Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Nieu Bethesda in the Karoo region of South Africa

Two nights and one and a half days...
Nieu Bethesda has a very small population of about a thousand people or so. The last time I was here was in 2000, and in the preceding 12 years the town has definitely taken on a more touristy flavour. The are over twenty guest houses and almost all of them were full over the long weekend in December 2012. There are at least two restaurants that are open at night and quite a few more open for lunch...








There are not streetlights and no one takes credit cards nor are the autobanks...thus a cash only town! Oh yes and there are no petrol stations either...
The town is small enough to easily explore on foot via the dusty streets, there are no tar roads either.Many houses have been restored and in that sense the town has become almost too 'pretty'. Really old houses with the patina of many years of gentle neglect are few and far between. Of course this is a good thing it just means there is less for me to photograph....
We had a very nice dinner for our 29th anniversary at the Karoo Lamb restaurant, although the service was very slow...We didn't recon on their being no auto banks in town and as I said no one takes credit cards..so we had to make an internet transfer to pay for our first nights accommodation and meal and we asked the nice lady, Katrin, that owns the restaurant and the accommodation for some extra cash. We couldn't do the internet transfer for various reasons, but Katrin assured us that it would be ok if we did the transfer when we got back home in Centurion...how is that for Karoo hospitality at its best?!
In the end, apart from the character of these small Karoo towns with their well preserved architecture and imposing NG churches, it is the people that impresses most. Their hospitality, friendliness and down to earth helpful demeanor that stays with one...
Take the guy with throat cancer and the hole in his windpipe that allowed me to take his photograph and told me all about his health problems and wife that died twenty years ago and that she smoked and drank too much and that's why he has outlived her...his name is James and he is 84 years old.


Please have a look at my website here at...www.ivanmuller.co.za/


Regards, Ivan

please click on images to enlarge...

























Regards, Ivan