Tuesday, July 28, 2009

karoo heat


The Karoo is a darn hot place. No, perhaps this is an understatement. Karoo is a simile for hot, hot and more hot ......... oh and add to that dry, arid, extreme, isolated. It is the place where the ultimate status symbol is the size of your irrigation dam.
It is a place where even your Estee Lauder Foundation runs, and where no amount of your Fendi eau de toilette can disguise the smell of perspiration.

People who live in the Karoo are tough sunburnt Afrikaner farmers – salt of the earth types whose joy in life is to collect sheep and more sheep and to keep the hungry jackals at bay.They thrive on the solitude and isolation and position their houses at the end of long dusty roads so that they can see the dust from potential visitors half an hour ahead of time - in time to put the moerkoffie on the Aga stove.
Occassionally one retreats to the Karoo to look at stars and to listen to complete silence. It’s very nothingness, space and solitude is very therapeutic if you can stand the heat.
Rain falls rarely in these desolate parts, and yet day after day the scrub waits patiently for a small reprieve.
On a recent escape to the small karoo village of Prince Albert, my man and I sat on the stoep of our little karoo huisie for hours just watching a rain storm gathering over the mountains. The morning topic of conversation in the village was only about rain – will it come or won’t it. After endless speculation and peering heavenward, it eventually began to cool down and the dark thunderclouds converged.
One, two, five large remote drops on the tin roof, and then it let go, hitting the dust with fragrant droplets big enough to hold a goldfish. Palpable relief for the foliage as the organic rain descended – fresh, pure, & cool.
The smell of rain on African dust mingled with wild karoo herbs, quenching a parched and thirsty terrain – reminded me again of why we chose to name our bath range Rain.

Winter essential: Wild harvested Baobab oil

There is a beautiful African folklore story about how the Baobab tree came to be African and also known as ‘the upside-down tree’. ...