On Saturday 1 June 2013 I saw a friends FB post which read, ‘got my new rain boots for the snow in Ceres. I immediately checked out the weather report for Ceres for the following day and low and behold, the weather report said snow with rain expected the morning and for the afternoon, just snow! perfect!. The scenic route via Baines Kloof is definitely not for the faint hearted. There is a faster route along the R46 via Wellington, Ceres to Touws Rivier.
Baines Kloof has beautiful mountain and valley views, waterfalls are abundant in winter as rain water makes its way down the mountain side towards the river below that meanders through the valley. You might even see a train making its way along the mountain side below the road. In this valley its not only the river that runs through it, but also the train.
At the end of Baines Kloof is a spot that you have to visit in Summer when it’s warmer. A swim in its crystal clear river pools is a fantastic experience. Tweede Toll is the name of the camping Site which is located in a nature reserve. Once you’ve reached the other side of Baines Kloof, you still have about 15 km to travel before you reach Ceres. You will meet up with the R46 and travel through Ceres and continue on with the R46. You will see a sign that says Onder Swaarmoed which sounds like a place that I would definitely not want to live in. After about 13 – 15km on the other side of Ceres on the R46 on your way to Touws Rivier you will come across a road to the right with a sign that says Bo-Swaarmoed which sounds much better than Swaarmoed or Onder Swaarmoed. This road continues up the mountain for another 10 -15 minutes.
If the weather conditions are right you should see snow on the top of this hill/mountain. You would normally see other cars parked on the side of the road and people playing in the snow. There has been a couple of times in the past 12 years that I have travelled to Ceres to see the snow and I didn’t see any however I still enjoyed the drive and the time spent with my family.
Total distance traveled from Southern Suburbs return trip was about 350km. Depending on how fast you drive and which route you take, it could take you between 2 hours and 2 and a half hours to get there.
Things to consider for the trip. Food or snacks for the journey. Entertainment for the kids. Extra set of clothing, and that includes underwear and socks and shoes. Towels. Waterproof bags for wet clothing. Rain boots or waterproof hiking boots,.safety boots will also do the trick. Cap, gloves are very important. On my 2013 trip my hands ached and pained from about 20 to 30 minutes in the cold. Some people could only take it for 10 minutes. Don’t forget the camera/video camera with charged batteries.
We got no cell phone signal from Cellc or Vodafone in the section of the mountain not sure about MTN so make sure you have enough petrol and don’t leave your lights on while you are parked and frolicking in the snow.