I'm soooo enjoying sharing my visit and photographs to Nieu Bethesda, Graaf Reinet, E. Cape, with you.
Who still thinks that the Karoo is flat and boring?It definitely IS NOT!!
As a child and in my early 20's, we would often travel through the Karoo en route to Cape Town or other parts of the Cape Province and I couldn't wait for us to reach our destination, because I hated that loooong straight road through the Karoo and would get so irritated when my dad would want to stop at every town or farm stall! My mom and dad loved everything the Karoo had to offer and wanted to share it with us kids. But we were too young and immature to appreciate it! The 'penny must have dropped', because many years later, I love it now and am so grateful for everything my amazing parents shared with us. I am able to now see through new eyes - every bush, donkey cart, hillside / koppie, ramshackle house, tumbleweed, rock, bird, squirrel, tree and open veld. The air is so fresh and clean and fills your lungs with more energy and vitality.
I believe that doctors advise their patients (with lung problems) to relocate to the Karoo to improve their health. Our next door neighbour (in Aberdeen) worked for Atlas in Johannesburg and developed Asbestosis . He was advised by his specialist to relocate to the Karoo for a better quality of life. We also met an English couple from the UK who were also advised by their doctor to move to the Karoo, because the wife had lung problems and the English climate was not helping her. So, they have settled in Aberdeen and apparantely have no regrets.
People, living there, in general, have more time to enjoy the small things in life. They pursue hobbies and passions and have more time to care about their 'neighbour'. They are a different 'breed'. So, if you have never been to the Karoo or stopped at one of the many small towns there, please do so. You may decide to stay and linger longer. You will love the many gift shops, hand-dyed / spun Merino and Mohair wool, furniture, coffee, homebaked goodies, art works, historical buildings and colourful people.
Anybody recognise these people??
Old ox wagon at Jachtpoort Farm Stall
Farm stall outside Aberdeen. They sell the most divine venison pie!
Methodist Church in Graaf Reinet
Wesleyan Church in Graaf Reinet
Entrance (displaying beautiful doors) to a liquor store in Graaf Reinet
SAPS training College just outside Graaf Reinet
Dutch Reformed Church in Aberdeen. Take note of the steeple that lies at an 18 degree angle.