The section of the southern Cape between Witsand and Vleesbaai has been cleverly branded the Explorers Garden Route. About a year ago, I followed it up to Stilbaai, which left me the tract between Melkhoutfontein and outer Mossel Bay still to explore.

I regain the coastal dirt track outside Melkhoutfontein, just on the other side of Stilbaai. Even with the tyres deflated to standard gravel pressure (1.6 bar all round) it’s still a rough and potholed road; but in between holding onto my hat I’m rewarded with a near horizon of royal-blue sea views and a steady flow of cool air wafting through the car...

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