Route 62 and Ronnie’s Sex Shop

I joined up with Earthstompers Garden Route and Addo National Park tour for an amazing 5 days of sight-seeing and good company. Day 2: Cape Agulhas – Oudtshoorn

Did you realise South Africa had rolling green, rocky mountain ranges that would be at home in any scene from The Sound of Music? I certainly didn’t. Well ok, there was obviously less snow.

After four hours driving (well, being driven by our awesome Earthstompers tour leader, Charlene) through green and yellow fields (I’m starting to understand the national colours) covered in a thick blanket of fog with only the springboks to break up the scenery, the Tradouw Mountain Pass was a welcomed change of pace.

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We were officially on Route 62, the (dare I say it) most famous part of the Garden Route. This is the very reason that I’m already planning to hire a van and come back to take it slow. We only make one stop, at a quaint corner store in Barrydale selling some of the best dried fruit ever. And yes I would know, I’m Australian. A beat up ute parked in the dirt out front adds to the classic road-trip vibes I find so very satisfying. The mountainous backdrop doesn’t hurt either. Across the road sells interesting and disturbing African wares (I’m sorry this happened to you Zebra), but the shopkeepers sure are friendly, welcoming me back for a chat anytime.

But still, with this short and delightful stop, the main intrigue for coming back this way comes in the form of a bar further on down the road. Not just any bar, Charlene informs us, but Ronnie’s Sex Shop. This name is unprofessionally painted in red on the side of this white building, so with nothing else around, there’s no way to miss it.

IMG_3692So the tale goes, Ronnie started selling dried fruit and nuts from his farm, just as every other store along route 62 does. His friends called him crazy and said it would never work, but then more people started hanging around and ronnie and friends would cook braai for passing motorcyclists. From there, Ronnie developed it into a restaurant/bar. Fun story to be sure, but why the ‘Sex Shop’? His friends got drunk one night and painted the word ‘sex’ after his name on the sign, after which it got really popular and is now quite famous. So no, nothing to do with sex, besides the undies patrons leave hanging on the bar.

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If that wasn’t enough to tickle-me-pink, lunch and wine tasting at Karusa VineyardsWinery and Craft Brewery in the Cango Valley sure was. Delighted to find most of my group were as enthusiastic about cheese as I was, we paired up and chowed down into the cheese platter for two, which actually probably could have fed three. No complaints over here! Having the toasted tomato and cheese sandwich on soft ciabatta bread may have been overkill, but I’d do it again.
Afterall, I had to gain my strength for cave climbing in the afternoon.

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