Die Hel (The Hell) is the colloquial name for a remote green valley in the Swartberg mountains. Twenty-five kilometres long and half-a-kilometre wide, the valley was once home to a thriving community of self-sustaining farmers whose only access to the outside world was a sketchy bridle path on the western end of the Gamkaskloof and the rugged Gamkapoort itself. It was only in 1962 that the first “real” road, and the one used currently, was built into the valley. It remains the only road, and its twisty hairpins form the route for the infamous there-and-back two-day sojourn that is the To Hell & Back Extreme MTB Tour.
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