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Off the Beaten Track – Tankwa Padstal

Tankwa Padstal is situated on the R355 which is the longest stretch of gravel between two towns in South Africa namely Ceres and Calvinia. Most of you will know it as the long road to Afrika Burn.

Tankwa Padstal

” A Padstal is the Afrikaans word for Farm stall and very much a big part of South African tradition. Any long journey needs a stop at a padstal to pick up a home made pie and some locally made goodies”

We recently had the pleasure of stopping off at Tankwa Padstal on two separate occasions on our way to weekend trips. It’s definitely a place for adventurers to meet and relax and grab something cold and a bite to eat before hitting the long dusty road again.

A rustic sign and an old car ploughed into the ground shows you the way to this little gem in the vast expanse of the Tankwa. Ask the owner Hein to show you the funeral letter for the poor Peugeot 504 which took a nose dive into desert soil.

I absolutely love interesting places with loads of personality, quirky characters and small town charm. What we found at Tankwa padstal was exactly that. Sharing a plate of slaptjips ( which translates to floppy or soggy french fries and are actually so so good! ) and an ice cold cider you can watch bikers and all sorts of other travellers, but mostly bikers come and go.

The bar is filled with memorabilia, old everything and a lively “tannnie” to help you behind the bar. They have bring and braai facilities and even a swimming pool if you can call it that to cool off on scorching hot Karoo days.

The little shop sells everything from preserves to cheap sweets, canned food and whatever else you might need to aid you on your Karoo road trip. We even picked up two Padstal branded enamel coffee mugs as we forgot ours at home.

The Tankwa Padstal is almost like the first and the last stop before entering the wild and it wasn’t until a few mountain passes, plenty of road trip songs and a whole lot of hours had passed before we reached our next spot off the beaten track.

Tankwa padstal is about a 3 hour drive ( 230km ) from Cape Town.

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