Early springtime every year, the brown plains of Namaqualand undergo a stunning transformation and the veld is covered in colors - everything from daisies to succulents flower and attract tourists from all over the world. We've witnessed this phenomenon on a previous vacation trip, however this time we saw what the area looks like most of the year: a semi-desert.
Arriving in Springbok, we camped at Springbok Caravan Park for a few days while looking for a place to stay for 3 weeks (until we go raft the Orange River April 20th). We enjoyed the camping despite a cold wind preventing us from doing school, and went on a few nice walks (the boys enjoyed exploring the veld a lot). We also went on a road trip to Port Nolloth (the nearest coastal town).
My explorations - experimenting with my new camera (thank you ouma and oupa Venter!).
The road to Port Nolloth.
Diamond-searching, giant-vacuum-cleaner boats at Port Nolloth. They are basically filtering sand and sediments coming from the Orange River, looking for any precious stones.
When we finally found a place to rent, it was fully furnished and perfect for our situation. The only quirk was that the house is situated in Springbok's industrial area which turned out to be really safe, comfortable and quiet. To our surprise a truck arrived with mining equipment a week after we moved in, and since then we have been learning more about how to look for different types of stones.
It's amazing to see the variety of stones present in sample loads of soil taken from different farms around the area. 'Oom' Daniel, Ferdie and Dawie are working on sorting and processing the stones every day, and the boys have enjoyed helping them a lot. They even took dad and the boys to a Stock Car racing event that they (of course) thought was awesome. It also inspired new possibilities for the future.... Maarten and Theuns are already planning on the building of their future stock/pipe car (oh dear).
Waiting cars. Watch a video here.
The sandstone church.
We also discovered a monument where an old smelting furnace used to be.
A few faraway Gemsbok seeking shade beneath Quiver Trees.
This one prefers privacy above comfort (or so it seemed).
The Reserve has a succulent garden which sadly didn't look too well, but among the Hoendertone ('chicken toes'), Boesmangif (bushmen poison'), Skotteloor ('dish ear'), Wolftoon ('wolf toe'), and Bokspoortjie ('goat track') plants (yes, those are actually names), I found a pretty little Haasoor ('rabbit ear') flower.
Gemsbok close up. She just stood there and looked at us. "What on earth".
Otherwise we worked hard (dad work-wise, and us school-wise), went on walks, enjoyed having pets (fish, a one-eyed cat, and four tortoises), had fun in the swimming pool, tried to avoid scorpions and mosquitoes (you'd be surprised how many mosquitoes there are in an industrial area), and watched movies.
Meet 'Langhaar' (Longhair), our weapon against spiders, scorpions and general vermin. She may have one eye, but that doesn't seem to worsen her aim (we have scratches).
The tortoises were low maintenance. Once in a while they sprinted across the lawn (for seemingly no reason..), but the rest of the time they just chilled.
The perks of living in an industrial area. Spring traps?!
Some scorpions which evaded the cat. If you are stung by either of these guys, you've got a few hours to get medical attention, and if you don't you die.
It's a wonder-filled life. Thanks for reading!