“So what to do when in Montagu”? I ask Mr G (hubby) as we plan our itinerary for our trip to Glen Eden Farm in Montagu. “Well there’s the Protea Farm tractor ride ” he replies beaming. This is obviously right up his alley. At first I’m all for it. That is until I visit their website a read the full description about the ride. Let’s just say heights aren’t exactly my thing. Then I remember I’ve partly conquered my fear of heights when we went zip lining last year and I think; bring it on!
And Away We Go!
We arrive at the Protea Farm in the Koo Valley 30km outside the town of Montagu just in time to ‘board’ the tractor. It’s a fully booked ride so we sit up front on the tractor right next to the driver. Everyone is abuzz with excitement and when we jerkily pull away there’s a (slightly nervous) cheer of anticipation. As we start our ascent up the mountain the driver cheekily plays on our nervousness by steering the tractor near edge of the embankment. He even halfway submerges us in the dam. I’m glad we’re safely sitting on the tractor’s giant tyres and not in the back!
Are We There Yet? No!
Obviously the reason most people go on the Protea Farm tractor ride is to see the proteas. Unfortunately we’re told they’re only blooming in March. We do however see quite a few king proteas about to open their beautiful faces as we wind up the mountain. The tractor stops at a lookout point and I’m sure we’ve reached the end of the ride. We’re already so high up! To our surprise it’s just a pit stop to admire the picturesque Koo Valley and enjoy some juicy plums. Our driver/guide tells us the summit is 1.5 times the size of Table Mountain and we brace ourselves for the second leg of the tractor ride.
View From The Top of the Protea Farm Tractor Ride
Parts of the ride are bumpy and others not so much due to the route being paved in certain places. The Protea Farm tractor ride is definitely far less rough than some of the game drives we’ve been on. We reach the top, Arangies Kop – 1500 metres above sea level! We have a stunning view of the town of Robertson which is partly obscured by smog due to the Du Toits Kloof fire. Despite being in the midst of summer, it’s quite cold at the top and I can only imagine what it’s like in winter. A few photos and videos later we start our descent back down the mountain. We make another pit stop at the hikers’ cottage which has the most amazing view you’ll ever see. Sherry and dried fruit are served while everyone gets the chance to introduce themselves to each other.
Lisa’s Potjiekos Lunch
We’ve booked the potjie kos lunch as well so the tractor drops us off in front of steaming pots of food before heading all the way back down. Lisa’s potjie kos lunch is a true South African food feast. Vetkoek, waterblommetjie stew, sweet pumpkin and yellow rice are part of the three course menu and it’s simply delicious. At a mere R130 it’s totally worth it and I strongly suggest you book it with the tractor ride.
When in Montagu…
If you’re visiting Montagu you have to do the Protea Farm Tractor ride. It’s one of those proudly South African activities that you have to experience and rave about afterwards. The tractor ride is suitable for all ages but obviously if in doubt about anything confirm first and consult your doctor if you’re concerned about any medical conditions. All information is available on the Protea Farm website.