© 2019 by Gerrit Louw

SKIETFONTEIN

The Skietfontein hiking trail starts at the antique shop of Dieter German in Church Street and then follows Van Riebeeck Street past the "Skema".   It follows the winding footpath that workers and pupils from Skietfontein use to and from Carnarvon, all along the bank of the river.   The length of the route is about 8 km in total.  

On the way to Skietfontein, hikers can experience typical Karoo veld with a variety of interesting shrubs (Karoo bossies) with beautiful views of the Karoo hills and windmills as well as water fowl in the pools of water in the river. 

When walking this route  the first time, I enjoyed the interaction with Skietfontein residents coming in the opposite direction on their way to Carnarvon.

At Skietfontein remnants of the ancient stone houses of early inhabitants can still be found, as well as a few typical Karoo houses and very friendly people.    At the enclave where the Hendriks family live, right at the far end of the settlement, we stopped at the house of Louisa Hendriks and had a hard time persuading her to let us go without a cup of coffee.   We wanted very much to stay as she is one of the older inhabitants and has wonderful stories to tell, but we had an appointment and had to be back in Carnarvon in time.

On our way back through the river and hiking on another route on the opposite side of the river, we met Ben Maritz, also on his way to Carnarvon.   Ben was carrying a plastic bag which I assumed was his lunch pack, but as the conversation continued Ben told us that it was full of goat dung (bokmis).   A family member in Carnarvon had the small pox (smallpox) and they use the bokmis as medicine as it works better than the doctors medicine.

On our way back we followed a route past one of the permanent springs in the area, although at this stage the spring was very weak and only a small amount of water was seeping out between the rocks.   We went past Dellville, the small farm of the Ahmed family, and then followed the road past the graveyard, up Mark Street, over Unieplein, past the historic U.R. Church (former Rhenish Mission Church) and then reached our starting point in Church Street.   We did not have time to enjoy the route as much as we wanted and at our relatively fast pace it took us an hour and thirty minutes from start to finish.

Please enjoy a few photos that we took on our way.