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«The Namaqualand Bloom»

A four-part story of a short trip to witness the ephemeral flower explosion that pretties the South African Northwestern Coast once a year. 

The Namaqualand Bloom, Part 1 – Luxury is a Luxury

Growing up in the south of France, I think I might have taken flowers for granted. As a kid I never doubted their supremacy and thought they were as intrinsic a part of nature as clouds and oceans. Québec, I knew, mostly lacked said flowers, but I assumed that was an exceptional stigma brought on by […]

The Namaqualand Bloom, Part 2 – A Clever Dinner Trick

Morning came, light slowly oozing into our tent’s quiet darkness. The wind had long exhausted its last breath and with that, new weather had moved in, warm and cloudy, casting a pale veil over the land. I took a thirty minute round-trip walk down to the park’s ablutions block, lucking out as the sun briefly dashed out of the cast to […]

The Namaqualand Bloom, Part 3 – A Canyon Through the Flowers

Nieuwoudtville is a quaint, otherworldly little town sitting squarely at a biased crossroads in the middle of immense fields. The main artery is the very ordinary R27 leading inland from semi-coastal N7, up the escarpment, across the border between the Western and Northern Cape provinces and into the Karoo proper, towards Calvinia. At about a right […]

The Namaqualand Bloom, Part 4 – The Ghost Farm

From picturesque Nieuwoudtville we drove up a low dorsal in the fields, etched with mesmerizing green and orange patches, and doing so we left the Namaqualand proper behind, having changed provinces, switched weather patterns, traded low lands for higher grounds and returned to the Karoo which had been my first off-the-road crush when I initially visited South Africa. […]

The Namaqualand Bloom, Part 5 – Luxing Out at Babylonstoren

Having disdainfully discarded the main artery option and instead opting for a rougher drive south on yet another isolated dirt road, we sliced our way through beautifully empty Karoo-like scenery, stacked landscape layers fading to the horizon like memories in a tired mind, losing sharpness as they grew distant. Karoo In Clanwilliam, we rejoined the […]