A quick post with some recommendations based on what we did and where we stayed on our 30 hour overnighter into the Klein Karoo.
Stay: Mymering Guest & Wine Farm
A chilled, tranquil, beautiful place with friendly people, homegrown wine readily available and some lovely chalets. Nice hiking on the doorstep, nature everywhere, and some stunning night skies.
Eat & Drink: Gypsy’s Gin Bar
More of an experience than a drink and meal. Masood (from Liverpool) and Letitia (Cape Town) settled in Ladismith after wandering the globe together. They’ve created a weird and wonderful place in “a town that doesn’t like change”. Over 150 different gins to try, and then Masood’s home cooked curries to enjoy. It felt like a meal at a friends’ house more than at a restaurant. An amazing place.
Eat & Drink: Diesel and Crème
American themed diner (and motel) in Barrydale that does the best milkshakes and burgers around. Instagram heaven (I resisted) with all the vintage signs, stained glass and roadhouse-themed décor. Part of a touristy strip on the edge of Barrydale, which also features some pretty tacky places peddling overpriced Africana to the buses passing through.
Go: We had business in Buffelsdrift (not a euphemism), and so literally took a Sho’t Left off the R62 about 20km before Ladismith. There’s nothing actually to do here, but there is the Buffelsdrift Conservancy:
Buffelsdrift Conservancy is a 1,600 hectare privately-owned cluster of properties, guided by a land use policy intended to preserve the indigenous flora and fauna of the area. The conservancy has invested in small herds of hartebeeste and zebras and hopes to introduce other species in the future.
It’s a beautiful place to drive through: we saw kingfishers, herons, Namaqua doves, weavers, sunbirds, bishops, baboons, ostriches, mousebirds, springbok and a booted eagle, and we weren’t even trying.
Do: Platform 62 Market
The second biggest thing in sleepy Ashton, after their new, unfeasibly large bridge.
Lots of art, local produce, LOADS of wine. Gin and brandy tasting, a pig called Fanie, and a big stream train outside.
Obviously, there is a lot more to see and do along Route 62, and on the way there. The stunning Dutoitskloof, the Nuy Valley, Robertson, Montagu and Barrydale, and beyond that, on towards Oudtshoorn. It’s an incredible road to drive with some amazing scenery, and we were reminded again of just how lucky we are to have all this “just up the road”.