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Attraction Name: Garcia Pass
CATEGORY:: Natural Attractions
Type: Mountain Passes
Entrance Fee (Terms): Free self-drive
Description of Attraction: To reach Riversdale to the south of Ladismith, one has to travel over Garcia Pass. The development of Ladismith in the early 1850's and the necessity for the farmers and traders to have access to Riversdale and thus so to the port of Mossel Bay, called for a more direct route through the Langeberg mountains. At that time, Plattekloof Pass was the only existing route over the mountain - quite a considerable detour.

Mr A H Garcia, Civil Commissioner of Riversdale was not an engineer, but he realized this fact and rode into the mountains following the course of the Kafferskuils River Gorge (now known by the more politically correct name: Goukou River) to see if there was a possibility of constructing a pass at that point. Although the river was not large, the gorge is and Garcia found a way through the mountains. With the help of a few convicts, he constructed a bridle path and by 1868 it was in general use by horsemen.

A proper road was demanded by some people and in 1871 Thomas Bain was asked to examine the route. He reported that a pass could be built. By the end of 1873 work commenced on the road, using 107 convicts to do the work. Despite many problems causing frustration for Bain, the pass was officially opened by Mr A H Garcia on 31 December 1877, having taken 4 years to complete.

The old Toll house was built in 1877 and was in use till 1918, when Toll Stations were abolished. It has been restored and declared a National Monument in 1986. The pass was finally widened and tarred in 1963. Garcia Pass is one of the lesser known passes of the Cape and deserves more publicity, for it's a fine example of the pass builders' craft. After crossing the Goukou River the road climbs the velvety slopes of Mosambiekkop. The old pass has been reconstructed and widened in places, the sharp curves eliminated and cuttings substituted. From the new road one can admire the strength of the supporting walls (sometimes 15m high) which Bain's convicts built. The view over the valley is extensive and striking. The deep canyon is formed by the river, on the far side of which the houses of the Corrente-Vette irrigation scheme is visible.

For more information on Ladismith, please contact:

Ladismith Tourism
Otto Hager Church
South Street
Ladismith
6655
South Africa
+27 28 55 11 378
www.ladismith.org.za

Source: Ladismith Tourism
Street Address: R323, between Ladismith and Riversdal
Town: Western Cape
Region: Little Karoo, South Africa
Source: Ladismith Tourism
Posted / Updated: Nov 12, 2016
Garden Route Meander Office Use Only
Registration Date: Sep 24, 2014
First Name: Garden Route Meander
Last Name: Office Use Only
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