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Eight noteworthy stops along Route 62

A road trip along South Africa's picturesque Route 62, which meanders from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, is a travel adventure that uniquely captures the welcoming, quaint and quirky sides of the Western and Eastern Cape.
I recently spent four days on the road from Cape Town to Oudtshoorn with two of my best girlfriends, courtesy of Cape Country Routes, and was awed, inspired, entertained and above all else amused all 440kms of the way. 

Here are my top eight ways to explore and enjoy the welcoming, quaint and quirky Route 62 on a girl’s road trip:

Welcoming: Treat yo’self at Cascade Country Manor

And how best to start a girly winter road trip? With a pamper sesh of course!

This was number one on the agenda at first stop along the way, the lux Cascade Country Manor in Paarl. We arrived a little later than planned and with no time to spare or check in, we charged off to the spa to be treated to massages and manicures. This was the perfect way to transition into a holiday frame of mind, which was amplified by bubbles and tasty snack platters in front of a stove fireplace in one of the luxurious rooms after our treatments.    

Country charm at Cascade

Along a dirt road a couple of kilometres outside of Paarl, and against a backdrop of the lush Klein Drakenstein Mountains and a gushing waterfall, you will find the charming four-star boutique hotel, Cascade Country Manor.

By Ruth Cooper 18 Aug 2015

Welcoming: Indulge at La Grapperia

La Grapperia Pizza and Bistro situated on the Spice Route Destination in Paarl is the perfect place to properly begin your road trip bonding. Against a backdrop of Instagram perfect views and over delicious thin crust wood-fired pizzas and a bottle of the sumptuous Spice Route Grenache Nior, we clinked glasses to a successful day one and excitedly discussed what was yet to come.

Quirky: Grab a pampoen and selfie at Die Pampoenstalletjie

…or conduct a full on photo shoot like we did. A few kilometres east of Worcester at the Vlakplaas turn-off, one cannot help but notice a bright flash of orange as you drive by. Closer inspection reveals a massive tumble of butternuts, squashes and pumpkins overflowing out of a rustic farm stall. Die Pampoenstalletjie, a much loved attraction in the area sells pampoene of all sizes, shapes and creeds as well as pumpkin themed ornaments, preserves, pumpkin muffins, moerkoffie, homemade ginger beer, quince sweets and more.

Quirky: Get your obligatory photo of Ronnie’s Sex Shop

The infamous Ronnie’s Sex Shop and Road Kill Cafe is synonymous with Route 62 and is a must stop venue along the route. Situated a few kilometres outside charming Barrydale, Ronnies’s Sex Shop (which is actually a farm stall and pub) has played many a back drop for quirky travel snaps.

Recommend: Make sure to also take a peep or enjoy a cold one at the “panty bar” a small pub adjoined to the shop, named so because it is adorned with countless bras and panties suspended from the ceiling.

FYI: Are you familiar with the amusing story on how Ronnie’s Sex Shop came to be? If not click here to find out!

Quaint: Spend an art deco night at the Montagu Country Hotel

The small town of Montagu in the Klein Karoo is as quaint as it gets, transporting you back to a simpler time with its pretty broekielace adorned houses and cute shops. The epitome of this Montagu quaintness is the Montague Country Hotel dating back to the 1920’s. Filled with vintage touches and art deco kitsch, this hotel definitely ticks the unique factor. They even have live piano at dinner times and host Murder Mystery evenings. I mean! “It was the maid with a feather duster in the parlour!”

Quaint: Take a ride in an American classic

Part of the activity offerings at the Montagu Country Hotel is the American Dream Car Tour. This offering takes you on a chauffeured half-day tour from the hotel along the Tradouw Pass to wine estates such as Van Loveren, Springfield and Four Cousins in either a baby blue 1956 Cadillac Sedan De Ville or royal blue 1956 De Soto Fireflight Sportsman. An absolutely fabulous way to see the area and one of my all-time favourite activities of the trip, in fact, one of my favourite travel activities ever. I wish all wine tastings could include a classic car and chauffeur!  

Recommend: The pork belly at Four Cousins in Robertson is a crispy crackling dream come true. 100% recommend.

Our tour was hosted by the charming Gert Lubbe, owner of the hotel, and unofficial ambassador of Route 62, who is as cheeky as he is knowledgeable.  

Welcoming: Enjoy a traditional braai at Kobus Se Gat

Kobus Se Gat situated at the foothills of the Swartberg Mountain Range in Oudtshoorn is fast becoming a firm favourite with international tourists. This family run business offers various guided hikes and cycle tours around the Swartberg mountain range, as well as a cosy rustic restaurant serving a traditional boerekos buffet, and braai vleis cooked over open fires outside.

Recommend: Make sure to eat at least one (or four) of the delicious roosterkoek straight from the fire, slathered in butter or some of the home made konfyt. I will return to Kobus Se Gat just for this. 

FYI: The amusingly title to this restaurant came about when a friend, of owner Kobus, remarked that there was a hole (gat in Afrikaans) in one of the beams of the restaurant when it was still being built, humorously christening the hole Kobus Se Gat. The name stuck and the rest is history.

Welcoming: Rewind at De Zeekoe

De Zeekoe in Oudtshorn offers a variety of accommodation options from wooden lake cabins to stone cottages all of which is surrounded by breathtaking nature. Relax on one of the loungers around their beautiful pool, with cocktail in hand, or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, sign up for the Wild Meerkat Tour.

We spent our last night of the trip in one of the main house rooms with a balcony overlooking a beautiful grassland area, stove fireplace lit, robes on and a glass of Amarula in hand. A perfect way to toast the end of an amazing four day road trip with some of my besties.   

Road tripping, for me, is an ideal way to get a feel for a certain area or culture, discovering hidden gems and interesting characters is what travelling is all about, and South Africa’s Route 62 is packed full of interesting stops, welcoming people and beautiful backdrops. Clear your schedule, pack your bag and grab your baes, adventure awaits!

About Ruth Cooper

Ruth is the production manager at Bizcommunity, as well as a editor of the Lifestyle section.