Saturday, March 20, 2010

Richtersveld - Day 3

Day three: Upon waking , the sunrise greeting the day was beautiful and not a sound was to be heard as the day was dawning.

After a good cup of coffee (or tea for yours truly), we took a short walk around, had a quick bite for breakfast and embarked on an hours walk on the wooden pathway down to the falls and surrounds.
What a sight to behold!
And the sound of the water is unbelievable. The Hottentots were right when the named it !oukurubes (the noise making place)!
The Orange river roars headlong into the gigantic gorge, with a rising cloud of spray which can be heard and seen from a considerable distance away during flood season!

The river rages and rushes through the granite gorge for about 18km and drops over 300m in a series of rapids and small falls. The gorge is said to be approximately 240m deep. Augrabies is regarded as one of the six great waterfalls in the world and has been described as being essentially masculine. Ruthless and brutal in a harsh and fearsomely arid landscape.

During peak flood about 400 million litres of water rush over Augrabies every minute! Just imagine!

It most certainly is worth the trip and I would really like to be there during the high rain season to experience the magnificence of it all. It must be truly awesome!

The finest examples in the world of weathering on granite by water are to be found in this breathtaking, dry, unyielding but touching environment.

What a beautiful place to be.....

And so, after being blown away by what we had just seen, our journey continued from Kakamas to the next little town of Pofadder!

Named after the Hottentot chieftan, Pofadder was once the centre for karakul and other sheep. In 1959 however, all the livestock was transported by the army to better grazing until such time that rains came to revive the astoundingly resilient vegetation. But, there are no gardens at the homesteads, instead people have been quite creative and have used old galvanised iron baths, basins and such like to plant their "gardens" and some places had the most brilliant shows of colour, which were so striking in the vast bleakness of the parched, bleached earth they live in.

Approximately 24km from Pofadder and a sh't right for 3km, one reaches the mission station and oasis of Pella. An astounding bounty of life in the middle of absolutely N O W H E R E, but somewhere indeed....
Founded in 1814 by the London Missionary Society, the mission was a sanctuary for Hottentots driven out of Namibia and Pella is named after an ancient town in Macedonia which became a refuge for persecuted Christians.

The pretty little church was built by Fathers JM Simon and Leo Wolf who are both buried in it.

Pella is well renowned for its excellent yield of dates, which are in high demand because of their flavour. Goats and karakul sheep also breed well in the area.

The area around Pella is rich with gemstones of many varieties: green-blue malachite rocks, red oxides of iron, jaspers, smoky and rose quartz and many more with which to build a fairy city in this little piece of Heaven on earth.

There is no other place in Southern Africa like Pella and one can just imagine what it must be like during July and August, when the wild flowers and aromatic shrubs are in bloom, the air must be fragranced with an incenselike odour, conjuring up an image of Arabia. Add a couple of camels and it would be complete!

164kms later, we reached Springbok. An amazingly developed town which was built around a hillock in the middle of a narrow valley back in the 1860s.
Springbok is the main "refuelling" station between Cape Town and South West Africa and surrounding wild flower regions of Namaqualand and the north-west Cape.

This is where we stayed in a beautiful guesthouse - Annie's Cottage Guesthouse. Every nook and cranny has been utilised in the most innovative ways and there is something intriguing to see at every turn or glance. Absolutely one of the best places we have stayed in....
Beside the swimming pool.......

In the courtyard, tucked away....

Along the paths....

On the walls........

And in the bathroom.....

And we had a wonderful rest after a hard day's drive in the comfortable bed in a room that once must have been a stable....... or perhaps a.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

1 comment:

  1. Howzit FABS

    Why don't you just become an historian while you at it. You should write travel brochures!
    It seems I will be reading about you and your exploits more than I will be seeing you in person.

    Enjoy this while you can. Us mere mortals can only dream for the moment.

    Love, Sis

    PS: Well done on creating this really great blog!


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