Take the long and winding road for 50kms from Graaff Reniet and you will end up in the sleepy village of Nieu Bethesda. It feels as if you’re stepping back in time, but in a good way. The pace of life slows and the locals are friendly; it’s postcard pretty and a place to lay back and relax.
The village found it’s way onto the tourist map with the opening of Helen Martin’s Owl House many years ago and has grown steadily since then. The ethereal cement images in the garden and eccentric decoration of the house speaks volumes about the kind of person she was – incredibly artistic and very troubled. Her work is considered to be one of South Africa’s best examples of outsider art.
For the more energetic folk there’s horse-riding, hiking and mountain bike trails and for the rest of us there’s reading, relaxing and resting!
Hedonist Hippy recommends
The Owl House – this goes without saying as any visit to Nieu Bethesda would be incomplete without it! Allow time to wander and digest all the imagery. An almost mystical experience.
Sneeuberg Brewery and 2 Goats Deli – this delightful craft brewery can be found by following signs and asking directions! The beer is delicious – 4 brews to taste – and the cheese and meat platter consisting of home made goat’s cheeses is the perfect accompaniment. They also roast their own coffee. Lovely garden for the summer and old wooden interior for colder days. It’s a really great place!
Ware on Earth Gallery – beautiful ceramic artistry to view and purchase by husband and wife potters, Charmaine and Martin Haines. Both have unique and distinctive styles.
The Pub – it is what the name says! Good place to meet locals.
There is a good selection of different types of accommodation (see tourism website details below).
Nowhere to go
The sky is super clear for star gazing and horses roam freely in the streets. Take time out and experience the beauty of having nothing to do and nowhere to go – the only way out is the way you came in!
Check out their tourism website for further info
Where to find it