Rockland Heights (R331) - an easy pass with a tough history

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Trygve Roberts's picture
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Joined: 2014/06/12

Points: 1

Between the citrus farming towns of Patensie and Hankey you can ride the tarred Rockland Heights Pass which runs just north of the Gamtoos River and south of the Shumba Game Farm, but watch out for cattle on this shoulderless road. The pass is easy enough and makes for a pleasant ride, but once you start digging (literally and figuratively) into the history of Hankey, there is a treasure chest of stories that will fascinate and beguile. From the tragic story of Sarah Baartman, who was born here and where her remains were returned not so long ago to an equally tragic bit of Africana in the form of a budding engineer who designed a tunnel clean through the mountain ridge separating a big loop in the Gamtoos River.

Let's go back to 1833 and imagine the rudimentary instruments available at the time and that the engineer was so sure of his calculations that the tunnel was dug from opposite ends and actually met precisely at midpoint. There's a cruel twist to this bit of history, which we reveal on the pass page. Go check it out here on our latest news page and take the link from there to the pass. It's a good story.

As usual the page will be kept open till Sunday for BMW Club members.

http://bit.ly/2FpqXHn
 

Trygve (Robby) Roberts
Editor www.MountainPassesSouthAfrica.co.za
Mobile 083 658 8888

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