Hel (The Hell) is one of those places you hear of and always wonders
what it is like there.
picture the road to The Hell as hell itself and you think it that
it must be blazing hot down there. Why would they call it hell anyway.
decided to investigate.
are many roads which leads to hell. We decided to take the winding
narrow road. We hardly ever take the established well known routes
when going somewhere. The back roads and unknown roads are much
more fun and you see more.
get to the hell you first you have to get to Calitzdorp. Calitzdorp
is known as the port capital of South Africa and some people claim
the the port produced here is of the best in the world. Apparently
the well drained soil and warm climate is similar to those in Douro
Valley in Portugal where port originated from.
Caliztdorp's main street you will find "Rose of the Karoo"
restaurant which serves some of the best food in the Karoo.
the main street of Calitzdorp does not look very attractive you
will find beautiful architecture in the streets just behind the
main street especially to the south of the main street.
you entered Calitzdorp from Cape Town's side, you have to turn left
just before the grave yard (which is also on your left hand side).
If you entered Calitzdorp from Oudshoorn's side the graveyard will
be on your right and you must turn right just after the graveyard.
I think the street is called Calitz Street.
becomes the gravel road which will pass the Calitzdorp Dam and several
other places until it takes you to the Swartberg Pass. I suggest
you look for a place to stay on this road as the scenery is so beautiful
that it takes you ages to cover this dirt road. You will not be
able to drive to hell and back on one day from Calitzdorp.
The Calizdorp Dam
The narrow winding road
stayed on a friend's farm at Smitsriver Valley which is about 20Km
outside of Calitzdorp. If you look on Google Earth it is about just
on the other side of the mountain from where "The Hell"
is. The current Google photographs for this area is very poor quality.