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Swartberg Pass

Prince Albert , South Africa

The majestic Swartberg Pass, a 17-mile-long heart-in-mouth miracle of cliff-edge engineering, was built by Thomas Bain in the 1880’s. At the pass’s summit, 5,195 feet above sea level, the arid plains of the Groot Karoo stretch endlessly below, and the rocks around you seem all the more precipitous for their blood-red color. And then, as if to soothe your nerves, the road winds gently down, delivering you into the most serene town in all of the Karoo.

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