South Africa :: Western Cape (Winelands)
Category: Scenic Routes :: Mountain Pass
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This historical pass is the oldest in South Africa. The original Helshoogte Pass dates from 1692, shortly after the arrival of the French Huguenots in 1688. The original road ran through Ida's Valley and various farms. It also passed through Banghoek Valley, a place of dense forest, leopards, steep ravines and other dangers, on its way to Franschhoek. It was the main road to Franschhoek (the valley of the Huguenots) and for many years was regarded as a treacherous and frightening route, especially in the dark. The origin of its name is unclear but it may relate to the steep gullies or 'hells' on both sides of the Helshoogte Ridge. The route was greatly improved in 1854 and was in use until it was replaced by the new road in 1972. The road is no longer the main road to Franschhoek and mainly carries traffic to a number of farms, which makes it an ideal cycling route. The route has indeed been declared an official cycling route in 2007 and it forms part of the Stellenbosch Municipality's commitment to making Stellenbosch a cycle-friendly town. A prominent cycling event, Die Burger Cycle Tour, is hosted by the town of Stellenbosch and uses Helshoogte Pass. (Oct-11).
|Address :||Stellenbosch, 7600, Winelands, South Africa|
|Landing Strip Nearby|
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