Galaxy Swartberg mountain pass - Civinfo
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 31st December 2010, 11:59 Thread Starter
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Swartberg mountain pass

Hi folks,

My first gallery post here. Recently did my first road trip in my Civic hatch to the fairest Cape province in South Africa from my home in Gauteng. In total drove about 4000km. Used about 248 litres of diesel during the trip for an average fuel consumption of about 6.2l/100km or 16.12km/l. The Civic was quite a surprise being a more comfortable cruiser than I expected and the extra torque from the diesel engine assisted quite nicely when overtaking a lot of trucks on the single lane road stretches. My undoubted and unexpected highlight was driving over the Swartberg (translated black mountain) pass between the towns of Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert. The pass was built in 1888 and is a scary (for those with fear of heights) dirt road winding up through the seemingly impassable mountains. It is a beautiful stretch of road with breathtaking scenery. Below a few pics of the pass along with a few pics of my Civic. For more info on the Swartberg pass check the following Swartberg Pass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia link. Was quite tough going in the Civic though the engine kept up well with the steep inclines but one had to be especially careful of lose and sharp stones. Quite happy to have avoided any punctures!

Region is famous for its ostrich farms. This is one on the entry to the pass.

Start of the Swartberg pass

The pass is famous for this type of construction using rocks which after close to 120 years is still standing which is quite incredible if you ask me.

View of a section of the long snaking road. Can see the start of the pass way below to the right.

Traffic is a bit treacherous being not able to see around bends. Some steep sections also meant I had to use first gear quite a bit!

My Civic posing at the top of the pass.

Civic posing 1600m above sea level . You really have a lovely from here over the valley.

Trucks and heavy vehicles are strictly forbidden. The pass is often closed during winter because of snow. Had to make use of engine braking down the other side of the pass, otherwise it was hard work on the brakes.

Hope the handbrake holds!

View on the other side of the pass. The road eventually winds down into the crack and out of the valley. I lost count of how many hairpin bends were on this side of the pass.

Some very interesting rock formations to be found here.

Hope you guys enjoy the photos! Wish you all a very happy new year!

Last edited by daerron; 1st January 2011 at 07:33.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 31st December 2010, 12:32
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This is beautiful ...

Plan to take the GF on a trip for just this sort of thing!!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 31st December 2010, 12:43
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awesome pics mate, fantastic scenery.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 31st December 2010, 12:48
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Hi Daerron,

Thanks for the photos - they rekindled many good memories. Our family has been lucky enough to have been able to holiday in RSA many times, and we have driven the Swartberg from Oudtshoorn to Prince Albert a few times, returning via the tarred Meiringspoort Pass. It is a very beautiful area and, as you say, has survived amazingly well. You live in a fantastic Country - I envy you! Our last visit was October 2009 and our next visit will be 2012.

I am picking up my new 2011 alabaster silver Civic next week - can't wait!

Best wishes for the New Year.

Cheers, Geoff
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 31st December 2010, 12:50
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Thanks for the photos.... looks like that was a lot of fun.
How did the civic cope with the altitude ?
Have a wonderful new year too.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 31st December 2010, 13:57
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Wow what an amazing road and such stunning scenery. Looks like you did very well to avoid punctures.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 31st December 2010, 14:37
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Wow... Great pics, looks a fantastic drive
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 1st January 2011, 00:48
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welcome fellow centurion civic owner
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 1st January 2011, 03:10
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Epic. Thanks.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 1st January 2011, 07:59 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Relic View Post
Thanks for the photos.... looks like that was a lot of fun.
How did the civic cope with the altitude ?
Have a wonderful new year too.
Thanks for all the positive responses so far!

On altitude, I found the turbo lag became much more apparent when you reach altitudes of +-1000 meters. Close to the top of the pass it was a little bit disconcerting trying to drive in second gear on some steeper sections and finding the turbo very hesitant to spin up. Normally 2nd gear is very responsive even when crawling at low speeds. At sections like those I just drove slowly in 1st. The steeper sections usually had a few ruts and lose stones as well so had to take a bit of care.

In all I was impressed with how the Civic handled the tough conditions (though I doubt I would try it again...)!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 1st January 2011, 11:25
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Very nice!

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 1st January 2011, 11:36
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wow amazing photos, looks like a topgear episode !!!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 1st January 2011, 13:48
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WOW!!! Superb photo's
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 1st January 2011, 22:46
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Epic scenery !
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 2nd January 2011, 19:09
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Beautiful places, nice car. Also scenery from Cape Town to Cape of Good Hope is good for gorgeous photos.
I wish to go back some day... Greetings for all guys in Centurion - nice place.
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