Renée and I had booked to go on the Hermanus Bird Club outing to Gifberg in Namaqualand and decided to use the opportunity to spend four days camping at Nieuwoudtville on the escarpment above Vanrhynsdorp. It was a good choice as the area was experiencing one of the best flower seasons in living memory.
We drove up on Friday 2 September, leaving Hermanus in cold wet weather. By the time we had arrived at Nieuwoudtville and our camp site at Olive Farm on the edge of the village, the weather was clearing and we hoped for the best. A bitterly cold night followed (we had remembered to pack the electric blanket and a heater, so the caravan was quite comfortable) and the next morning dawned clear and bright.
We had three days of truly magnificent flower viewing, around Nieuwoudtville, renowned for its bulbs, the area around Kamieskroon and Garies, and the Karoo to the north of and between Nieuwoudtville and Calvinia, where the vygies were blooming across the hills and mountains for kilometres on end. We took the opportunity to visit Papkuilsfontein, an old favourite of ours, and were blown away by the wonderful flowers on the farm. It was the highlight of our visit, although we also thought Matjiesfontein was very good.