The History of the Area
The Attakwas pass is offering arguably the best scenery of all the Outeniqua mountain range’s many splendid and beautiful viewpoints.This race will provide you with exclusive access to this declared national monument and take you past amongst other; the remains of the famous Blue Hotel, block- and toll houses.
The Attakwaskloof Pass was used by elephants before the pass was built.
This became the main road to the north for 180 years from 1689–1869 and was the most important route linking the area around Mossel Bay with Kannaland in the vicinity of Oudtshoorn.
The records showed that during the course of the toll house being in operation, that an astonishing 4250 ox-wagons paid their toll fees here in a single year. No wonder the track is so rutted!
The ruins you see today are not the original toll house, which was razed to the ground during a major bush fire
.Outeniqua Mountains – the mountains were named by the Khoi San and mean “land filled with honey.”
The route taken by travellers and traders between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn passed through the property Ruyterbosch, and the original name was “a place of outspan be set aside” - where the commuters of olden-day times could outspan and rest both themselves and their weary oxen and steeds before crossing the then, somewhat daunting Outeniqua Mountains to Oudtshoorn.
Today a magnificent oak tree +- 200 years old and one of the largest and oldest surviving oak trees in the Cape today – almost 5m in diameter with branches reaching out over 20 metres – marks the entrance to the Eight Bells Mountain Inn and in particular, to the original homestead.