Time had come to say goodbye to Springbok. It had been a great base to take a look around the eastern part of the Richtersveld, just as Port Nolloth had been great for the western part. Both places also allowed us a glimpse south into the (only slightly) more humid southern part of Namaqualand in the Western Cape Province. It’s only some 270 km to Vredendal along the N7 and we knew where we wanted to stay in Vredendal from our visit in September, so we had plenty of time for a side trip. I had been dozing in the back of the car – highways can be monotonous – so I had missed the transition in scenery – everything was much greener than up north.
We took a turning east at Kamieskroon and, now fully awake, I asked for a stop to photograph the wildflowers at the side of the road.
On closer inspection, the majority of the flowers turned out to be Stachys sp.
No point in waiting for a species name, as the genus contains some 300 to 450 taxa spread all over the world. One species is used in florestry as dried flowers in flower arranging.
From (poor) memory, S2714 was to search for Euphorbia multiceps that had been suggested from along this track. We enjoyed the look around, but found no succulent worth photographing.
S2715 was interesting for an impressive stand of Aloe dichotoma across the fenced off field alongside the track. A missing bit of fencing let us in. The strange thing about the Aloes was that they each had a number tag at their base. Was this a conservation experiment? Or a nursery, growing plants to be pulled up and sold? I think the former, as there was no evidence of recent plant extractions.
We had been confident to find beds in Vredendal, as the hotel where we had stayed in September dod not seem to get too busy. Wrong! We wanted to stay three or four nights, but there was a wine festival in town at the weekend and most of the rooms were booked. They managed to find 3 rooms for us after all. Phew!