Nieu-Bethesda’s historic NG Kerk

Whenever I visit Nieu-Bethesda I just seem to be attracted to the historic Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk or NG Kerk). There is just something to this beautiful building in this tiny village that has me going back to it time and time again. Also, the fact that there are so many different angles to look at it and then add to it the time of day and different weather conditions. I did a post on the church last…

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Nieu-Bethesda’s owl sellers

Nieu-Bethesda's biggest export item, as in what people take away with them, must be their cement owls. It all started at the Owl House where Helen Martins transformed the house and then the yard, the latter with the help of Koos Malgas. Although there are so many different cement figures in the yard, the owls are the most prominent. No wonder it's called the Owl House. It's also the one thing most visitors to the village want to go home…

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Road scenes of Nieu-Bethesda

Nieu Bethesda's Dutch Reformed Church The village of Nieu-Bethesda really is a special one. High on the to-do list of travelers wanting to visit the Owl House, learn more about fossils or just experience Karoo country life. It's also somewhere to go and find yourself, recharge your soul and rediscover your being. Nieu-Bethesda only had dirt roads, no street lights nor a petrol station. The best way to explore the village is literally on foot with your camera in hand,…

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The Stonefolk of Nieu-Bethesda

Nieu-Bethesda is famous for the Owl House and fossils you find in the area. That's not all you can see in this small Karoo Heartland village though. There's actually so much more and now it has a new addition. A couple of stone figures has made Ongeluksloot on the farm Doornberg their home and we just had to go and visit. Inspired by the landscape of Nieu-Bethesda, the stone figures in Kaokoland in Namibia as well as The Dance by…

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Water furrows in the Karoo Heartland

One of my favourite things about Nieu-Bethesda is seeing the water run through the village's water furrows. These ancient stone leivore date back to the early days of the village and supplies water to the village from a spring in the mountain above the village. Residents who have leivore running past their properties pay a minimal amount for water rights annually and channel water into their gardens using smaller gated funnels on the days when the water flows in that…

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Bini’s Tea Garden in Nieu-Bethesda

How boring is life if one never explores? How much would we miss out on if we didn't? Nieu-Bethesda may be small but there are so many things to see and places to check out. Although I've been to the village a couple of times, the Damselfly hadn't seen much of it so I loaded her in the car for a drive around on a recent visit. We drove up to the township for the view back to town and…

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Honesty shop on the stoep

Towards the bottom of Martin Street in the village of Nieu-Bethesda stands a white Karoo house with a blue sign. blue cupboard(on the stoep)honesty shop The two words in the name that caught my eye immediately were "honesty shop". It was peculiar. Interesting. Strangely Karoo Heartland. Definitely worth checking out. On the stoep we found a variety of things. On the right-hand side mostly second-hand and antique items, books and other stuff. Nice and cheap as well. On the left-hand…

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A Nieu-Bethesda fossil tour

Many many millions of moons ago the Karoo was an inland sea which over time slowly started to shrink. About 265 million years ago, the Beaufort Group of rocks within the Karoo sequence was beginning to be deposited by massive rivers draining into the shrinking inland Ecca Sea. As these rivers filled the basin with sediment that entombed the remains of land animals that lived around them. This period is known as the Permian Period and took place around 50…

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Nieu-Bethesda valley view

Nieu-Bethesda is a quiet little village. One for contemplation and somewhere you go to find yourself again. There are a few places you can do it during a visit, but one of my favorites is with a flask of coffee and a lunch (breakfast) box filled with rusks up at Mariette se bankie at the Uitkyk. From here you can see the whole valley with the village on the far side and towering Compasberg in the background. Let's keep this…

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Antie Evelyn se Eetplek in Nieu-Bethesda

Some people have eating in a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Paris on their bucket lists. Others want to eat in a restaurant because a certain famous chef designed the menu. I wanted to have dinner at Antie Evelyn se Eetplek and when the opportunity arose I packed my overnight bag and headed into the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland to the village of cement owls, fossils, leivore and Auntie Evelyn. Nieu-Bethesda. Auntie Evelyn Oliphant has been running her little restaurant…

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