Meandering through the Karoo

3. De Rust

With the holiday season looming, i thought i’d share this gem for those planning a road-trip through the Karoo, or for those who find themselves trapped somewhere along the coast between Mosselbay and Knysna in rainy weather.

After three days of solid rain, we packed the kids in the car and hit the road. The plan was to keep going until we found the sun. What we found enroute was a colonial-revamped cafe in the Queen’s Hotel, Oudtshoorn, called Cafe Brule. The Queen’s Hotel is the third oldest in South Africa and was built in 1880. Cafe Brule, with its checkered floor, serves freshly baked bread and a healthy buffet lunch, and possibly the best coffee in town (lets call it ‘good’ as opposed to ‘great’). But this is not what i’m writing about today. Lets continue.

From here, we followed the road to De Rust, a village of art and old-style quirk. And the sun was shining! De Rust is along the R29 from Oudtshoorn, or the N12 from Beaufort West and a slight detour from Route 62. You can park the car anywhere and pop your head into any one of many little eclectic shops or cafes, since there are only about 6 streets, you wont have far to walk.

We chose the Village Trading Post, admired the collectables on the walls, the art shop in the back and the child-friendly service. A safe place to tick the off-the-beaten-track box and inhale some fresh Karoo air.

If you’re still feeling perky, head for the scenic Meiringspoort as it cuts its way through the Swartberg along the path of the Groot Rivier and crosses over twelve streams (or drifts). Find a secret picnic spot and soak up the serenity.

Happy holidays.

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