“Rise early,” I was advised. While the valleys are still dark, the highest peaks are just being caressed by the first light of the day. To the left lies the Swartberg Pass in the direction of Prins Albert. Gravel. The whole way, uphill, downhill, gravel. For 27 kilometres. Birds are standing aimlessly around on the road with dassies dozing next to them. Gemsboks are startled because usually no car drives this way at this time. The last clouds are disintegrating above the mountain range. The sky is nothing but blue from now on. It is cool up here. It’s an archaic mountain landscape, rough, barren, brown and black only, untouched. Of a simple, almost overwhelming beauty. Zigzagging steep bends, sometimes bordered by stone walls, sometimes with nothing. And then again and again, there is the view. It must be one of the most enchanting roads that man has ever built.