Sunset in the Karoo, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Growing up on African sands there’s something familiar and comforting about riding out on the back of an open pickup, a bakkie, driving at speed on dirt tracks chasing sunsets, passing wild game and endless barren landscapes ✌🏼✨🇿🇦
We ceased any opportunity to partake in these pastimes with family.
Jumping in the trucks we took to the dirt roads to secure a beautiful spot to soak in the magic of it all. The flatlands around the Karoo are spectacular, they are bounded by high hills and mountains which we sought out.
The area is predominantly farming and the extensive land is used for grazing cattle. In all truth I felt like a bit of a fraud as we crossed the roads with dirt trails behind us, as a visitor to the area I avoided meat and dairy for my own reasons but I understand the impact that these small changes could have on the rural communities. Honestly, if it weren't for cattle farming, it's hard to imagine what other kind of income streams people could have in such a harsh environment. With desertification always a looming issue, organic farming of fruits and vegetables seem a distant dream.
As the sun dipped down and kissed the horizon, briefly turning the skies a burnt yellow then deep red I thought about the history of this land, the bloodshed, the battles. I had set out with the expectation of beautiful bliss but the reality unsettled me. The empathy for those who came before, those who lived on this land, stayed with me that night as my mind turned through business options, plans, searching for innovation and technologies to both address and partly thrive in such arid environments. As is so often the case, I find myself accidentally carrying the burdens of others.
The next morning, I found a quiet spot in the house and practiced a yoga flow, reconnecting with the breath that I had lost on those dirt tracks.