Walking Update 16: V is for Vygies

Vygies,  mesembryanthemums , is another plantgroup found in the dry Namaqualand and coastal areas of the Northern Cape South Africa. These  colourful plants feature silky-textured flowers in just about every colour of the rainbow and is part of the succulent family.

vygie g1

vygies

The name Vygie literally means small fig and is based on the fact that the top fruiting capsule  resembles a small fig.

These flowers have names which sound just as colourful as the flowers themselves.

How does ghoena, ghôkum, steekvy, kougoed, vingerkanna, brakslaai, asbos, loogslaai, kirriemoer, haasballetjies to name but a few sound?

Vygies are more abundant in the dry sandy, coastal regions and especially in the coastal area of the Namaqua National Park.

vygies2

From the town of Garies the park lies about  75 km. towards the coast and offers various camps and camping sites to overnight. To me this seemed a wonderful place to spend a few nights as a base from which to further explore the region.

namaqua-4

The town  Garies is a small agricultural centre in South Africa’s Northern Cape province situated about 110 km south of Springbok the chief town of the Namaqualand district.

In 1845, Garies sprang up on land given to the Dutch Reformed Church by the owner of the farm Goedeverwagting.  Originally named after the farm, its present name, a Khoisan word meaning ‘couch-grass’, was given it by former Cape premier John X Merriman.

The village of Garies consists of one long street with a church, a cluster of houses and shops that are built on the banks of the stream Garies.  The Nama people named this area “Th’aries” after the couch grass that grew along the banks of the stream and this was later changed to Garies.

Reality is that at present I am nowhere near these beautiful  and colourful sounding places. No I am back in a very cold Pretoria where the winter is showing us the last of its winterteeth. Every time I make it to the treadmill for an excercise session, I reward myself with a little bit of armchair travel and dreaming.

Now to the walking report.

I am still walking only 15 minutes at a time and my foot tolerates the excercise well. So I will try to lengthen the time to 20 minutes next week.

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