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Posts Tagged ‘Karoo’

… The world was dissolving ahead of the ageing Mercedes’ long, hail-dented bonnet as we powered south through the heat-baked platteland on the Johannesburg-to-Cape Town road. Turning away from the mirage, I gazed out of my window at the puffs of clouds in layers above empty miles of grassland and across a vast sky reaching away to Lesotho. A squatter camp started up, rusted corrugated iron huts in red dirt yards. “What the hell do people do out here?” Chris sighed. Beyond the shacks a tower emerged from the plain like something Sauron might have occupied in The Lord of the Rings. “And what the hell’s that?” I asked. We pulled off the highway, skirted the camp, and turned onto the broken asphalt leading to the tower’s base. It was flung upwards as a series of concrete sails towards a god who had clearly forsaken its architect. It turned out to be a monument to the Trekboer, the Afrikaners who drove their wagons out of the Cape in search of freedom from British oppression. Or, as Chris said, “in search of the freedom to own slaves” …

Ruaridh Nicoll in The Observer on road trip through South Africa’s Karoo region.

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