My first week in Nieuwouldtville is nearly coming to an end. Before I got here, I have heard many stories about the beauty of this place. On our way from Vanrhynsdorp I got to see the beauty: To the left and to the right along highway #9 you could see fields full of nice flowers. Nieuwouldtville is well-known for its treasure – especially in spring. Most common flowers are daisies, which you can find in yellow, blue, orange, white, red and purple. The vast diversity of flowers makes every botanist revel in happiness.
People from all over South Africa are coming to Nieuwouldtville in spring. Because of that, there was no free room left, but luckily we found accommodation in a cottage of the botanical garden for the first week.
Shortly after we got settled in our quest to find the plants of interest has begun. With known GPS-coordinates and the support of two rangers we went out looking for the research subjects. We went to many nature reserves and in one them the rangers have shown us cave-paintings made by natives that used to life there many centuries ago.
What all the nature reserves have in common is the spectacular view when you are standing on a cliff. Freedom has a completely different meaning when you are here. Germans would put a fence on any cliff that is higher than 3 meters. In South Africa nobody cares, that my distance from certain death was just 10cm away. The people are all very helpful and nice and they don’t bother as long as you do not annoy them too much.
I also had to work at night. A Japanese film crew asked us to show them pollination done by rodents. They wanted to use the material as part of their documentation about the “Cape Rocks” in their TV-show “World Heritage” (in japanese, of course), which has been weeks on air for nearly twenty years. Unfortunately the mice have their own ways, which didn’t correspond with our wishes. But maybe next time. Next week, we will also try to support a german film crew which has an interest in the same subject.