Prince Albert where we'd booked into the Swartberg Hotel. First gratefully downing a cold beer in the pub, under the gaze of some poor departed nyala antelope and a huge pair of kudu horns (my proportions are way out, they were much bigger than the heads) we strolled round the village of beautifully restored Victorian and Cape Dutch buildings, housing mohair and weaving businesses, galleries and craft shops, as the setting sun inflamed the surrounding mountains.
We were entertained at dinner with some of the legends and ghost stories of the 125 year old hotel by our waitress, but were assured that our room was not haunted, whew. The next morning while my husband had a look inside, I sat in the garden of the museum and sketched an ox-wagon with the Seven Arches gallery and restaurant behind it. The plant-like structures on the roof are scrap-metal sculptures by one of the area's many artists.
We didn't use the spectacular steep, zigzagging Swartberg Pass through the mountains as it was under repair after heavy rains, going instead via the equally spectacular but less vertigo-inducing Meiringspoort - but the mind boggles to think how these wagons negotiated their way, long before any roads were built.
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