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Last Monday, January 2, we drove acrosss the Swartberg Pass that connects the Great Karoo with the southerly Little Karoo and leads over the great Swartberg mountain.

This is easily one of the most spectacular passes I have ever seen. A precipitous gravel road ascent up the northern side slices through a geologist's vision of heaven.

It's not a trek for the faint-hearted, best done with a sturdy four wheel drive vehicle and plenty of attention to the hairpin bends, most without any form of barrier and a sheer drop off the bumpy road.

Below are photographs of the walls of the pass on the ascending leg, showing the folds and colors of these astonishing rock formations.

Near the top, it's time to stop and look back over the road.Then onwards and upwards to Die Top.Ruth decided to visit an alternative peak.The view of the range behind us was beautiful.As was the view to the south of the Little Karoo valley and the mountain range beyond it.The descent into the Little Karoo valley was much more sedate than the ascent. Just as well really, as I was beginning to feel a strong aversion to hair-raising hairpin turns.