Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Namaqualand's transformation

Picture
While living in South Africa, a neighbor recommended we should visit Namaqualand. Apparently it was just the right time. I wasn’t sure what she meant by that, but I was prepared to take her word for it. So we went.
The 1111 km (690 miles) was quite a long drive and we hoped it would be worth it. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at our destination and we found a brown colored, barren land. This, this is what we had come all the way for! 

Picture
Picture
Picture
Not that we were alone. There were hundreds of other people there, strolling around, emerging from tents, having breakfast on blankets.

We soon found out that some of the people were reporters and photographers, having camped out at this location for days. According to them, any moment now something amazing was about to happen.

“This happens but once a year,” one of the reporters told me. “One moment there’s nothing but barren landscape, the next a sea of flowers explodes before your eyes.”

Flowers? Where were these flowers going to come from? I saw nothing but soil and rocks.

"You just wait," he said, "just tight and you’ll witness something you won’t forget for the rest of your life." So we waited.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long. During mid-afternoon, dark clouds gathered over Namaqualand and when the first drops of rains splashed on the ground, everyone got terribly excited. 

Within minutes, I could see why. Patches of color started to sprout from the barren soil and the more it rained the more flowers started to bloom. By the end of the day, there were flowers as far as the eye could see.
Picture
Picture
Picture
This video shows the event in a way that I could never explain. Not to worry, you don’t have to watch the whole 51 minutes of it (although you might want to). At the 45 second mark, you can see Namaqualand’s transformation. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gx-aCsURq0

If you prefer photos, this reportage shows some beautiful images.

http://www.atlasofwonders.com/2013/02/namaqualand-flower-power.html

1 comment: