Saturday, October 1, 2011

Biking to the Flowers of Namaqualand, South Africa part VI

If you've been following our trip to the Flowers of Namaqualand, please bear with me in the previous and next two posts. We didn't see this part of the flower spectacular while riding the bike. We were travelling through the Biedouw Valley in a double-cab with friends Hilton and Catherine. In my previous post (here) I forgot to mention the area in which we stopped to photograph the swathes of blooms. (Blame it on excitement, or a Senior Moment!) We're in the Biedow Valley here and moving through the colourful carpets of spring flowers. 

To me, a gardener who promotes the use of natural compost, it's fascinating how these plants not only germinate from seed and grow prolifically, but thrive and display such beauty in sandy, rocky soil. A miracle indeed! 

The various flowers above are as follows: the orange, white, yellow and cream blooms are Demorphoteca spp(African Daisy); the purple and white succulents respectively are Mesembryanthemum spp(known as vygies or veld/field sparklers) interspersed with wild grasses and small dusty pink bushes which are part of the fynbos family

Finally Catherine and I had taken dozens of photos of this area and returned to the car and our patiently waiting menfolk. As we continued through the valley the countryside delivered one beautiful palette of colour after the other.

Along this stretch of road we ate the dust of two vehicles riding along in front of us. Eventually Hilton managed to overtake them and we continued on the mountain road.

As we approached a farmhouse and outbuildings surrounded by flowers, I called out to Hilton to please stop. Poor man; he had to get used to my  requests for frequent photo stops!

Three images leading up to the farmhouse surrounded by floral beauty

While we were ooh-ing and aah-ing at this spectacular flower show, a typical Namaqualand scene played out before our eyes. A man cycled past us on the road, turned into the farmroad and rode towards the house. The composition of my photo was perfect but while I tried to get the cyclist in focus, the men shouted for us to jump into the car! As we drove off, I lamented that I'd just missed a beautiful photo op. The men were unsympathetic; they said the cars we'd overtaken, were coming up behind and they didn't want to eat their dust again.

Catherine just smiled and handed me her camera...
A perfectly composed photograph by Catherine Gibbons

A few kilometers before the tarred road which led to Wuppertal , Hilton stopped at a special memorial: The Englishman's grave.

The grave marks the spot where Lieutenant Graham Vinicombe Winchester Clowes of the Gordon Highlanders was killed on a scouting mission in 1901 during the second Boer War. His mother travelled all the way from England to the spot to have the Celtic-cross memorial erected.

And the menfolk stood and chatted...


  1. Namaqualand is just so beautiful when in full flower. Great photos. Diane

  2. I loved driving in South Africa and viewing the flowers as far into the distance as my eyes could see. However, I do understand the drivers not wanting to eat the dust of vehicles ahead! You have to be thankful for their willingness to stop so often...and I know you are.

  3. The flower display is simply spectacular!
    The Englishman's grave, arranged by his devoted mom, is very touching.

  4. I shall never see Africa but the beauty you've shown me causes me to dream of it.

  5. Lovely flowers yet again. Great photos too. I now know that the orange flower I've liked so much is an African daisy. Stunning!

  6. So breathtakingly beautiful, Jo. You had a wonderful holiday while back home. My kind of holiday!

  7. I can't believe the rainbow of colors in all those flowers along the roadside. What a sight! And what a trip you've been on! Thanks for posting these shots. SA is a bit far for me to travel to, so it's nice to be able to enjoy its beauty on cyberspace!

  8. Wow, those flowers are really gorgeous!


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