After a long and frustrating recovery from foot surgery, I’m happily back on my feet, camera in hand and this time my wanderlust has taken me to Sutherland, a small town in the Northern Cape about 4 hours drive from Cape Town.
Situated in the Karoo, an area renowned for it’s barren and arid landscape, and home to less than 3 000 people, Sutherland boasts the coldest temperatures in South Africa all year round. It’s also home to SALT, the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere: It’s dry climate means cloudless skies and together with it’s flat landscape, it’s unobstructed skies make it one of the top stargazing spots in the country. And indeed, it is the stars that have coaxed me to this chilly dorpie*, just as summer finally arrived in Cape Town. But more about my stargazing escapades in a later post.
A walk around town before breakfast confirmed that in this typical dusty Platteland** town, life is simple, from the succulent plants to the architecture and décor:
Sandstone buildings, corrugated iron roofs and faded paintwork add to the charm of a town where the Dutch Reformed Church was used as a fort by British soldiers during the Anglo Boer War. The metal roofs are seldom painted, so the harsh glare of the sun can be blinding, not to mention playing havoc with photographs! And then there is the omnipresent wind pump, synonymous with Platteland towns.
* small town
** flat land