to South Africa in 1741 and was appointed Governor of the Cape in 1772.

Oudtshoorn was once known internationally as the ‘ostrich capital of the world’. Royalty and high society adorned themselves with the world’s finest feathers. Today there are still quite a few ostrich farms around Oudtshoorn … in fact, there was one just next to the farm where we’ve stayed.

SOETDORING (Outside Oudtshoorn):

As mentioned before, our accommodation for the night, Soetdoring is outside Oudtshoorn. It is set on a farm with lovely views of the Outeniqua Mountains.

Our stone cottage at Soetdoring
We’ve found a wonderful relaxing spot at the front of the cottage

We were really impressed with this accommodation. The peace and quietness you find here is truly remarkable. While exploring the area, we’ve found a footpath that took us to a swimming pool.

Our view over the farm and mountains

A closer look at ostriches:

As mentioned, there is an ostrich farm close-by. When we’ve came back from town, we’ve stopped here to take some pictures of these beautiful animals.

An ostrich farm
One particular ostrich was quite nosey

Oudtshoorn is famous for its huge ostrich population, which thrive in these semi-desert conditions. They are the biggest living birds on the planet and fully grown, it can weigh up to 140kg.

There are plenty of ostrich farms offering tours in Oudtshoorn and I would suggest, if you have more time than what we did, visit one where you might just experience a tractor ride or guided walking tour into the field to get closer to the ostriches.

Back at Soetdoring, we’ve enjoyed the rest of the afternoon on the ‘stoep’ (front porch) of our little cottage. The views were breathtaking beautiful and as expected, sunset was a spectacular affair.

Clouds over the Outeniqua Mountains
Although overcast, we’ve had a beautiful sunset

Towards the evening, it was time to do what we love most … start a fire and have a ‘braai’!

As it became dark, lights automatically switched on next to the footpath

We had a wonderful evening at Soetdoring. We did not see any other people and although we were only a short distance away from town, it really felt as if we were on another planet where it was just the two of us!

A happy ‘braai’ meal in absolute solitude

Tomorrow we will leave this lovely place to stay at (another) lovely place … although the name is not suggesting that … ‘The Hell’. And to get there, we will have to drive some ridiculously hair-raising passes and roads. On our way, we will visit the Cango Caves – we hope to show some images of just how beautiful it is there.

But, as for now, we were just enjoying the peace and quietness at Soetdoring.

Goodnight from Soetdoring

Just click here to start reading about our third day 👍🏻

Categories: South African Break Aways

24 comments

  1. The stone cottage you stayed in is wonderful and that front porch! Adding ‘sex’ to the name to attract customers is a brilliant move, and it worked!! Gorgeous views all along the road despite the rain. Looking forward to the next part of the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks beautiful, especially at Soetdoring in the evening with the fire on. I also think Ronnie is a master marketeer! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy anniversary ❤💙
    Sounds like a fantastic trip. That ‘cottage’ looks divine. Just my kind of place. Enjoy the Cango Caves, they’re quite commercialized but totally awesome. Drive safe on the next leg of your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow quite a trip. I have driven past Ronnie’s sex shop and wondered about it 😂 now I know. Soetdoring looks like a really nice place. My brother in law had an ostrich as a pet called Fiona. She always went for out jewelry 😅💍

    Liked by 1 person

    • So Morag, next time you must stop at Ronnies Sex Shop … their tea is really good 😅. Oh, that cottage at Soetdoring – we really want to go back there (for much longer this time). Now that you mention about Fiona that went for the jewelry … maybe this nosey ostrich was eyeing the camera 📸😅.
      Thanks for reading Morag – enjoy your day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh how I loved the look of that cottage at Soetdoring, both the cosy interior and the views from the porch. It must gave been interesting to get up close to all those ostriches too. What a splendid day you enjoyed. Can hardly wait for the next instalment xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes Marion, I think that cottage (and front porch) is the perfect place to unwind! I was a little apprehensive going too close to those ostriches – those long legs and big feet looked as if it could hurt you 👀.
      Thanks so much for reading and your lovely comments – enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful view from the porch of your cute hotel. The sex shop story is hilarious, and his decorations are underwear!? Funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The pub and ostrich farm seemed like fun stops on this leg of your journey. I love a quirky pit stop!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. An elderly English friend of mine always insisted that he preferred a nice hot cup of tea to sex. I remained unconvinced. It sounded very painful to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the look of that simple stone cottage and your braai dinner looks divine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that stone cottage was a real highlight on this trip – we were so surprised to find this gem on the farm! Our braai dinners were the other highlight … what is more relaxing than sitting next to a fire in nature?
      Thank you for reading and your lovely comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hoping we’ll make it to South Africa again. I have great memories of the braai dinners we cooked up at our cottages in Kruger and Hluhluwe–Imfolozi national parks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I’m so happy you also had the opportunity of trying out some braai dinners! Then you know exactly why we love to have a braai (as often as possible 😁). And you’ve visited the Kruger – wow, not even we have been so lucky. We’ve been to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi national park (there is a post about this visit under ‘South African break aways’ on our blog), but it seems you’ve experience quite a lot of South Africa on your visit 👍🏻.

        Like

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