Today's agenda has us tackling the toughest climb in the Cape region, the Franschhoek Pass, early in the morning. The river valley ends right here at our departure point, Franschhoek, and this is where the road to the pass begins, with just one bend in 7 kms as we climb 450 metres. The views of the mighty mountains around Franschhoek get better and better, and remind us of the Dolomites. On the other side, the descent is fast, but not quite so steep. We follow a narrow river gorge down to the dammed Sonderend River and go on to the small town of Villiersdorp. The next 50 kms to Worcester are mostly flat along the Breerevier Valley. The stunted undergrowth on both sides of the road offer no shade and the sun shines mercilessly down on us from the north. A low pass, hardly noticeable in this direction, makes a bit of a change here in the middle of nowhere. Worcester, then, is situated in an extremely fertile valley, the Breede Valley, which extends around Worcester and Goudini to become a broad plateau. It is encircled by high mountains and intensively cultivated for fruit - a delightful valley, particularly if we see the sun rise over it in the early morning.