Roads less travelled …

ON THE N7 …

Knersvlakte. Spoegrivier. Bitterfontein. Somerverdriet. En Moedverloor. The road to Springbok is certainly paved with the dashed dreams of erstwhile explorers and travelers. It is easy enough to see why when you traverse the Knersvlakte, or if you will “The Plains of Grashing Teeth” where millions of white pebbles blaze beneath the non-stop sun. Now imagine doing it in an ox-wagon, without suspension and the audio anesthetics of Radiohead …

ON KAMIESKROON …

Kamieskroon is not a one horse town. It is, in fact, a two mongoose town; we saw two mongeese/mongii/mongooses at Kuiervreugde, a delightfully bizarre coffee shop serving the worst microwaved frozen chicken pies known to mankind.

ON PELLA … In Pella there is a faded yellow cathedral. It stands at the edge of a dirt square where dust-devils chase Shoprite bags in ever-narrowing circles, only to tire of them once they’ve caught and ripped them to shreds. The cathedral is close enough to the dilapidated little primary school for you to hear the six-times table being recited while you stare at the steeple spiking high amidst the swish of Medjool date palms.

Pella’s holy building was built in 1875 by French missionaries with minimal architectural knowledge or skill, using a drawing from the “Encyclopedie des Arts et Metiers” as their artistic inspiration and guide. It stands serenely to this day and is known as the “Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception” or in Afrikaans, as “Die Katedraal van die Vleklose Ontvangenis”. Most of the locals, however, simply refer to it as Die Kerk. Pella is austere, but in a serene, nearly biblical way. It is as if poverty and inner peace have reached an agreeable stalemate, and the latté coloured kids, smiling shyly amidst the swaying date palms could easily have been an image come alive from an Old Testament town.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>