More back-road 4x4 trips (MapStudio), by Marielle Renssen

More back-road 4x4 trips (MapStudio), by Marielle Renssen. MapStudio. Cape Town, South Africa 2012. ISBN 9781770264182 / ISBN 978-1-77026-418-2

More back-road 4x4 trips (MapStudio), by Marielle Renssen. MapStudio. Cape Town, South Africa 2012. ISBN 9781770264182 / ISBN 978-1-77026-418-2

Example: Double sided map of Tankwa Karoo National Park in More back-road 4x4 trips (MapStudio), by Marielle Renssen.

Example: Double sided map of Tankwa Karoo National Park in More back-road 4x4 trips (MapStudio), by Marielle Renssen.

Excerpt from Marielle Renssen's off-road atlas More back-road 4x4 trips, published by MapStudio

Excerpt from Marielle Renssen's off-road atlas More back-road 4x4 trips, published by MapStudio

Marielle Renssen in 2012 completed the immensely tough job of exploring South Africa and Mozambique for a new MapStudio 4x4 guide, and to bring you her insights and share her experiences. More back-road 4x4 trips, with its 10 new trips, presents a launch pad for your own back-road adventures, to be moulded and adapted entirely to suit you.

Marielle Renssen  MapStudio  

Tankwa Karoo National Park

DAY 1: Oudtshoorn via Seweweekspoort and Sutherland to Tankwa Karoo NP (422km)

Leg time without stops: 7 hours. Even though we were at the trailing end of spring, all roads leading to Oudtshoorn were flower-bedecked: shocking-pink mesembryanthemums, papery everlastings, yellow button-heads and kouterbossie (Klaas Louwbos). The fynbos was bristling prettily. Showiest of all were the Chinese lantern bushes, laden with baby-pink inflated capsules. Driving through Oudtshoorn, with its gabled and zinc-roofed Victorian houses built of sandstone, we knew we were in ostrich palace territory. The ostrich farm signs confirmed it. So did the ostriches.

Leave Oudtshoorn on R62 to Calitzdorp, for 50km
We headed into the flat, scrubby Karoo landscape but this time, instead of grey, it was all pinks and sunshine-yellows, helped by yellow pomegranate bushes and crops of canola and lucerne. We were driving towards the big, layered Groot Swartberg Mountains, Calitzdorp nestled at their feet. And what fun it was passing through the town (it's on Route 62, so quirkiness prevails). Outside a row of general dealer stores, a female mannequin in a bike helmet and long shirt (and not much else) was sitting astride a vintage scrambler advertising a local pub; a rusty old bicycle hung on the outside wall of the Anna Sophia shop and accommodation complex, while little cutout figures skipped along the rooftop; and there were Victorian cottages with verandahs, art galleries and coffee shops. The Huisrivier Pass gave us entry into the lower foothills of the Swartberg, intensely green with fleshy, shiny spekboom. Then we were rising and dropping in the belly of the hills where Cape Fold strata were tilted and scrunched in brick-red layers. At times, they were green-carpeted, at others, scoured and bare. We threaded through the interlocking mountains. A tiny flat-roofed dwelling was dwarfed by the rocky ramparts.

Drive to Zoar for 27km, right onto gravel through Seweweekspoort for 21km
The purple blossoms of the keur-boom were everywhere, the air fragrant with a honeyed scent. And then, great wings outstretched above us, there was our first Jackal Buzzard. It settled, right on cue, on a telephone pole, allowing us to ogle it through our binoculars. Then we entered the huge rock portals of Seweweekspoort, shattered rock walls leaning askew. The characteristic vertical spines of the Swartberg were here, raked back like an open fan. Rigid rock slabs, impossibly curved by tectonic pressure, tilted into the air like gangplanks. Yet, mountain cabbages and coral and bitter aloes, with thickly seeded heads, survived in this territory, clawing to the unforgiving rock. Every corner we turned in this mountain maze offered a new vista: interlocking spurs of quartzitic sandstone; upended layers; and buckled and bent rock sandwiches, shattered through. In the grandeur of our surroundings, our white vehicles were reduced to scuttling woolly mites. At times, rocks seemed dangerously balanced but were, in fact, perfectly weighted according to the laws of gravity and nature. This was the setting in which we drank our first cup of coffee ... surrounded by a proliferation of yellow tick-berry bushes, while dassies scampered over the rocks. Of course, once we were on our way again, the perfect picnic perch offered itself: a cave hollowed out of the mountain face with a little wood-and-thatch shelter nearby (33°23'52.32"S, 21 °23'57.24"E). There would just have to be a next time. We popped out of the pass at 1000m, all declaring unanimously that Seweweekspoort is just as dramatic - if not more so - as the Swartberg Pass. [...]

This is an excerpt from the atlas and guide: More back-road 4x4 trips (MapStudio), by Marielle Renssen.

Title: More back-road 4x4 trips
Scale: Various
Author: Marielle Renssen
Genre: Atlas / Travel guide
Publisher: MapStudio
Cape Town, South Africa 2012
ISBN 9781770264182 / ISBN 978-1-77026-418-2
Softcover, 21 x 29 cm, 160 pages, throughout maps and photos

Renssen, Marielle und MapStudio im Namibiana-Buchangebot

More back-road 4x4 trips (MapStudio)

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