09 October 2011 by Chris Marais

Slow Living - Karoo Style!

The only time you really see a tortoise moving fast out here in the Karoo is in October, when boy tortoises cross the highways at speed to (a) avoid traffic and (b) chase down girl tortoises.

For the rest of us here in the heartland, it’s Slow Living to the max. This is a time of balmy evenings, skies like pink, cloudy dreams and easy flowing rivers. It is also a time when everyone officially swops from red wine to chilled white, and the long tables of Sunday summers groan with produce grown, raised and prepared not more than 20 km from home base.

It’s kind of Prime Time for Cradock and the Karoo in general, and we like to take things extremely slow during this lovely season. The queues at the post office turn into long, chattering events as everyone catches up on what you’ve been doing all winter long.

We received a letter some time back, addressed to: Julienne & Chris Marais, neighbours of Uncle Vossie Vorster and Frans & Melina Smit, Cradock, Karoo, South Africa. Even in this month of languid, slow living, the post office figured it out and the letter arrived in our postbox. Imagine that happening in a city anywhere.

Everywhere, this year, the daisies have arrived in full force. It’s like extended-play Namaqualand. Even if you drove from Cradock to Port Elizabeth, you’d find yourself driving on a road flanked with fields of blooms.

And it’s a delight to see travellers suddenly pull over, climb out and just stand there, visually drinking in all the colours. They climb back in, a little dazed but refreshed, and continue their journey to the next blaze of flower glory. That’s Slow Travel in its essence. And you have to ask yourself: is there any better way to roll out here in the Karoo? I think not…

Category: Culture & History

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