Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Six Stoned Sisters: A Mission - Pt. 2

... continued from here

Despite normally being a 'Morning Person', when I awoke at the Bullenkopf Campsite I was not in the best of moods - my eyes felt puffy and my back was giving me hell - I struggled to roll-up the tent and bedding.

I took a last pic of the intriguing Cave. I'll be bach sometime and I'll sit in it for awhile.

I drove to B├╝llsport and gulped down two cups of coffee. I told the Owner that I'll return later in the year on a trip northwards and collect a few rocks from her.

Now, to complete my Mission ... I headed south and found the road where I'd seen the Rocks I wanted.

It wasn't long before I before I found them, standing like Sentinels where I'd left them a few months ago - awaiting my return.

I pulled-up to the Farmhouse and knocked on the door. The windows were all closed and nobody answered.

I walked around the back and an elderly man shuffled towards me from some tin shacks nearby.

After exchanging greetings, he told me that the owner lives in Rehoboth and only visits the farm occasionally. He couldn't give me a name or contact number.

So that was it - there was nobody to buy the rocks from, I'd come this way in vain.

I felt deflated.

I didn't want to drive back to B├╝llsport so I drove back about a kilometre to a hilltop where I'd spotted some rocks on the road verges.

Ignoring my back, I found a few nice, smallish rocks and huffed and puffed them onto the Pickup - at least I had something ... not that it made me feel much better.

After resting for a few minutes I continued on my way south ...

Fifteen to twenty kilometres down the road I stopped to photograph a Guest-Farm Entrance Sign for my collection.

I noticed a swarm of about 25 long, thin rocks standing erect, near the gate - they'd obviously been planted there as a feature.

In negative mood, I was about to press-on without even taking a photograph of them.

As I hit the accelerator, something - perhaps it was Intuition - caused me to swing the wheel sharply right and drive into the farmyard.

I found the owner, Mrs S and told her about my interest in the unusual rocks of the area. As we walked around the garden I drooled over her beautiful rock creations. She said they were her hobby.

Mrs S explained that she had been recently widowed and, unable to handle the Guest Farm on her own, the property will be auctioned next month.

She said that there were more rocks on the farm but a four-wheel drive vehicle is needed to get to them - they were beyond my reach.

I asked her, (in as pleading a voice as I could muster without sounding like a Wuss), if she would consider selling some of the Long Rocks I'd seen near the gate - I promised to respect them ... and create something beautiful ...

... she looked at me for a few seconds then, with a faint smile, said "Yes" - I could take some.

Henry, the Gardener, was assigned to help me load the rocks. Together we wrestled Six long Rocks from the Earth and loaded them onto the Pickup.

Even though I could probably have fitted in another four, I decided that six rocks were enough - we were sweating in the sun and my back ... also, I didn't want to appear too greedy ...

Henry thought I was crazy when I insisted on wrapping the rocks in my duvet so they wouldn't rub against each other and get scratched - he looked at me kinda strange ...

Mrs S and I agreed a price and I drove away, elated.

Relaxed and in good Spirit now, I continued my journey south into the desert, stopping to photograph anything that caught my eye.

I had not succeeded in bagging the Stones I wanted but, I had six others of equal beauty.

When I drove over this creature I thought it was a Chameleon crossing the road. Surprised, I turned back to check it out.

It's big, about 10cm long and has no wings - a flightless Locust.

I drove deeper into the Desert, stopping to photograph landscapes, some of which I've captured before.

The Desert is not static, each time you view a scene there are subtle changes in light and colour.

Considering the foul mood I'd been in when I awoke and my disappointment at not getting the rocks I'd come for, my day had turned-out OK ... but it wasn't over yet - there was a Cherry On Top:

To my delight I was able to meet up again with Leslie - I hadn't seen her since our first contact in July last year.

After her stint as a volunteer Teacher in northern Nam, Leslie was offered a job home-schooling two kids at a Guest Lodge near a small village - a village through which I had to pass.

She looks healthy and happy.

I still had a long way to travel and couldn't stay long ...

... a Crow welcomed me back to the desert.

OneStonedCrow and SixStonedSisters.

I don't know why I've assigned the Feminine Gender to them, the only feminine thing about them is their quiet, solid strength - and possibly, their curves ...

So what next? - my Mission isn't over yet, I still have to haul the Six Sisters another 1,200km to my home in the North ...

... and the Sentinels await my return ...

Six Stoned Sisters: A Mission - Pt. 1



  1. Congrats Graham! It is plain for all to see that you are a beaming proud owner of six very special beautiful rocks. Quite a trip.

    1. Hehe thanks Calvin - I wonder who owns who? ... I still haven't decided how I'll use them ...

  2. Enjoyed this post -- I learn from your plain, direct writing style. For me the whole point of your post is that no trip is ever wasted. You make of it what you can, and if you're open to surprise and delight, it usually rises up to greet you. BTW "Sentinels" strikes me as a great name for your shafts of stone.

    1. Thanks Jeffery - "no trip is ever wasted" ... I never thought of it that way ... I'll keep it in mind when I travel next ...

  3. Dear Graham--Only you can make a trip to find rocks--although they ARE beautiful--into such a fascinating & eminently readable post!

    1. Thanks Fran - some would say I've got rocks in my head ... yes, it was an adventure hey, full of surprises ...

  4. What a wonderful quest your went on. I'm so glad you found the beautiful sisters. I know they will fit right in at your home. And only you would call it "A swarm of rocks!" Finally, I just love what you run into on the roads you travel.

    1. Thanks Inger - yes, I wonder if I would still See so much if I wasn't seeing it through the eyes of you, my Friends?

  5. A story with a happy ending. Apparently you are not the first to find the beauty in those rocks. Do you know the type of rock your sixstonedsisters are?

    1. I'm not too clued-up on Geology Bill, so I'm just guessing that they're Dolerites.

      ... mmm ... I probably should make friends with a Geologist ...

  6. It is a journey that makes you smile Graham.

    1. Hehe ... yes indeed Fazlisa - this one went from strange to bad to worse to very good ... :)

  7. Graham after all the effort you have put into getting those rocks, I am sure that not only you, but any visitors you have will appreciate them. They are quite lovely and just so unusual. Looking forward to a photo of them in their new home. Well done, or bravo as they would say here :) Diane

    1. Merci Diane - now I just need some inspiration, it'll come ... but first I need to take them to their new home ...

  8. OK - belated light bulb moment. No WONDER you have back problems!
    I've been wondering how I'd use the six rocks. Four as sentinels and two as an arch over the top? Tilted as part of a water feature? Collect more and have them side by side as a sort of screen? I imagine your preference is to have them standing proud and alone - I'd want them to blend in with water or greenery.
    That was a lucky find.

    1. Hehe Caroline - I think I see the light - but somebody has to lift them or they'd just lie there forever ...

      Thanks for sharing ideas on how to use them ... :)

  9. HAhaha..you crazy artist types!!

  10. Hehe Monica ... your words probably express what the gardener Henry was thinking when I wrapped the rocks up ...

    ... but hang on ... look who's talking ... isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

  11. YOu have some wonderful adventures, even with a bad back. Those rocks are probably pretty darn happy to reside in your space. Loved catching up and reading both parts of the stoned sisters..

  12. Thanks Sandy - yes, I hope I can use them in a special way ... I feel like returning for more before Mrs S sells the farm but it's a long way to drive ...

  13. Hi Graham - love this post and your pictures .. love seeing the land and I can always smell the red earth, feel the heat, know the tiredness of long drives ... while so often we don't do something because we're tired - glad you did a sharp turn in ...

    ... then your comment to Inger - I think that probably applies to blogging a great deal - I've certainly developed my thoughts, by reading so much more, learning more about life, seeing others' photos ...

    I believe you're right - would we do so much if we weren't recording something for a post ... certainly I'd never know I can write .. I can express my personality ..

    I hope you get back to the farm for more Sentinel Sisters ... I love that flightless locust - great photo ... the donkeys look in good nick too ...

    Cheers - and see you soon for your next posting .. Hilary

    1. Thanks Hilary - I used to do the 1200km journey in one day but after 14 hours I would be in zombie-mode - a danger on the road - I now take two days and enjoy the ride ...

      Yes to your thoughts on blogging and, taking it a bit further, I wonder if I would be doing this if I didn't have a camera - probably not ...

  14. Hi there Graham, I've missed your online presence whilst you've been up north - great to have you back again.
    I so love your photos of the desert, there is something so calming and spiritual about wide open spaces...
    To repeat the sentiments of the comments above, all journeys are explorations, whether of one's inner self or of others or of life itself.....
    Take care of that back of yours, though I think the presence of those elegant "sisters" is probably worth a few aches and pains?

    1. Thanks Coral - your comments about the desert and journeys are spot-on - I love both too ...

      yeah, the rocks are worth a little pain ... :)

  15. Hi Graham .. yes but if you had a camera and no internet - fewer people would be interested in your story .. or it would be much more difficult to get the pictures out .. the blog has given us a chance to find you ..

    Have a great week .. cheers Hilary

  16. What a fabulous, good news story this turned out to be. You got some real beauties in the rocks and you got to visit another beauty, in Leslie. I'm so glad it all turned out for you. As usual, I enjoyed all your photos!

  17. I forgot to mention, that the close up photo of the cave reminded me of a book I read last year "I Married a Bedouin". The book is about a woman from NZ who meets and marries a Bedouin from Jordan. She stays with him in his country and they live in a cave in Pertra. I think the people can no longer live there in those caves but I can't remember why. It may have to do with the World Heritage protection status of the saves.

    1. Thank you Penny - yes, it was a Bad-hair day turned good ... there's a lesson to be learned too ...

      ... yeah, I've always wanted to live in a cave but they're in short supply so I had to build my own ... :)

    2. (I mean "caves" in my last comment, not "saves").
      So true what you say about "a lesson to be learned". Whenever I get in a foul or grumpy mood, I really try to turn myself around, esp. when there is a delay in travel or something major or my time is being impacted on when I'd rather be doing something else. I try to remember that there is something positive in the experience that I may not know about at that moment, or that I should savour the time I have with someone as it may not always be thus. Anyway, life is too short and to precious to waste many moments on bad moods or being ungrateful though we all have our moments and our days ;-) Have a wonderful week.

    3. Thank you Penny - and thanks also for your inspirational words ...