A scenic 30-minute drive

I’ve been missing-in-action for the last couple of weeks. The heat and especially the humidity here in the Southern Cape have meant daily migraines for me, and not much energy or inspiration to blog. This past weekend Riekie (from Clouded Marbles) came to visit. She ended up having to entertain herself quite a lot (and kept Rosie, the dog, very busy!), but I did manage some early morning and evening walks with her. One morning we drove down to the sea, to a small town called Herolds Bay. After walking around and taking photos there, we drove slowly back towards George (a small city in this area) and the Outeniqua mountains.

Herolds Bay is a little seaside town in the Southern Cape which is very popular during the summer months. There seem to be relatively few permanent residents, and the town is really geared towards holiday makers with a hotel, B&Bs and holiday apartments. We got there fairly early in the morning (05:30 a.m.!), which – even though it was cloudy – turned out to be an excellent time to take photographs.

Standing at the beach looking towards the eastern headland of the bay. The sun was just beginning to rise above the point where land, sea and sky meet. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Turning around anti-clockwise one can see the houses along the beach. For those interested in golf, South African golfer Ernie Els is rumoured to own one of the big mansions on the beach at the right. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The "central" part of town shows the houses up on the ridge. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Looking towards the western headland from a distance. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

Having walked a little further along the road towards the western headland, one comes to this sea-water pool. The water temperature can only be described as "bracing"! Some nutty guy was taking an early morning swim while we were there, and managed to stay in the water for quite a while. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

A closer view of the western headland. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

As in a lot of other small coastal towns in South Africa, building styles here differ quite radically. Initially, small sea-side cottages were constructed by the original owners of the properties. In some cases the old cottages have been replaced by very modern mansions, and small apartment blocks. I recently visited the town of Kleinmond, where the same thing has happened. You can see my post about Kleinmond here.

One of the original seaside cottages. As you'll notice by this garden, ordinary garden plants do not grow well here. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

These sunflowers provide an interesting splash of colour though. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

I'm not sure if the two properties in the centre and to the right are just huge houses, or whether they're apartments for rent to holiday makers. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

There is little flat land in Herolds Bay, so a lot of properties rise vertically from the slope. Imagine climbing up and down those stairs every day! ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

One of the more interesting houses was built in an Italian style. With those shutters, I can imagine it would be a nice cool house to live in during the hot summer months.©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

St Mary's Church. With this cute little church right on the beach, Herolds Bay has become a popular wedding venue.©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

From Herolds Bay we drove back to George again, passing through farmlands. The distance from Herolds Bay to the base of the Outeniqua mountains is about 23 kilometres or approximately a 30-minute drive. If you aren’t stopping every couple of kilometres to take photographs, that is! It’s one of my favourite drives – going from the sea, over the coastal plateau and right up to the mountains. I ended up taking a lot of photographs of farmlands, and farm roads, and farm fences and gates. Here is a selection of what we saw, in more or less chronological order.


Here you can see the Outeniqua mountains in the background. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com


This beautiful Jersey cow had four calves with her. Not all her own, I'd think. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com


This irrigation system just made for an interesting photograph.©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

A close-up of the irrigation system. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com


Just before you reach George, is the George airport. Despite having a short runway, and often adverse weather conditions, they manage to land some pretty big planes here. The radar tower - with the "ball" on top - lies close to the runway. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

While I was taking photographs of the radar tower, Riekie noticed a couple of farm dogs bounding through the high grass and having loads of fun. I managed to get a quick snap of the biggest dog - the only one constantly visible over the high grass. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The following photographs were taken from a previous post I did (Montagu Pass – a scenic trip back in time) and just show the area where our journey ended. As I was driving in my car – which is not a 4×4 – we had to turn around at the toll house in the photograph below.

The Outeniqua Mountains with the old Toll-house in the foreground. ©2011 LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

The beautiful Outeniqua mountains. I don't know the geological processes involved in forming these slopes and valleys, but in certain light it looks like the mountains are covered in green velvet. ©2011 LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

View from "Amanda's Grave". Near the top of the pass, you come to a point when you can look through a gap in the mountains, across the farmlands of the coastal plateau, to the sea beyond. This photograph doesn't do the view justice. ©2011 LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com

I feel really blessed to live in this beautiful area!

Two other posts which you may like to read are  A Walk in the Woods I and A Walk in the Woods II. These posts were about the Witfontein Forestry Station at the foot of the Montagu Pass.

Thanks to Riekie for joining me on this “photo drive”. I wish I could have been a better host during your visit. Rosie loved all the attention you gave her!


Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Lifestyle/Travel, Nature/Environment


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)


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27 Comments on “A scenic 30-minute drive”

  1. January 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Thanks for the ride!! It´s great that you live in such a beautiful area!!
    Here is very hot too!! yesterday night I thought I was melting!

    • January 11, 2012 at 5:28 am #

      Yes, I really enjoy living here. We little in a small city, but can be out in the countryside within 5-10 minutes. We’re going to have hot weather for a while still . . . 😦

  2. GeoRoMancer
    January 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    STOP … POSTING … SUCH … HEART-WRENCHING PICTURES … (getting an acute attack of homesickness here!)

  3. itpaystoberegualrunderatree
    January 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    What beautiful pictures! The contrast between the seaside and countryside makes me want to explore!
    Hope the migraines settle and you get to enjoy it a bit more!

    • January 11, 2012 at 5:33 am #

      Thank you! There’s everything you could want all within a short drive. What I didn’t point out in the post is the colour change within the photos, from the greys/blues/pinks of the seaside, to the yellows/greens/browns of the farmlands and mountains.

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! 🙂

  4. January 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    I always enjoy my visits with you guys, Lisa! This past weekend was a lot of fun – quiet times, fun times, and miss Rosie times included!! It was just what I needed, in fact.

    I love how you’ve captured the sky in your photos. And can I just say, once again, I’m soooo jealous of that doggie shot! 😉

    • January 11, 2012 at 5:35 am #

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed it anyway. Rosie has been very “needy” since you left! 😉

      That doggie shot was pure luck. I’m not normally good at taking quick snaps, but the dog kindly stopped and looked up.

  5. jacquelincangro
    January 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    What a lovely scenic drive. It’s wonderful that you can get all of those varied landscapes just 30 minutes from your house. For me, 30 minutes in any direction is just more city and concrete.
    I hope you’re migraines are staying in check. I suffer from them also, so I understand how debilitating they can be.

    • January 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Yes, we are really lucky to live here. Having the infrastructure and conveniences of a small city, but then also being so close to nature. When Riekie was here she remarked on how green the area is, and how many trees there are – even in the city. New York though has some lovely parks – which is where I’d spend most of my time if I lived there! 🙂

      I’m really not having much fun at the moment. Even if I don’t get a full-blown migraine, I have pain on a daily basis. The humidity here (thanks to all those lovely trees) is intense.

  6. January 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    I’m so sorry your migraines have been so bad, Lisa, but it’s great that Riekie could visit again. Your photos are stunning. Here’s to feeling better.

    • January 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      Thanks Kathy! Yes, it really lifted my mood to have Riekie visit. We always laugh a lot when she’s around.

  7. January 11, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Very nice! I’ve missed the beach now that I’m landlocked.

    • January 11, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

      We used to live in a town nearby which overlooks a lake/lagoon. I miss seeing the blue water every day, but I’m very happy where we live now close to the mountains, and it doesn’t take long to drive down to the beach. Hope we get to stay here for a very long time.

  8. Sarita Botha
    January 11, 2012 at 9:13 am #


  9. January 13, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    Wow south Africa is beautiful! Sorry to hear about your migraines. My sister gets them and it is awful.

    • January 13, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      Thank you! Yes, and our area is ESPECIALLY pretty! 😉 Sorry to hear that your sister also suffers.

  10. January 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Beautiful photos Lisa 🙂 – I especially love the photo with the white-washed farmhouse surrounded by fields – great light!
    Also sorry to hear that you have been suffering with your migraines – but glad to hear that you had a great time with Riekie visiting.

    • January 16, 2012 at 5:42 am #

      Thanks Lu! It was a lovely morning and because of the clouds the light was very soft. Every time that I’d been on that road previously, the light had been very harsh and it was difficult to take good photographs.

  11. January 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    So glad you enjoyed your scenic drive with Riekie – a lovely set of images. I don’t think I’ve ever visited Herold’s Bay, and we haven’t explored George much – yet! I rather like the dramatic clouds and sea in the first picture; the Italian style house looks very unusual and a little out of place here, but most appealing nonetheless! And I also like the image of the house in the middle of the golden/green/yellow fields – it looks so idyllic.

    • January 17, 2012 at 7:05 am #

      Thanks Reggie! All the photos were taken between 5:30 (sunrise here at the moment) and 6:30 in the morning. I really find that the light at that time in the morning is beautiful. The two images you mention are favourites of mine too.

  12. January 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    I am truly sorry that you are suffering from migraines. However, that makes me appreciate even MORE the incredible photographs of your ride. It is so stunning to see and so thrilling, too that you allow us to experience the sights you see. I am proud to follow your gorgeous blog.

  13. February 7, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Congratulations on clicking such amazingly beautiful photos!

    • February 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      Thank you! I appreciate you visiting my blog and leaving a comment. 🙂


  1. relaxing down south | clouded marbles - January 21, 2012

    […]  I was in zoom-mode (a bit obsessed, I think) so you should really check out the much more interesting photos that Lisa took.  There was a black farm dog in the field below and I really thought I got a good shot of it […]

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