Words and Pictures by Trygve Roberts
A GoPro camera was something I hankered after the moment it arrived on the market; the device’s possibilities seemed endless to me. About three years ago, on a camping holiday up the Garden Route, I began experimenting with my first GoPro – beneath the sea, while airborne, canoe- paddling, hiking, and cycling − and, finally, in my Land Cruiser. Without a doubt, the most effective footage was when the camera had been set up on my vehicle. White’s Road (in Wilderness) was the very first pass I filmed, which unwittingly kindled my love affair with South Africa’s majestically unique landscape and mountain passes. But, admittedly, the result was mediocre.
Notoriously tenacious, I researched and tested various programs and software: for enhancing the clarity and colours, adding subtitles, a soundtrack, and eventually, with much trepidation and practice, for including narration. After a week’s worth of polishing, it was ready for YouTube! That was the same week I eureka’d how momentous our mountain passes were, and recognised the fact that travellers from around the globe ventured along these passes for the sheer joy and admiration of the drive, and the mountains, and the remarkable people who had carved them into history.
I decided to start a website dedicated to the subject of our mountain passes, calling it Mountain Passes South Africa. The site allowed me to share my knowledge of and passion for our country’s passes, reaching an audience that went beyond just friends and family. At first, I focused on the passes in the Western Cape region; but, thanks to word-of-mouth information and my own interest in seeing and knowing more, my quest has led me to explore other areas. The Eastern Cape, KZN and Mpumalanga all boast a plethora of amazing roads to capture one’s imagination.