Today’s journey takes place among the typical Karoo landscape, an arid plain dotted with flat topped, low reliefs, that vaguely resembles some pictures of the old West. The downpours of the last few days have turned it greener than we expected, particularly in comparison to the draught-stricken areas we just traveled across. Even so it’s all but deserted, there’s nothing as far as the eye can see and settlements are few and far between. It’s cattle and Merino sheep territory, raised in huge farms whose existence is signalled by kilometer upon kilometer of fences. We get to our destination, Graaf Reinet, in record time and with even a few hours to spare to have a look around the historic little town known as the pearl of the Karoo.
Then, armed with great expectations, we set off for the famed Valley of Desolation, one of the highlights of South Africa and reputedly gorgeours at sunset. The sky is stormy, but the light playing with the leaden clouds is magnificent. The view from the lower lookout is breathtaking. Just as we are anticipating the view from above, though, a thick fog rolls in all of a sudden and in a few minutes everything is blotted out. Then sunset is over and it gets dark.