As party season gets into full swing and I start RSVP-ing to every invite with “Tis The Season!”, my mind drifts not to beaches and blue waters, but to the Karoo.
On the surface, it’s unforgiving: too hot in summer, icy cold in winter. But there’s beauty to be found around every turn, and a profound sense of calm that accompanies its little moments: watching weaver birds build pepper tree palaces from a veranda; arid expanses giving way to the languid charm of tiny towns; the majesty of its morning light.
You spend your days hiding from the heat, but it’s at sunset when the Karoo reveals its true powers of replenishment. As you’re barrelling up a dirt track, koppies rise on either side of you like rocky cathedrals and suddenly you’re face-to-face with a wraparound view that catch the words in your throat. As your eyes roam the limits of the horizon, the landscape turns from buttery brown to purple and blue in a matter of minutes. You are suspended in time, and the only thing that matters in that moment is basking in the glow of a beautiful afternoon.
Life feels slower and simpler in the Karoo, the chaos of city life refreshingly far removed. Every time I go back, I’m reminded that it’s impossible to return from its reaches without a renewed sense of calm, whether you’re train riding, scaling its passes or meandering down one of its jacaranda-lined streets. — Additional text by Cayleigh Bright