Saturday, 26 December 2015

Thomas Bain - Famous builder of of mountain passes. A genius of his time

Driving around the Cape's awe inspiring mountain passes over high altitudes, one cannot be amazed at the genius and mastery of Thomas Baines.  Thomas Bain (1830-1893)was responsible for 900km of roads which included 24 mountain passes built bettween 1848 and 1888. These passes and roads played a  major role in opening up the Cape Colony of South Africa to the rest of the country.  What makes this even more amazing is these roads were built by hand, prison gangs, none of the modern machinery we see on the roads today.  The Swartberg Pass just outside  Oudtshoorn going over the Swartberg mountain range to Prince Albert was started in 1884 and finished in 1887. It is 27km long and considered as his crowning achievement. One cannot be blown away by the scenery and the dry stone walling which has held for more than 130 years. Some passes built around the Southern Cape and Klein Karoo include;
Prince Alfred Pass - Knysa and Uniondale 70km long, 1854-58
Robinson Pass - Oudtshoorn to Mossebay 1867-69
Seweweekpoort through Swartberg to Laingsberg 17km, 1869-73
Seven Passes - George to Knysna 75km,1867-83

Be sure to drive these passes and enjoy the spectacular scenery that Thomas Bain made possible to enjoy. Read more on wikipedia and about Thomas Bain and the passes to drive

No comments:

Post a Comment