A Karoo Road Trip
South Africa's Karoo desert is spectacularly barren by day, and even more spectacular by night.
"The back roads of the Karoo have a strange effect on the mind. It’s as if mile by mile they clear you out, forcing your attention into equilibrium with the passing veld, slowly finding balance, until inside and out are united in a single vast expanse – koppie-like thoughts appearing slowly, taking shape, then vanishing in the mirror behind. In a sense, all roads through the Karoo are back roads – even a quiet morning on the N1 can conjure this effect – but these gravel meanderings are where everything is at, its most uninterrupted.
There are no cars out here. No activity of any kind it seems. A Springsteen song shuffles onto the playlist and I glance beside me at Ann, my companion on this desert detour. She is lost in thought: legs drawn up on the seat, chin on knees, staring out the window. Her fingers tap absentmindedly on her shins as Bruce makes the dusty African heat feel like a New Jersey morning skyline. Yeah Bruce, they’re both a lunar landscape, for real..."
Extract from Off the tar to see the stars, Getaway magazine, July 2017. —