One of the great things about Swellendam is that it is situated within 30-40minutes drive from at least 5 other great destinations/towns - all in different directions. This makes it easy to change your plans for the day whenever your mood or the weather requires it. This morning it looked like the weather was turning for the worst and we decided to travel to the Klein Karoo town of Barrydale, where it usually rains a lot less than in Swellendam.
From Swellendam you travel past Buffeljagsrivier, Suurbraak and Tradouw Pass, which makes this trip a scenic pleasure. The Tradouw Pass (which means Women's Path in the old Khoi language) is a 17 kilometer drive through some of the most beautiful and rugged mountain scenery on offer in the Langeberg. There are quite a few places you can stop along the pass to enjoy the view. We stopped at the Drupkelder, which looks like a cave, and Piekniekbos where there is a waterfall and picnic bench. Our boys wanted to stay here the whole day.
Luckily they had been to Diesel and Creme in the past and we could bribe them with a gourmet milkshake. Diesel and Creme is a unique dining experience which is hard to describe. Look at the pictures and add 20%. This is an awesome-must-stop with the best milk shakes (variety and quality) that you have ever tasted. Barrydale is not a big town and most of the other attractions are within walking distance from here.
But today it started raining, so we got back in the bakkie and drove through town for a bit of sight-seeing. We had not traveled far before my wife made me stop in front of a building with the inviting words "Barrydale Hand Weavers" written on it. Here they train local people in the art of hand weaving on looms and produce beautiful handwoven rugs, carpets, tableware, fabrics and even clothing. Apart from being able to buy some of the beautiful products, you can see how it is made. Our boys enjoyed watching so much, it was quite difficult to keep their fingers from being woven into a mat. After this visit I added it to my "must do in Barrydale" list.
From here we traveled west in the direction of Montagu on the R62 to the family-owned private cellarJoubert-Tradauw. To add to the wine experience, Joubert-Tradauw boasts the much-loved R62 Deli, which specialises in Klein Karoo tapas. Once a humble, tin-roofed dwelling, the Deli has been transformed into a Mediterranean-style farm kitchen with rustic décor and an inside fireplace. Guests can dine outdoors, weather permitting, in true al fresco style under the vine-covered veranda (“afdak”), overlooking the farm, the majestic Tradouw Valley and the Langeberge. We enjoyed the tasty Unplugged R62 Platter with a feast of Klein Karoo produce such as imported meats, jams, cheeses, home-baked bread, tapenade, preserves, humus, dukah, chicken with onion and garlic etc., while tasting their great wines. Our boys ran around on a beautiful grass terrace in front of the Deli, quickly making friends. This area is in the shade of trees. The popularity of R62 Deli was evident by the amount of people arriving.
This was a great family outing even though it occasionally rained. What we want to try out on our next trip:
1) Joubert-Tradauw's hamburgers and chocolate cake.
3) Opening of Barrydale Cellar's Brandy tasting room at the end of April 2016