Set out about 09h00 and drive along the N1, don’t go through the Heugonaut Tunnel but drive over the Du Toits Kloof Pass, much more scenic! Be prepared to take plenty of photographs of the mountains and the valley overlooking Paarl, the two domes and the very attractive bridge leading to the tunnel.
The pass Du Toit’s Kloof pass is really much more interesting than the tunnel although Joshua Joubert built a road through the kloof in 1738 as a private road Du Toit’s Kloof pass as it is today was only finished in 1949. It rises some 823m and then descends into the Du Toit’s Kloof, and what a splendid drive it is. The old road meets the tunnel road at the bottom of the valley next to the Moolinars River and Du Toits Kloof Lodge.
As you drive through the kloof the mountains gradually get lower and the vineyards and fruit farms get bigger.
Along the Ni we turn off to the left just before Worster along the R43 until you join up to the r303 which runs alongside the Dwars River you can then drive up the Mostertshoek Pass built in 1765 and replaced by Mitchell’s pass in 1848. Stop and admire the view, there are a number of picnic and viewing sights along the pass, unfortunately probable due to baboons they are not kept as tidy as they should be. Looking down on the Dwars River you will see the old railway line used in the days of steam trains. Some cuttings were formed through the rocks, what a wonder train journey that must have been!
Return down the pass and you will come to the original Tollhouse, used to extract tolls from wagons using the pass. It is now used as a restaurant staff by very friendly waitresses a very suitable place to have a South African meal accompanied by wonder views of the mountains, and complete with large oak trees.
After lunch continue the journey on the r46 to Tulbagh where you will find Kerk Street now called Chris Hani Street. All along this fine street are historic houses old schools and churches.
House no 22 is the museum was built in 1803 the first postmaster lived here the outbuilding at the back was probably the first post office in Tulbagh.
House no 12 Readers Restaurant and Curious Cat this house was granted by Governor Ryk Tulbagh to Dr Nicolaas Fuchs a surgeon. This is the first house built in Church Street between the parsonage and the old Church in 1754. The house stands at an angle with Church Street because at that time the street did not exist. It was taken over by the church for the reader (of scriptures) in 1756 for the comfort of the congregation. The house was used as a school for over 100 years until 1860. It is believed that Danie Theron the famous Anglo Boar war scout was born in this house.
House 42 in 1843 a rift occurred in the Tulbagh Congregation and a number of church members broke away to establish their own congregation on a farm outside town. They were unhappy with the minister who they considered to be too strict. The newly formed congregation brought this house for their new minister in1874.
Forty’s No 40 this house was built for the widow Magtheld Smith, the daughter of a freed slave, shortly after 1795. The house was twice used as a doctor’s consulting rooms. The house could not be completely restored after the earthquake. But the front of the house was rebuilt using a photograph from 1861.
The English free school was opened in 1822 in the outbuildings of house No 32. The government paid the owner 25pence per month in rental for the school premises the school closed in 1837.
Plum Restaurant. This house was built in 1880’s and was occupied for 30 years by Willem Witsche, who provided vegetables and milk from his garden across the street. His garden is now the site of the school sports field.
Across the road is Paddagang Restaurant and wine house. Paddagang means frogs crossing, frogs migrate across the drive.
House No 25 Built in 1814 it is an example of what a “Modern’ house looked like at the turn of the 19th centaury. Charles Theron owned this property between 1849 and 1863. He was described as the “proprietor of the lock up house” in Tulbagh as he rented out one of the outbuildings to the authorities for a jail. He also had a smithy attached to the house and had the property insured against fire. Probably one of the very first owners with insurance@!
Having visited all the houses in Church Street, not all listed here. We return to Cape Town on the R44 past the very large Voelvlei dam and over the interesting Nieuwekloof Pass this pass replaced the original Oudekloof Pass.
A very nice Sunday trip.