X marks the spot: Patensie and Padlangs

Patensie – situated about a 100 km from Port Elizabeth – is a town in the Gamtoos Valley rich in fertile soil, rich in history as the home to South Africa’s first inhabitants and it has the claim to off-road fame as being the eastern gateway to Baviaanskloof, a mega reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And Ferreiras.

Patensie is famous for the Ferreiras; as you drive into town you just see the name “Ferreira” on the signboards of farms to your left and to your right with a few others here and there. Even though the Ferreiras’ numbers have decreased since their arrival in the late 1700s, there are still enough “to field at least two senior rugby and two netball teams, consisting solely of Ferreira family members, to play against the rest during the annual Ferreira Sports Day in November.”

And don’t think that there is only one street named Ferreira.

There are four: Fred Ferreira Road, Johnny Ferreira Road, Paul Ferreira Street and Teddy Ferreira

In Patensie everything revolves around agriculture and the valley is often referred to as the pantry (or food basket) of the Eastern Cape. Anything and everything grows here, in a few short minutes you’ll see potatoes, spinach, lettuces and the famous Gamtoos Valley Christmas trees, draped with orange and yellow citrus lights (otherwise known as oranges and lemons).

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Hankey on the other hand is well-known as being the final resting place of Sarah Baartman and for having the largest sundial in the Southern Hemisphere while the community of Loerie celebrates the Naartjie Festival year after year and it boasts outdoor activities and camp sites while the rest of the valley is no stranger to having their own slice of natural heaven as well.

More than a year ago I wrote “Gamtoos Valley, Just Drive” and mentioned 3 different routes to take to explore the valley on a day trip from Port Elizabeth and how I got into a state of landscape-admiration:

On my left there was an orange tree plantation with the Cockscomb peak peeking between the rows of citrus and on my right crates with fruit were stacked; the prominent rocky cliffs leading the way to Baviaanskloof stood cautiously still and the liquid veins of the Gamtoos River stretched into the valley’s soil.

Padlangs Country Restaurant and Shop is one of the possible farm stall stops along the way and after being in business for 10 years they moved to bigger premises (just 300 meters up the road towards Baviaanskloof) in September 2016. From time to time I still miss the old look and entrance of the farm stall; the new space of Padlangs with all its family-orientated facilities took some time to get used to but then, when seated under the shade of a big old tree, surrounded by greenery, you realise that it is still the same (or even better) and they still serve the famous (and gigantic) Patensie Chips.

Have a look at the video.

Exploring Patensie with the Opel MOKKA X

The Opel MOKKA X formed part of the day trip to Patensie and Padlangs. After I shook off the habit of driving an automatic Isuzu KB300 just a few hours before I stepped into the Opel, I put the MOKKA X into 6th gear on the open road and the rest is history. It was all smooth sailing – or shall I say, 1.4 litre turbo sailing – from there and the Opel MOKKA X proved to be quite a little crossover beast in a class of its own.

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The Opel MOKKA X comes in four derivatives, Enjoy (manual and automatic) or Cosmo trim (manual and automatic). All four are powered by a 1,4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, 103 kW and 200 N.m.

The interior is luxurious but not over the top, it has clean and simple design elements and definitely speaks the language of comfort and safety, with X-tra safety such as the reverse camera. The MOKKA X is the first SUV in its category to offer full LED Adaptive Forward Lighting (optional on the MOKKA X Cosmo) that helps you to see hazards sooner, for example: the Dynamic Curve Light (40 to 70 km/h) gives you extra light above a set steering angle and speed. The Opel MOKKA X is not too big and while it might not be ideal for a 3-week family vacation, it is definitely not too small with a boot capacity of 356 litre to fit all you will ever need for a getaway or weekend away.

Patensie

Average fuel economy on the new MOKKA X 1.4T Enjoy manual is 5,9litres/100km, the MOKKA X 1.4T Enjoy automatic consuming 6,2litres /100km on the combined cycle. The MOKKAX 1.4T Cosmo is 6,0litres/100km, with the MOKKA X 1.4T Cosmo automatic going at 6,5litres/100km.

The MOKKA X 1.4T Enjoy (manual) starts at R317 500 and goes up to R368 000 for the MOKKA X 1.4T Cosmo (automatic) and comes with Opel’s standard five-year/120 000 km warranty and a five-year/90 000 km service plan.

Read more about the Opel Mokka X.

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