Approaching Swellendam, a corrugated dirt road breaks from N2 and cuts a straight line through rolling green landscape towards the coast. Forty kilometres on, a fork to the left, a small rise and past a fishing boat called the Happy Hooker, you’re in Malgas – a small weekend retreat flanked by dry hills, on the banks of the Breede River. Malgas (255km from Cape Town) has always existed as a ferry link to the other side of the river – opened in 1860, the Malgas Pont continues to operate to this day. The ‘village’ itself comprises little more than a hotel and a somewhat dishevelled scattering of DIY-style holiday homes sporting names like Bier en Rivier and Rus en Raas. What lures the regular weekenders here is the moody brown river and a serene pastoral ambience removed from the rest of the world.