For the last leg of our trip, we headed up the coast to Alexander Bay. A quick stop at the desolate and windswept sub-zero temperature beach and then we headed inland along the Orange River. Some cut blocks of stone where seen on the side of the road, so we stopped to investigate. We found a hillside littered with Dolomite, sometimes called “Elephant Skin” stone due to the weathering patterns.
The roads where deeply rutted in places, and we where happy to reach our destination – Brandkaros (I think “burning cloak”). Nestled in a bend of the Orange River, this little oasis used to be a holiday spot for the De Beers workers. We spent the next 2 days taking it easy in the heat. Some hiking and some digging through the gravel on the riverbank, netted me a few pretty rocks. The moon-rises and sunrises where spectacular from this spot, looking out over the huge dunes on the other side of the river into Namibia.
So under a gorgeous golden orange moon, we had our last big braai, drinks and jokes and a haircut! Tomorrow it was back to the normal world, where people look at you funny if you randomly sit down in the middle of nowhere and start scratching through the dirt.
We woke up early the next morning and hit the long road home. All in all a bit more of a site seeing / scouting trip than a rock collecting one. I did have a few first time crystal experiences and managed to buy a few beautiful pieces from Werner and Sonia.
Glad to be home and cleaning crystals!
A word of warning – The roads are hard-core. If you are headed anywhere but the main towns, travelling in a convoy with multiple cars is a good idea and common sense. You don’t need a 4×4, but something with good clearance and big tires is helpful.
Next Up – What I found in the Richtersveld.