Sunday, March 25, 2012

Six Stoned Sisters: A Mission - Pt. 1

When I left the North for the Desert last week I was on a Mission.

Shown above is the uncompleted Northwest corner of the house - I call it 'Ishtar's Point' (don't ask why) - and it's my intention to clad the sides with beautiful stones ... create a 'Celebration Of Rock' ...

... and on top I want to place a distinctive, large rock, something like this:

I'd seen this rock on my last journey South and mentioned it in a post on Büllsport.

The Rock, together with two others, was standing on a farm and, it seems, had once served as a fence-post for a cattle enclosure, or 'Kraal'.

I had a suitable vehicle and it was my Mission to find the rocks again and persuade the Farmer to sell them to me.

500km down the road from Home, I turned West onto the gravel road at Rehoboth, heading for Büllsport on the edge of the Namib Desert - it was the first time I'd travelled this road.

I passed the small Mining Village of Klein Aub. The village itself is about a kilometre off the 'main' road.

It says something about our society that, in most villages and towns around Namibia, the most prominent signs are those advertising liquor.

This was the only sign I noticed in passing - a 'Bottle Store' is a store where booze is sold.

My first encounter with the beautiful rocks of this area was at this farm entrance close to Büllsport - I was a bit upset that that the farmer had mistreated the best of the rocks by painting 'Welcome' on it.

I wonder if I could have rescued it, loaded it by myself ... I mean, what could happen if I got caught stealing a painted rock?

... but, on the other hand, this farm may be a source for rocks on a future expedition ...

I arrived at Büllsport late in the afternoon and decided to camp there - the rocks I was after were still somewhere further down the road South.

I wasn't prepared for camping - I had no food or camping equipment except for a small mosquito tent, a blow-up mattress, my duvet and Dream-Pillow.

There wasn't much in the Büllsport Farm Store so I settled for a 5-litre bottle of water and a tin of Sweetcorn - I'm not fussy about food ...

The Camp Sites are in the Naukluft Mountains, about 5km from the Guest Farm itself and I was escorted there by a guy on his Quadbike.

A view of the Camp Site nestled in the Naukluft Mountains.

There was a Young Couple and their Baby camping at the adjoining site - you can see the top of their Overland Vehicle above the roof of the ablution block.

In the top left hand corner of the pic is a Cave on the mountainside, a small black speck ...

I learned more about this Cave and the amazing historical and archaeological significance of this area from a brochure detailing the surrounding Hiking Trails.

It goes without saying that this knowledge immediately triggered my imagination and put me into Ghost-seeking mode.

A closer view of the Shelter our ancestors had lived in in the days before Anything - before cars and planes, the Internet and cellphones ...

My humble portable Cave - it's made from a mosquito-net type fabric which allows me to see the stars all night but, it's no good in rainy weather.

I hacked-open the tin of Sweetcorn with a useless pocket-knife and drank it down, quelling the grumbling of my stomach.

As the sun set I sat on some rocks contemplating the lives of the Ancient Ones.

Were they aware as we are today, as individuals with identities, as in "I am"? Or, were they aware in a more animal, survival-centred way?

Were there amongst them some who gazed upon the mountains, plains and stars and wondered ...?

... or were they content to just Be?

By this time I was exhausted and fell into bed. Two black birds perched momentarily on the beam of the camp's shelter and in the background Jupiter and Venus followed the setting sun, hand-in-hand like Lovers.

It was a moonless night, the sky was crystal-clear and I could see Forever.

The Milky Way stretched bright across the sky, Orion was above me - but, most beautiful of all was the Southern Cross, rising slowly behind my head.

I fell asleep and awoke sometime during the night - Scorpio hung above me now.

The air was still, silence prevailed.

The Babe in the next camp stirred restlessly ...

... and 50,000 years ago I heard an infant's cry pierce the night from the Cave on the Mountain ...

Six Stoned Sisters: A Mission - Pt. 2



  1. What an interesting post, I can't wait to find out if you were able to get some rocks. And again, all of a sudden, there's a picture that looks just like our desert mountains here, the one with the tent. I love the cave too. And, finally, I'm so glad to hear that you will find a way to continue blogging when you move into your house. Which looks just gorgeous by the way.

  2. Thank You Inger - I'll keep you in suspense for a few days ...

    I'm sure you'd feel quite at home in this country ...

  3. Wow. Sleeping under the stars in such a place would be both awesome but also a little creepy in the shadow of that cave. I would definitely be a little creeped out if there alone.

  4. Hi Graham .. looks just wonderful - I lvoe the idea of your tent - that you can just rest there looking at the stars - if you don't fall asleep.

    So fascinating to think of times gone by - A long long time ago .. there walked this little family to their hidden hideaway - only to be found millennia later by their ancestors ..

    Looking forward to seeing your stone selection - your home looks delighteful .. bouganvillea, and lovely trees .. and your entrance sculpture is very clever ..

    Delightfully interesting post .. cheers Hilary

  5. hehe ... believe it or not Calvin, I feel more at ease sleeping out in the sticks than I do in a town, or close to 'civilization' ...

    ... and as for the cave ... I'd like to spend a night in it if I can ...

  6. Thanks Hilary ... the tent is very useful, folds up or down in a few minutes ... and the main thing is it keeps the bugs and critters out (wouldn't use it in Lion country though ...)

  7. Oh how I enjoyed that trip, I was with you every minute of the time. The sweetcorn tasted wonderful, and the sleep under the stars was amazing with the history floating around in my head in the background.
    I am so looking forward to the next part.

    Love your house it is looking wonderful. When I win the lottery I am coming over to see it:) How I envy you, I do love Africa so much. For all that I love France as well, but I would love the best of both worlds LOL. Keep well Diane

  8. Hehehe ... thanks for coming along for the trip Diane ... yeah, that sweetcorn was OK hey, hit the spot ...

    ... when you win the Lottery I'll be your guide through Nam ... holding a mental thumb for you ...

  9. exciting to find our roots...yours and all of ours! I hope I'll learn you were able to get the rocks you're speak to us...about ancient days...ancient ways...yours are speaking to me right through the internet! now that is exciting!

    If you'll send me some kind of address for yourself I'll send you a P38 my husband was US Army (RET/VET) WWII...anything but a pen knife! I'm serious...a PO Box whatever! I have two things on my key ring a "church key" bottle/can opener and you guessed...a P38! If it's a matter of survival in the modern world I'm going to eat and drink ;-)

  10. Your new place looks wonderful. I would be hard pressed to know that your new home is in the desert as there is lush green and colourful flowers on your property. Out of curiosity though I'm wondering why you decided to build in the desert, rather than closer to where you are living now?
    The photos of the area you travelled and the history of the caves is so interesting. I can see why you were thinking about ancient man as you gazed out of your tent looking at the stars. I love your tent btw. Your story telling was compelling and so now I'm waiting for your the next chapter ;-)

    Have a wonderful week.

  11. Wow! ... thanks for you're kind offer Theanne - I'm going to take you up in it ... the P-38 looks to be an extremely useful tool ... I could have used it that night at the campsite ...

    ... I'll take good care of it ...

    1. Where do I send it? Let me know and I'll get you one!

    2. Thanks Theanne - I sent my address to the email addy on your profile - thinking about it I could probably find something similar at a Camping Supplier here in Namibia ...

  12. Your pictures and words create a good virtual trip. Thanks for taking me along. I believe people wondered about the stars and planets before they even started writing down ideas. There are ancient sites that mark the seasons by the sun's alignment. We have always been interested in time but probably never had enough of it.

  13. Thanks Penny - I seem to have confused you slightly ... my home and the house I'm building is in the sub-tropical North of Namibia, hence all the greenery ... I'm always on the look-out for cool rocks ...

    yeah, that tent is great, even has a pouch at the one end so I can stretch-out my long legs ... it's an American make called a "Long Road" and is ideal for long hikes ...

    1. Oh okay, now I see why it is so lush and green, he he.

      Great that the tent can be extended to make you nice and comfortable. Would love to see those stars. That is one thing I liked about travelling in the highlands of Kenya. I could open wide my hotel windows and gaze at the moon and stars. Of course, one can't do that everywhere but I was fortunate to have my rooms where I could do that in many places. I love the fresh air.

    2. Namibian desert skies will take your breath away - some of the cleanest air in the world ...

  14. Thanks for coming along Bill ... it was exhilarating to speculate that evening ... but, also in the background, the sense that I would never know ...

    ... no, there's never enough time hey, even though we can't see or feel or taste it ...

  15. You write so well, Graham! I feel like I was actually (not just virtually) on that trip with you. I hope my snoring didn't keep you up. And, as always, I loved your photos.

  16. Thank you Fran ...

    haha no, ... didn't lose a wink ... I just rolled over and slept with my deaf ear up ... :)

  17. Everything is beautiful and filled with wonders Graham. Your home, the gravel road, the escort, the campsite, the neighbours, the cave, the mountain, the desert. I am enchanted with your idea to rescue the rock. I am beguiled by sleeping in the tent, watching the stars rotate themselves to shine on you. The most beautiful of all is your words, taking us with you.

  18. Thank you Fazlisa - it gives me satisfaction to know that you have travelled with me ...

  19. great story..the first thing I thought , that the cone shaped stone structure was a bee hive ..what an Oasis you have created in the desert

    1. Thanks Monica - my first ideas were to put a light on the 'point', hence the electrical conduit on the right on the unfinished wall, ... or make it a water feature ...

      ... now I just want to create something special with rock ... perhaps leave that little opening open, turn it into a Dog House ... or a Cave to meditate in ... :)

  20. someone's bound to move can start a B&B :)

    1. hehehe ... brilliant idea! ... it won't work though, I can't cook and I'm sure my guests won't appreciate being tossed a tin of Sweetcorn for breakfast ... :)

  21. very interesting;.. will be back to see what 's happening next

    1. Thanks for your visit - I hope to publish Part 2 tomorrow.

  22. Hi OneStonedCrow, the title was so intriguing, 6 stoned sisters! The whole post was enlightening and enjoyable I am looking forward to reading the next instalment(s).I think we often wonder who went before us in a certain place where there is an athmospheric feeling like very old castles ( I recently visited Carcassonne in France) and in your case caves where people lived millions of years ago. Your must have stones remind me of the stones on Easter island, smaller but similarly shaped?
    Congratulations on the continued shaping of the house, it will be a stunning place to live!

    1. Hi - and thank you Peggy ...

      Gosh! you're right, now that you mention it, that rock does ring an Easter Island bell ...