Friday, December 30, 2011

Lootsberg Pass (1787m above sea level)

The wind at the top of the Lootsberg Pass buffets the car.
I'm sitting at the look-out point; all I can see is a single pin prick, headlights, as an ant-car crawls upwards towards me; it's far away.
Beautiful Graaf Reinet is 60 or so km in front of me, ugly Middleburg lies 40 or so km behind me. Between me and one of my favourite Karoo towns, the magnificently restored and preserved Graaf Reinet, is the Plains of Camdeboo, one of the richest sources of dinosaur fossils on the planet.
Aeons ago this would have been a massive inland sea teeming with prehistoric plant and animal life.
Eve Palmer's 'The Plains of Camdeboo', a Karoo classic - about this region - which deeply influenced and impacted me, has been reprinted, and only last night did I finger a copy while prowling Sandton's bookshops.
But I've done 785km since leaving Jo'burg at 5pm, and it's now 3h31. I need some sleep, which I'll get in this car, 60km from here, while passing two gravel road turnoffs to Nieu Bethesda, and Helen Martin's Owl House.
A cold, choppy wind is blowing despite it being mid-summer. I know only too well how the temperatures can drop here in the winter.
Over there, and I bet you can't see it, is the peak of the Compassberg, he second highest peak.
Despite the cold and pitch black, I need to pee. And to then drive, so that I can sleep, in the car.


Unknown said...

Hello Beautiful Mind!

I found you quite by (lovely!) mistake whilest Google-ing my butt off to find the GPS co-ordinates for Lootsberg Pass! Your blog now has me somewhat sidetracked!

If you know what the co-ords are, please let me know.

As an aside, would it be ok with you if I posted a link to this blog post on my site (documenting SA's mountain passes)?

Ciao, ciao!

Unknown said...

(For some bizarre reason, I see my Blogger profile didn't register with my comment above. If you'd like to get in touch, my email address is: lisarobertsjots at gmail dot com)

Anonymous said...

Why are you writing "ugly Middelburg"? Have you spent time in the town, did sightseeing in and aroud, meet the locals? No - you just assume this little Karoo town is ugly . . . small doesn't mean ugly!!!