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Day 27

Tuesday 30 August 2005
Vredendal Hotel, Vredendal - Belmont Hotel, Ceres

Today took us through the rocky Cederberg mountain ranges, one of South Africa's most beautiful and dramatic regions, with a fine succession of breathtaking valleys and passes.

Participants had the chance, at Wupperthal, to see Kudu shoes and rooibos soap being manufactured at the wonderful shoe factory in the charming little Dutch colonial settlement, which was hidden away in a remote valley with only one road in and one road out.

Although mostly on gravel the day's run was fairly easy. We did, however, experience some challenging driving on a 34km stretch after Wupperthal, which was slow and rough but tons of fun. The trail climbed up a steep valley, before winding it's way through the mountains, and a couple of remote settlements, to Matjiesrivier, where we passed some lovely old colonial farmsteads.

Some participants took the detour to Kroomrivier, a lovely isolated farm and on to the Stadsaal Caves to see some bushmen rock paintings. These were by turns fascinating and eery in the afternoon light.

Others headed straight to Ceres, past the Oasis, a charming little stop whose owner was extremely welcoming, before crossing the wonderfully dramatic series of passes dropping down the spectacular Gypo Pass into the town for our overnight halt at the Belmont Hotel.

Ceres boasted the best car wash that money could find (both inside and out!), whilst those that do Kudu showed off their new Kudu boots from Wupperthal at dinner - making them the envy of those who Kudidn't.