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 Post subject: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:32 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari - Introduction.

The American explorer Gilarimi A. Farini wrote the following during the latter half of the nineteenth century.

A half buried ruin – a huge wreck of stones,
On a lone and desolate spot.
A temple- or a tomb of human bones.
Left by man to decay and rot.

Rude sculptured blocks, from red sand project,
And Shapeless, uncouth stones appear,
Some great man’s ashes designed to protect
Buried many a thousand year.

A relic maybe, of a glorious past,
A city once grand and sublime,
Destroyed by an earthquake, defaced by a blast,
Swept away by the hand of time.

William Leonard Hunt together with his son Lulu, Gert Louw of the arid part of North West South Africa, and Fritz Landwer a German trader explored the Kalahari in search of diamonds and cattle ranching areas and scientific information and adventure.

While on a hunting expedition near the Nossob River they came upon what appeared to be the ruins of a city, the City later became known as “the Lost City of the Kalahari”.

Since the find, numerous expeditions have ventured into the Kalahari in search of this City, while odd individuals have claimed to have found it in various areas, major expeditions have met with no success.

This series will be about the William Hunt (Farini) expedition into the unknown wasteland where the little people had lived for many centuries.

Where they lived through hardships and in times of plenty, where they gazed at the stars of the dark AFRICAN night, where they worshipped and danced, gave birth and grew older where they hunted and took only what needed.

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No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:02 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari – Part 1.

The Mail Express was building up steam on the Cape Town Station in the late afternoon of 2nd June 1885. There was a crowd of people on the platform, some on their way inland and the others eager friends who had come to which them a pleasant trip.

Luggage was stowed in the goods van. Two rows of seats along the outer side of the coach provided the seating, a single seat on the one and two seats on the other side of the passage.

Booked into the Pullman coach amongst others was William Hunt and son Lulu – from the Americas as well as Gert Louw.

The guard blew his, all went on board, the green flag was waved, the driver sounded the whistle and the loaded train puffed and grunted the great wheels came in motion, the coaches gave a shake as if waking up and the passengers waved to the friends and family and other onlookers on the platform.

Up above the double seats were hooks, the passengers later discovered their use – this from where the hammocks would be hung for a “peaceful” nights rest.

As day dawned they train was through the mountains and in the Great Karoo, the cold of the previous was soon forgotten is at warmed up and soon got quite hot. It was dry, very dry, the soil was parched, and only a little farmer’s hut here and there broke the monotony and desolation of the land. Around the huts were numerous flocks and herds, some farmers up to twenty thousand sheep. They held out as they knew the rains would come and all would turn the desert into a smiling expanse of rich pasture-land. Pans and streams would fill up and the train would cross the ravines and gorges over which the wheels would clatter on the steel.

The train stopped at the Gamka River “Station” where a glass of water cost thrupence, a drink of spirits one shillings and a beer three shillings and a sixpence at the refreshment-room.

The train left Beaufort-West, an Ostrich farm was close to the tracks at Victoria-West, the whole paddock was surrounded by a low fence of wire and brushwood about 600 mm in height, enough to keep the dark plumed Males and the grey females and their chicks in. Apart from the Vultures and the herds, the Ostriches were the only living animals seen over a stretch of 400 miles, Hope Town their destination was still 200 miles distant. The whole journey took thirty two hours.

At de Aar they had to change trains as here the rail split, east was to Johannesburg and west to Hopetown and further . . . .

Hope Town was reached at 04:00, to the coach which would take them to Kimberley a further 70 miles away from where they would start their expedition into the inland.

At about 13:00 the coach arrived at Thomas’s Farm which was 40000 acres in extent, here the passengers had a good dinner. The farm was quite an oasis, a large dam fed by a spring was used to irrigate the gardens in which many varieties of vegetables and fruit grew.

Around about midnight the now tiring mules were outspanned and exchanged for a new set, here the landlord had prepared supper for the fifteen hungry and tired passengers, the Springbok was extremely tasty. After the meal the group made do with what was available and slept until early morning.

After an early cup of coffee the final leg of the journey to Kimberley started. Breakfast was had at the Modder River junction, te breakfast costing half a crown and a beer a further three shillings and sixpence.

Later the afternoon they saw a heap of blue coloured earth, the driver told that it had been extracted from the diggings of the Bultfontein diamond mines, they then passed the du Toit’s Pan, with the Kimberley reservoir appearing in the distance to which water was brought from the Vaal River some 15 miles away.

The road side was strewn with empty tins of all shapes and sizes and bottles the contents of which were food and liquor for the miners.

The coach stopped at the Market Square was surrounded by Tin Town an array of tin shanties at 15:00 that afternoon.

Of the passengers moved into the Transvaal Hotel, the sitting room which faced the street, was constructed of mud bricks, the bed rooms at the back were constructed of galvanised corrugated iron, they were as hot as ovens but the mud structure in where the bar also was, was conveniently cool.

The bath, the good dinner and the comfortable bed were found to be unspeakable luxuries, especially to Lulu and Gert as they had spent most of the 70 miles on the roof of the coach fitted in amongst the luggage.

Before them washing William imagined that Lulu and Gert must have resembled Adam while he was still in the earlier stages of his manufacture out of the dust of the earth . . . . . .

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No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
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Done 144 visits to National Parks.
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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:54 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 2.

After a very good night’s sleep the three set out making e for their journey to the Kalahari.

They bought a wagon and a span of mules from Mr. Caldecott who also was on the train.

Then they purchased their provisions being gun powder and shot, pots and pans, kettles and coffee pots, blankets and beads, pipes and tobacco, pails and water barrels, stout linen water bags, as well as tinned food, eventually Lulu pointed out that the capacity of the wagon was limited.

Lulu was a keen photographer, also purchased some more plates.

Some inhabitants of the town were very rich and others real paupers. Some had struck it rich and others not.

Illicit diamond trading was rife and the penalty for illicit diamond dealing was raised to three years imprisonment as well as a fine of 500 shillings.

Many culprits swallowed the stones, and when under suspicion, were kept under close surveillance for any excreted diamonds.

Registers of all diamond dealings had to be strictly kept, these were regularly scrutinised by the inspectors and any discrepancies resulted in a suitable conviction. Many traps were set for suspects and most of them sprang the culprit and often five years were spent in the comforts of the Government Hotel.

The earth of the best claims was called “the blue” which was dug out or blasted and then hoisted , the flint clay was then left to weather until disintegrated being hosed and left to dry the process repeated as often as required,. When soft enough a harrow was run over the clay breaking it up finer. Then after about three months the clay was washed in the washing machine and passed over a grate. Here “the blue” is given a thorough washing and the liquid mud falls into the “washers” with their four paddles. Here the gravel and stones sink to the bottom and the mud flows off, carrying off the light debris into a small canal, the settled mud is carried away and the muddy water is bucket pumped back into the reservoir where it is re-used.

The catchers under paddles get filled with stones. The catchers are taken out and the contents emptied out, where the contents are now given a real good wash in a long rotary washer, made up out of different sections each section covered with a different gauge of wire mesh, gradually increasing in size. Above the rotary washer was a length of piping with 6mm.holes to let water spray onto the turning cylinder to complete the washing process. The smallest stones fall through first into the compartmented pulsator then the next and the next until the largest stones fall through at the end, where two men are on the lookout for the big one!

The pulsator is rocking in a bed of water, doing a further wash; the washed material is then dropped into boxes which are taken to the final washing area where a final high jet of water did the job.

The clean material is now taken to the sorting tables where the sorters scraped and checked and scraped and checked . . . . . the finest material is sorted a few times, the findings are put into the bottom of a broken beer bottle of which the contents are collected by the Manager.

Very often the above process was followed by two or three men doing all the back-breaking work themselves.

The “finds” are then locked up or hidden and then sold to the eager diamond traders.

The evenings in Kimberley were quite rowdy where successful diggers spent their new earned wealth and the not so successful ones tried to drown their sorrows.

William Hunt met some of the kindest, most straightforward, and hospitable and educated gentlemen here at Kimberley and of course also those on the other side as well.

Soon the mules were shod the wagon loaded and Jan the coloured driver was ready to set off.

Farini mounted his horse, the whip cracked and the expedition was on its way.

Not many miles further the horse rider started feeling sore and got onto the wagon.

After a hard day’s trek they outspanned and cooked their supper, afterwards they slept as soundly and comfortable is if in the most luxurious beds in any American hotel.

The first rays of daylight awoke the group, after a breakfast of chops and coffee they set off. The coffee was made of coffee essence and condensed milk.

Farini walked ahead, carrying his loaded shotgun, he decided to wait at a water-hole. There was noise and some Namaqua Sand Grouse settled they ran to the water Farini aimed and let go, they took off and he let go with the second barrel, twenty three birds were picked up and would serve as that evening’s supper.

Later that day Farini came across a farmer, who was quite interested in the American and as the conversation went along, the contents of the bottle of Cango brandy lowered.

That evening they outspanned at the Scholtz Dam in the company of about a dozen other teams. Here he met up with some other rough looking people – Cockneys and soon the bottle opened earlier the day was empty.

Early the following morning, Jan cracked the whip and soon they reached Smidt’s Drift where they awaited the pont to take them across the Vaal River. After about an hour they were across, the fare being three half crowns.

The owner of the pont had a shop and a hotel, he arrived there a poor man but now the situation was quite different and he was quite wealthy. His farm was irrigated from a large spring, his grapes and melons and onions ripened to perfection, of which much was loaded onto the wagon, one never knew when such luxuries would be available again . . . .

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:57 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 3.

The party set off and outspanned at Tweefontein, where a small dam was fed by a tiny rivulet about 2 cm deep and 15 cm wide, springing from a rock. The only trees in the area were a few Camel-Thorns.

Here they made Sand Grouse soup flavoured with fresh onions and enjoyed a leisurely afternoon watching covey after covey of Sand Grouse coming to the cool waters of the dam.

It was blistering hot out of the shade of the wagon, fortunately a bit of a breeze tried to cool them down. Then the clouds came up and the thunder and lightning came closer and closer. The mules were inspanned and the wagon turned with the back towards the storm, which was coming down in torrents, the storm and wind raged with the utmost fury, they decided to move on in the rain as the mules would threatening to run off in any case.

The six mules set out gamely and with the motivation of Gert’s whip the seven miles to Kameel was soon done. Along the way Farini shot a Duiker which meant fresh red meat for the expedition. Near Kameel they saw a stubble field which had just been reaped as well as some fig trees indicated some civilization. They spotted an old thatch roofed house standing in green grass, the first after the first rains just a few days ago they were told by the owner.

They got permission to outspan, a bottle of the Cango brew was extracted, the wet Jan and Gert had theirs neat, while Farini, Lulu and the farmer watered theirs down a bit.

Farini asked to buy some milk, he was referred to the next door neighbour a Bartlett, he was the son of the first missionary in the area, and the land was given to his father by Waterboer, the Griqua Chief of the area. Farini was also told that Livingstone and Moffat stayed her a while during 1869. Livingstone here met Mary Moffat, who he married at Kuruman.

That evening the group was entertained by Mr. Harrison the shopkeeper on some very good sherry, Harrison that business was rather poor but he expected it to improve once Genl Warren had made terms in Bechuanaland.

Bartlett offered to sell them some fruit and vegetables; upon visiting the garden near the centre they found the graves of Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett senior, beneath the shadow of a huge fig tree. He spotted some reeds and was told that was the fountain from which clear sweet water provided refreshment to man beast and plant.

It was bubbling clear as crystal from a hole nearly twenty centimetres in circumference.

They left and followed an eighteen mile winding road to Virtue’s farm.

While watering the animals, Farini noticed a Bustard, he estimated 250 meters away and used the little .22 Winchester and missed, too high, he set at 200 metres and missed again, the bird never moved then at 150 metres, the heavy winged bird took off and turned its head as if to make sure that the shottist was really trying to hit him.

Some of Schmidt’s ground coffee was made, the grounds would not sink, and eventually the hot liquid was filtered through a clean linen handkerchief. The liquid was excellent and would compare with any French Coffee of that time.

The following morning the owner of the farm came over and introduced himself, smacking his lips after tasting a nip of the Cango brew he told Farini that it was day off, it being Sunday. Mr. Virtue told Farini that speculators would soon be coming around and that he could be expecting to be paid six to nine pounds for an ox and between twenty to thirty shillings for a sheep and between ten and twenty five pounds for a horse. Farini imagined that at those prices a man owning 15000 sheep and 200 horses and 300 heads of cattle on a ranch of 40000 acres could make a good living.

They discussed animal disease and he was told about Lung disease and Stiff Sickness to cattle and Horse sickness and New sickness to horses were the main disease to animals. Any horse that had recovered from the mentioned sicknesses, would be regarded as “salted” and would easily fetch a price ranging between eighty and one hundred pounds.

When inspanned Mr. Virtue drove with them until reaching his house, here he introduced the Sherriff Mr. Newman, a jovial fellow, who was in charge of an area half the size of England, administrating the law, when driving further Farini imagined that in the presence of this Sherriff, sealing wax would melt, parchment would lose at least half its stiffness and red tape relax its strangulating coils as they chatted on their Griqua Town as his horse had gone , and readily accepted Farini’s offer of a lift and of course a bit of the Cango brew.

Along the way they got their first glimpse of a Springbok, Farini enquired from the Sherriff whether it would be OK to shoot one; the reply was that a traveller could shoot as long as it was for his own use.

The first shot was way too high, after adjusting the range he fired again this time just in front of the fleeing antelope. He fired a third time and heard the bullet strike; the Springbok ran another 200 metres and collapsed. Gert was quite jubilant returning with the fresh meat.

Farini accepted the hospitality of Mr. Newman’s invite to a dinner of ham and eggs.

Later that evening Farini met the District Commissioner Mr. Christie, who told him much of the Kalahari, he advised Farini to take the N.E. side as the southern and central parts were well hunted, about eight years earlier Bob Duncan with about 300 Coloureds had ridden through the country driving all the game to the north, so that where before there were vast herds, now barely a head of wild animal was spotted. Later rains would possibly attract them back to their previous grazing areas.

Mr. Christie advised Farini to obtain a few more horses as the rest of his journey would be mostly on sand which would be heavy travelling for the mules.

The required horses were bought and traded during the few following days and again the party was ready to continue.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:24 am 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari – Part 4.

After a hard day’s of eighteen miles, trek they outspanned at Wittewater where suitable grazing was for the animals, the horses and mules were fed and hobbled by tying their legs together and then fastening their heads down short to the strap that held their legs, leaving them out to graze through the night.

The following morning only the mare was to be seen; she was saddled and Farini went out searching for the other horses and mules, also sending out the men in different directions to search.

Two miles further Farini came across a Boer who told him that about an hour earlier he saw a hobbled brown horse, three mules were found about seven miles from Wittewater, drinking at a dam, two more were brought by a herd boy, who was driving his oxen. Jan was given the horse and Farini walked back to Wittewater. The following day Jan returned on the horse accompanied by the missing horse.

All the water containers were replenished from a spring, their destination being Cope’s farm a further sixteen miles on. Here a rainstorm raged and they all went to bed without supper as they could not light a fire, camping next to the sheep kraal. At 03:00 the mules were getting restless and Farini got up the storm had passed and the moon was shining brightly. He saw that the goats were chewing on the mule’s harnesses.

They again set off in the beautiful early morning and that evening camped in a valley with several pools of water, two Crested cranes were feeding on the edge of one of the pools.

Here the party fed on a sheep they had acquired the day before. They then set off to Abram’s dam, a sandy hole, of which the lower end was filled up by a wall, it was empty – no water.

Close by was a well from where some men were drawing water using a canvass bag about six foot long and one foot in diameter, the bottom tapering down to about four inches. A weight was fixed to the bottom to ensure it would sink into the water; a rope was tied to a horse which would then draw the filled bag from the well. The string at the bottom of the bag and the water would run into a stone tank about eight feet square and four feet deep, from which the animals drank.

The thirsty animals ran closer plunging their heads up to their eyes into the cool water, sucking it up as fast as they could.

The Farini party eventually got their turn and had to pay one shilling for their water, to Mr. Solomon, the owner of the well.

They camped until mid afternoon the following day and then set off with well fed and watered animals, to travel through the cool of the evening until they reached a place called Zechobaar on the banks of the Orange River.

Here at Zechobaar they fed on Grouse, and trekked on they now reached the sandy stretches and the rain was pouring, they decided to make camp. Of the animal again went astray and after two days they were all again rounded up, but now Jan was missing. Farini left a note for Jan to follow them to Kheis their next destination.

The road they followed was now getting worse by the step. It was sand and sand getting stuck and digging out and digging out jacking up, filling up and jacking up and filling up and digging out . . . .

Reaching Kheis, Farini presented his letter of introduction from Mr. Christie to Sergeant Davis the local Head of Police who gave him permission to outspan in the enclosure at the barracks. Farini was invited to a cup of tea in the little round mud hut. Farini was told that the nearest grazing was six miles away.

Upon leaving the tea drinking, black but with sugar, the trekkers set of in the direction indicated, about an hour before sundown they reached Korannaland, on the verge of the Kalahari. The whole way was deep red sand, wave upon wave, the next higher than the previous, with now and then some white limestone cropping out.

The condition of the oxen compared to that of the mules caused Farini to consider buying oxen as beasts of burden..

While outspanning Farini noticed that the fetlock of one of the mules had a cut, he decided to dress it with grease. The animal proved its appreciation by patting Farini on the head with its iron shodden hoof.
After the pat, Lulu and Gert went to pick up the Master of the trek, they felt the bumps, at least no hair was removed. The knuckle of the right fore finger was bald and the second finger without a nail.

Gert told Farini that he should not expect anything different from a mule as it was neither man nor horse, Farini came to the conclusion that his kindness had been wasted.


Since then Farini had much more respect for the mule’s hoof than before, but there seemed as if a bit more distance between them had developed.

Soon they were surrounded by a group of people dressed in all different attire of cloth and sheepskin. Gert in the meantime had dressed himself up in a very conspicuous colourful uniform, addressed the people and they dispersed. Farini was told to go and relax as they were his people and were sent off to fetch wood and water.

Half an hour later the group returned well laden with wood and water, it was put down and the people left without saying a word.

They also hired some oxen from Gert’s people; these would be left at Wilgerhouts Drift. The owner, Roolf was sitting beside a smouldering fire accompanied by two sons each fondling a dog. The wife was busy cutting up a sheep and putting the pieces into a huge pot, two daughters each with a baby slung at their backs, were carrying water, feeding the fire and doing other chores. Close by more girls were milking the cows, their hind legs strapped together to prevent them from kicking over the pails.

Farini was questioned about the War and what the English were going to do. Farini replied that he was an American not an Englishman and did not know this was found peculiar as he was not a Boer and therefore had to be an Englishman.

Returning to the outspan place later the afternoon, Farini found that Sergeant Davis was visiting. He told that a man fitting the missing Jan’s description had been found and was brought with.

Farini ordered that he be given some Cango brew and water and some cracked wheat.

This seemed to have revived him. He was very repentant about his negligence about not tending the animals at the outspan which was the cause of this terrible ordeal which had come upon him.

He asked for forgiveness this time he had been punished enough, nearly dying of starvation in the veld. He promised to never be negligent again, he would look after the animals day and night.

Jan explained in great detail how he wandered around in the veldt, how he was attacked by a troop of Baboons, how he wandered up mountains and crossed valleys, looking for the missing animals, how he survived wicked storms and eventually when he returned to the wagons – they were gone . . . .

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:26 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 5.

Jan was forgiven, and he tried his very best to stick to his promise.

On the route Gert indicated very many different plants and told the Americans a bit about them.

The Bushman Potato, a bulbous plant with green leaves, spotted with brown, which contained a good deal of moisture, moisture extracted from the roots was found to be slightly bitter but not unpleasant.

There was a leaf which resembled the Lilly of the Valley; which Gert said it was very poisonous.

They also came across the Tsammas which was invaluable to man and beast in the desert, it is a wild watermelon also resembling the cultivated variety in appearance, both internally and externally, it serves as both food and drink for man and the animals, the fleshy body containing a quantity of watery juice, the seeds contain a considerable proportion of oil. It yields two crops per season; the party came across the new fresh juicy crops, while the first crop lay hard and dry with ripe black seeds, still lay on the ground. The ripened fruit could lay for a year without decaying, provided they remained dry. The young melons were quite sweet but gradually became bitter with age; the bitterness was less when cooked.

They were also shown the Gemsbok Cucumber, they very often are quite bitter eating them raw could cause an upset stomach, however the pips are even sweeter than that of the Tsamma, the roots provide fruit right through the year. The majestic Gemsbok favour these plants.

The Small Wild Cucumber is about three inches in length and resembles a gherkin, the flesh which resembles jelly is very tasty, however some of them can be very bitter, the shoots can grow up to fifty metres in length and in a good season produce up to 120 fruit on a shoot. They whither soon after the rains and then do not touch them unless you are heavily constipated.

The Devil’s Thorn has a beautiful yellow flower, but beware wear your shoes or else you will get stuck in the patch of green and yellow and spend some time extracting the vicious thorns.

The Marama Bean together with the Tsamma is the most popular desert food, it is quite plentiful in the sand veld, the leaves resemble a camel spoor, the pods which follow yellow flowers, contain three to six large brown tasty nutritious seeds, which taste soapy when raw but after spending a few minutes in hot ash become very tasty with a nutty flavour. The bulb of this plant can weigh up to fifty pound, and is extensively used during dry periods; the contained moisture has a sweet frankish taste.


Various species of grass was indicated, being good grazing for the animals populating the arid landscape, the grass by the herbivores and the seeds by the birds and rodents.

Gert also found some Bushman rice. A species of termite with a broad black head and long fat white looking like gentles with feet. He took a handful of these and poured them into his mouth and seemed to enjoy chewing and swallowing them.

Thirteen species of ants and termites were found in one afternoon, in an area of about 6 metres square. The American was quite impressed when a termite mound was opened up and he saw all the activity taking place, every grain of sand first being quarried in the underground, and then brought to the surface through innumerable tunnels before being added to the structure. These little insects were the food of the Anteaters, the Korhaan, the Partridges, the Grouse and many other bird species and for the Bushman.

They also found wild bees nesting in holes in trees and even below the surface in the soil.

Gert indicated a Witgat – Shepherds Tree, and said that he once picked up a 180 carat diamond under one of these. This tree provides nutrition to many game animals during the lean times, herbivores feed on the leaves while the berries about the size of a cherry are favoured by primates and of course the birds. The roots were roasted and ground and made quite a good coffee. The seeds could be eaten as is or roasted and was also part of the ingredients of a quite pote3nt Kalahari brew.

The Camel thorn was the pride of the Kalahari, the leaves and pods giving nutrition to the herbivores and their shade was utilised during times of intense heat. Strips of bark were also used by the indigenous people as roof covering.

Ground pods also made a nutritious porridge. The gum was used as a cure for flu. A tea brewed from the bark would settle an upset stomach. Tea brewed from the roots would cur a bad cough. Pulp from the pods would cure earache and finely ground burnt bark would cure ant headache.

The False Umbrella Thorn had limited use; however the Bushman used the root bark to manufacture quivers for their arrows. A length of root of the correct thickness would be heated over a fire and when the root came loose it was converted into the quiver.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:39 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 6.

Eventually the group arrived in the vicinity where he had found the diamond. Of the locals asked Gert whether he was again looking for diamonds, Gert was shrewd and replied that he was with these white men on a hunting trip.

Farini and Lulu did some digging but did not find any diamonds. At the end of the day when both had blistered hands and wonderful backaches, they realised that their talents were definitely not that of a digger.

They packed up and set off to their next destination: Well’s shop, the proprietor was an ex sailor who had wondered off into the arid land, married a local woman and settled. Wells claimed to be Scottish but his accent betrayed closer relationship to the Celts. The wife and the children all spoke Dutch with a bit of Koranna thrown in. Here they purchased some coffee and sugar and a few sheep.

That evening they slaughtered a sheep and with all the meat and a bit of Cango, they all quite contently went to bed.

The following morning they inspanned early and set off over hills and down dales through sand and sometimes over a bit of rock. Eventually they got stuck in deep sand and Farini decided to return to Wells and enquire whether he could swop the mules for trek oxen. Wells refused to trade as he said he was used to oxen, what could he do when a mule died, no one would eat it, while if an ox died, it was good beef. He referred Farini to a German Jew, hailing from Frankfurt – Hochchild – a jovial fellow a few miles further on.

The negotiations were done Farini asking for four oxen for a mule, with yokes and chains thrown in against the harnesses. Eventually the deal was struck, sixteen oxen for the mules and settled with a drink of “Cape Smoke”, then a supper of Springbok was served, all the news was exchanged until late that night. Farini was told of the fall of Khartoum and the death of Genl. Gordon.

Early the morning they set off with the sixteen inspanned oxen, they reached the stuck wagon by noon; Hochchild mentioned that he would only take the mules if they could pull the wagon out. Jan was told that he had better get the wagon out using the mules now or lose the chance of using oxen in future, with the necessary coaxing and using the whip the wagon eventually moved and the deal was finalised. The oxen were inspanned with a bit of difficulty for they were an odd lot who had never pulled together before.

Getting them to pull was a different matter, each wanted to go in his own direction, eventually the lot built up steam and the wagon moved.

Soon some locals arrived, riding on oxen; a stick with a string tied to either side, stuck through the animal’s nose served as a bit, a sheepskin onto which stirrups had been tied to was the saddle. The oxen ambled and trotted and seemed easy to manage. Lulu took some plates of the peculiar group.

That evening the oxen were kept tied to the chain and at daybreak let loose for a couple of hours. The first trek for the day was for about four hours; they outspanned for the rest of daylight and then inspanned and trekked for a further six hours. This became the usual daily routine which was only interrupted by the watering of the oxen at the pans which had filled up by the heavy rains.


The sand was covered with grass and while digging the sand was moist under the three inch thick top layer.

After five days trekking close to some hills, some taller than normal Bushmen approached them and invited the party to visit them to where they lived in a cave. The sides were decorated with some very old black paintings and sculptures which were lightly cut into the rock. Snakes and birds and trees and humans and cattle and antelopes were depicted.

The little group of yellow skinned people were clothed in a little piece of skin about the size of a hand hanging in front, while some of the women had an additional piece of skin at the rear.

Unlike the Coloureds and Boers, these people did not beg.

Their food consisted mainly of roots and the occasional feed of meat from a wild antelope or perhaps a stolen sheep or goat.

Farini in 1885 already professed that these little people were soon likely to be known as a tradition, for they were already decreasing in numbers. If nature could not furnish food so that they could get it without trouble, they went without. The only effort they made was when stalking game, when successful, they would eat until all was gone.

The Bushmen were given some tobacco for which they were rewarded by an excited group treating them with the spectacle of a dance – stamping of feet to the rhythm of the striking of a bow string and singing. They also played their music – blowing a reed tuned to a particular pitch but producing only one note, according to its size which at a distance was quite pleasing.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:28 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 7.


The party trekked on and eventually the Langeberge came in view, the country changed from sand to hard limestone partly covered with bushes, grass was growing only on the sand stretches, water was now becoming less plentiful.

They now approached Gert’s old hunting ground – a place called Labuschagne which was first visited by Campbell in 1813.Gert was anxious to visit the area and promised them some excellent hunting. The Tsamma was not ripe enough and the area very dry so the invite was declined.

Gert was quite happy about being in his old haunts and rode ahead as an advance guard, seeking out the best routes in a sea of sand. Hill followed hill, and valley followed valley in never ending succession, covered with grass, from where beneath the Tsamma and Wild Cucumber were just appearing, with here and there a bush or a tree and an occasional oasis of lovely flowers pink or white or yellow flowers.

Gert and the two Bushmen who had accompanied them returned reporting that they had come across some Gemsbok and ostrich spoor.

Water was becoming scarce and was treated as being more precious than gold.

They found a pan with a bit of muddy water in it. Farini decided that they should dig a well close by. They picked and shovelled into the moistening sand until to their disappointment at the depth of six feet, they struck impenetrable rock. They packed up and returned to the wagon.

The following morning they set out to find something to hunt and on passing their previous days well, to their delight found that it had about eighteen inches of cool clear sweet water. The cattle could have as much as they could drink and all water containers could be filled again.

Farini again set out trying to find something for the pot. He came across some ostrich spoor which he followed over many dunes never getting any of the birds in sight. It was getting hot and he went to sit in the shade of a thorn tree and must have fallen asleep. When he woke up, the sun had moved on and it looked like mid day. He then saw some Gemsbok in the far distance and on looking in a different direction – some Ostriches, which he decided to follow. He crawled and walked and eventually when close enough let of a shot at a bird, they all ran off, he let off a few more balls of shot. They kept on running. Farini followed and after about a mile he came across a female laying down and bleeding, he approached her and severed her throat.

He kept on the spoor and much further came across the male also laying down, he approached and soon realised that an Ostrich could do some damage with its beak. He put two more balls into the bird and that also cut its throat.

Farini realised that he was far from the wagons and started walking back; his hunted birds had to be fetched. Reaching the female he was just in time chase away the Foxes who were already prowling around, making sure the bird was really dead. He decided to sleep at the side of the dead bird, keeping his gun at close proximity.

He slept very soundly, only awakened a few times by the howling and barking of distant Hyaenas and Jackals.

Waking up in the early morning Farini saw a human face, only a few yards off. He rubbed his eyes and looked again, the face was still there staring and grinning at the American, all but the shoulders and face concealed by a bush and a slight covering of sand. Farini approached and called out - no movement or reply – it was the dead body of some poor Bushman who had perished while hunting, at his side his bow and arrow and in the bush a bundle of ostrich feathers, perhaps worth 20 shillings.

The desert wind had performed the last office of burial, covering the body with a light pal of sand, leaving only the head exposed. It was an unmolested grave – according to the natives a sure sign that this man had died of thirst, no animal would touch the body of such man.

There was no doubt that the man laid down next to the bush to rest, overcome with fatigue, thirst and hunger. Farini realised that had it not been for his water bottle his own fate might not have been different. Looking around he saw his water bottle laying on the sand - empty, he must have drunk form it and not replaced the cork. He was a few hours from the wagon and had not a drop of water. His tracks were now also obliterated by the wind . . . . .

After about three hours walking he sat down longing for anything to quench his thirst,

Farini realised that he had to move on or else his would share the same fate as that of the Bushman.

While walking Farini picked dug some roots and bulbs and ate of them.

After another three hours in the hot sun he rested in the shade of a bush. He saw some Gemsbok grazing about eighty yards away, he loaded his , aimed at one with thin horns and fired, it dropped down dead.

His tongue was on fire and he dragged himself towards the dead animal, he had to get in some liquid, blood, milk stomach juice – anything, his legs felt numb with a horrible burning sensation, yes this must be death approaching, he wondered if his body would ever found.

His stomach had terrible gripping pains and he felt nausea rising and his body writhed in spasms - he must have eaten some poisonous plant.

His consciousness came and went, he tried to listen for predatory sounds, and he did not want to be eaten alive. He imagined that a Lion or a Hyaena would grab him and shake him and carry him off, he imagined the grip of its teeth on his shoulder and the crushing of bones.

The idea of travelling all these miles to become food for wild animals, of knowing that his last moments had come, and yet powerless to move a muscle to save himself, was much more than he had ever bargained for.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:26 am 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 8.

The delirious Farini heard someone calling Bull, which was the name of his dog. It was Gert’s voice calling the dog; he could a dog barking close by.

Then he heard Gert say He is cold, he has died of thirst. Farini feared that he would be buried alive.

He heard Gert say “he cannot be dead, the Gemsbok is still warm. Those were the shots we heard an hour ago”. He was relieved to hear say that they should carry him to the wagon. He did not feel them picking him up and carrying him off.

A while later he heard Lulu ask whether he had been found, the reply was a soft “yes” Then the question “is he hurt” – no reply. Then the question “is he dead” the reply “we don’t know but maybe”. Lulu said it can’t be and felt his pulse.

Lulu ran and fetched his little mirror and held it in front of his fathers mouth and nose, he noticed a dulling and then shouted “ he is breathing, bring some water and some brandy”. He felt his mouth being opened and water dribbled through his clenched teeth. He felt some cold liquid being poured onto his chest, following by some hard rubbing. A sensation of pins and needles came into his hands and feet and moved up his arms and legs.

Farini could see some light; he had no power to move or to speak. He felt himself being lifted and tasted that brandy was poured into his mouth; he attempted to swallow but could not, though he felt the burning liquid running down his throat. He then felt that he could open and shut his eyes. He was given more water and a little brandy, he could now open and close his hands and then move his arms and legs. Later he could sit up unaided.

By now it was dark and he could make out Lulu and later a look of satisfaction coming over his son’s face. He was given a bit of thin warm soup which he gulped down. Lulu spent the night caring for his father, giving him more water and soup during the intervals of his fitful sleep.

The following morning Farini could talk and told Gert to send the Bushman to fetch the feathers and the kin of the slain Ostriches.

The following day Farini was except for the blistering lips, quite well again.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:15 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 9.

Water was now becoming a scarce commodity; most of the pans had dried up. Where there was still some water left, of it was scooped out and some alum was added to let the mud settle, then the water was boiled, it tasted awkward but at least it was precious water.

The sandy wastes now began to be interspersed with patches of hard stony ground; all was covered with grasses and thorny bushes.

The Tsamma vines became more evident although never plentiful enough to be reliant solely on them.

Gert said that they should head for Bakaris which was pan that would surely contain plenty of water. Arriving there it was just a sand-hole with a few muddy holes where the Gemsbok and Wildebeest had dug for water.

That evening they left for Kuis, which was halfway between Mier and Kuruman. Now grass and Tsammas was in abundance, there must have been heavy rains recently. Tsammas were collected and cooked, tasting like vegetable marrow.

Two days later they reached Kuis – a collection of Kalahari huts, standing on a patch of limestone close to the dry bed of the River Kuis, in the middle was a well and some large Camel thorn trees on both banks.

Almost immediately after arriving they were surrounded by a number of men begging for coffee and tobacco. Later that day they were visited by Makgou, the local chief riding a fine horse, accompanied by a white man who introduced himself as Cann. The chief was quite wealthy , owning cattle sheep and horses. Cann said that he been in the area for thirty years as a trader and a hunter.

Cann acted as an interpreter, Makgou asked for a rifle, Farini asked whether they could exchange a rifle for his horse. The reply was ten oxen for the horse. It was explained that the horse was much too expensive.

Farini took the repeater and fired at a crow and instantly pulled off a second shot. The chief was impressed and said that he must have the rifle as a gift; Farini replied that the rifle was worth fifteen oxen, but as a favour he would exchange it for the horse and a cow. Makgou said it was too expensive; he was given a plug of tobacco as a farewell present.

Cann told Farini that the war between the Damaras and the Namaquas had virtually ended all hunting for the last three years, but that he had many Damara cattle - nice medium sized beasts nearly white with black or brown spots with long horns, turning up at right angles to the forehead.

Cann also told Farini that he had twice lost almost everything he owned for the want of water, being forced to leave his wagons in the sand, with all his goods and all his teams, himself escaping death was a miracle.

Cann mentioned that he had traded up to approximately the 12th latitude, visiting many tribes. The only people to be trusted were the Bushmen. He mentioned that once a Bushman learnt to know you, you had a friend for life; the Hottentots were born thieves, who live by stealing cattle from their neighbours, not content with cattle only, they would carry the women and sometimes the men into slavery . . . .

After an hour’s talk Farini had learnt more about the country than all his books put together.

Here at Kuis, a Bushman and two Coloureds named Dirk and Klaas, joined the group, all sharp shrewd hunters and the latter two as lazy as can only be imagined.

Dirk and Klaas had a wagon and fourteen oxen, which were hired – the fee being half the feathers and half the skin of what they killed, the meat was common property. The wagon would carry the hides and water and meal.

The two reported that after the recent rains the game would be returning and the hunting would be good. They were very afraid of Lions and Farini was required to pay for any oxen or horses killed by a Lion, a condition which was declined.

That evening Cann came by and mentioned that Makgou was still pondering about the rifle. Farini confirmed his price and the following morning the horse and a good cow with a six month old calf was exchanged for the repeater rifle and some cartridges.

The party being two wagons and their trek oxen, six spare oxen two milk cows and calves and four horses, together with four dogs, Farini, Lulu, Gert, Jan, Dirk, Klaas, the Bushman and his wife with some children set off to the north, early the following morning.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:58 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 10.

As promised game was now becoming plentiful, especially Gemsbok, they now and again came across Lion spoor, as a precautionary – all the animals were tied together at night, they were not chained to the wagon as in case of a stampede there would be total chaos.

One late afternoon a Bushman came up to them and said he was a member of a party hunting Gemsbok, and they were camping close by. He offered that the two groups hunt together.

Dirk was of opinion that if the Bushmen had been hunting in the area, the game would be wild. He knew the area very well and it would be better, they hunt on their own. Farini decided to follow Dirk’s advice.

The party later came across a group of Coloured hunters, Gert knew them quite well and they joined the Farini party for a little while. As Gert had been to England, the Coloured were eager to know more of the distant country; Gert laid it on thick.

He had met the Queen; he told that she had asked for a lock of his hair. She lived in a house with thirty five windows, one above the other, there were also many underground. Her house was so big that the whole of the Upington population could be accommodated.

He never saw any oxen but the wagons and horses were so many, that one could hardly cross the road.

He told that one could walk all day without seeing any grass, only stone roads and houses.

When confronted about the many horses and no grass, Farini explained that the horses were kept in stables and fed hay and grain, the listeners became very sceptical about the English ways.

Eventually they said that the English must be very fond of work: building stables and carrying in feed, was not as good as where the animals found their own while the masters could sit in the shade chatting and drinking coffee.

They were also told that Englishmen keep lions in wagons and cages. They even go into the cages and play with them. The Lions never kill them; in fact the Lions seem to be afraid of the English . . . .

This they utterly refused to believe, even when Farini confirmed the statement, this was too much for them as their experience with Lions was completely different.

That evening they took the utmost precautions against their dreaded foe. The two wagons were drawn close together; the horses were tethered in between. The oxen were fastened to the trek tou (the pulling chain). In front of each wagon and arranged into a triangle, the milk cows and their calves were tied to the wagon fore wheels.

Bushes were cut and packed on the perimeter of the camp. Inside the area was cleared of grass, a fire was lit near the oxen and also about fifty yards out of the bush perimeter a circle of fires all round the camp.

The outside fires were not kept going all night as the idea was that they would already have scared off any lurking Lions.

A manger was made in the sand filled with grass onto which Tsammas were piled and beaten to a pulp, for the horses to feed on. “Lady” refused to eat this, however she would take Wild Cucumbers and when Tsammas were gradually added she took to the mixture and eventually to Tsammas only.

When all was settled for the night, Farini had a look around to see that all was secure. The wagons and cattle and the fires and the people all close together made quite a strange sight. The Bushman were singing a song while clapping their little hands while Gert seemingly the hero was telling stories of his adventures, many of which never happened save in his fertile imagination.

Eventually Gert’s tongue needed a rest and all went quiet. Farini woke up at about 02:00 and made a round, the fires were out, and only a Jackal was calling in the distance. Fortunately there were no Lions seen or heard, he put some more wood on the inner fire and crept in under his blankets.

They got up an hour before sunrise, boiled some water and mad coffee, at daylight the horses were set free and an hour after sunrise all was ready for the day’s trek.

Two of the Coloureds would ride ahead, looking for a suitable camping spot as well as for Tsammas and of course game. After about an hour they returned saying that they had found a large patch with plenty of Tsammas with a large troop of Gemsbok grazing on it, they had shot one of the antelope.

The Bushmen went to skin and dress the animal and bring the meat to where they would pass. Arriving at the Bushmen they had already eaten the entrails – now there was enough meat for the whole group which would last quite a few days.

Meat was cooked and roasted and hanged to dried for the rest of the day, bush for the perimeter was cut , collecting and chopping up Tsamma, collecting firewood and everything else imaginable to make the evening as comfortable as possible.

The Tsamma was sweet and everyone ate and drank until quite content.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:28 am 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 11.

After a week the scene changed. The advance riders returned and reported – no Tsamma in the north and only a little to the west. The ground was becoming hard and crossing would take about three days.

After a discussion with all, it was decided to head west. Farini and the two Coloureds set off early the following morning on a reconnaissance of the area – he had to know what lay ahead, their lives depended on it.

They travelled for hour upon hour through thick monotonous grass with here and there a Noi bush or a Witgat tree; he wondered how the Kalahari ever could be called a Desert with so much vegetation, the grass nearly reaching the horses’ backs.

Every now and then they would ride up the highest sand-hills, with the objective of surprising game that might be in a hollow on the other side, and surveying the country, where ever they looked to expanse of grass stretched as far their eyes could see.

Even when dry the grass was like ordinary hay and the Tsamma would last a year in the dry season. He imagined that this grass would grow very well in other countries with sandy soil.

He decided to collect some seeds for later use and stopped to do so. Dirk and Klaas went for a rest under a tree while Farini collected of the dry seeds, while digging into the sand to see how deep the roots penetrated he noticed that the sand was quite moist eight to nine inches below the surface.

Although te recent rains were quite heavy he was convinced that by digging water would always be readily available.

He considered that in the hands of an energetic race, this country could surely be made one of the most productive grazing-lands in the world. The long droughts were the only drawbacks. However the grass remained green and edible for long periods without water. He imagined that the rainwater would soak through the limestone sub-stratum where it was stored and could be extracted during periods of need.

His musings were cut short by the sight of a herd of Gemsbok, grazing a short distance off at the foot of a dune. He quietly approached Dirk and Klaas, softly awakened them and pointed towards the antelope.

They hunters were downwind of the slowly approaching, grazing Gemsbok. They decided to await the approach, in silence and not stirring a limb it seemed ages before the animals came into range. They were admiring these majestic King of the Desert with their strong long straight sharpened horns and ashy grey hide with white and black markings.

All of a sudden the Gemsbok became very alert, they were still 250 yards away, and then a Lion with a single spring bounded from behind a bush, and grabbed the closest Gemsbok by the throat and pulled it down. The rest of the herd, did not flee as expected, they formed a half circle and charged their enemy.

The grass was high and they could not clearly see all that was happening, they could hear the rattling of the sharp horns. Taking advantage of the situation, the hunters crawled closer, on command they all rose and fired the Gemsbok ran off, over a sand-hill, there was no sign of the Lion. Farini turned to look at the horses, just in time to see them in full stampede up the hill to their right followed by Dirk and Klaas. Farini ran after the horses and found them about half a mile on the other side of the hill, he beckoned that they come towards him and they in turn beckoned to him to come to them, while they were moving at a brisk pace away from him.

When caught up with them Farini was in a violent temper with his cowardly companions, who explained that they followed the horses to save them, as there were two Lions in pursuit . . . .

Farini told them to go and fetch the saddles and was promptly told “tomorrow, as we now have to protect the horses, the Lions may eat them”. Farini told the two to take the horses to the top of the hill and as he was not afraid, he would fetch the saddles.

Farini took Dirk with him together with Klaus’s gun to ensure that the last mentioned would not run away with the horses and leave them stranded, the assented very reluctantly. On the way Dirk tried to dissuade Farini on the way for fear of the Lions, maybe waiting in ambush. He was wasting his breath as the saddles and what else had to be retrieved.

Nothing would induce the two to move any further, the Gemsbok could be recovered the following morning as the Lions would only et the inside, and would leave the skin and the outer meat for them. The Lion is bad tempered and will fight; he would not have attacked the Gemsbok unless he was disturbed in his afternoons sleep . . . .

Farini told them that he would then go alone if they were too afraid. He then worked his way slowly down the hill towards the hollow where the gemsbok lay, carefully examining every bush or bunch of grass likely to conceal a Lion. Just as he got to the bottom of the dune he heard something moving behind him, in a flash he turned around raising his rifle to his shoulder. There was nothing to be seen, he heard another rustling in the grass, he would have fired the next moment – when Dirk yelled “don’t shoot, it is me Dirk, he had followed Farini, unnoticed and when he saw Farini turn and raise the rifle he shouted otherwise he surely would have been shot.

Just in front of them was a low san-hill and to the side of it a bush, they walked up the hill, Farini tested the wind and found it was blowing straight towards the bush.

There was a sound possibly coming from the bush and they very carefully approached it, then they saw it, twenty yards further was Lion, its back towards them on top of a Gemsbok who was still kicking, another Gemsbok laying still, next to them and a third a bit further seemingly in its last agonies.

Farini aimed at the Lion, at a spot where the head and neck came together and fired and reloaded, there was no movement, and how could he have missed and fired again, still no movement except for the movement of the Gemsbok.

He cautiously went closer, determined to fire should there be any movement, then he noticed one Gemsbok horn sticking out of the Lion’s shoulder and the other through its neck, at the hip a further two horns were visible – those of the Gemsbok laying next to them. The Lion had impaled itself into the horns of the two Gemsbok, it was stone dead. Farini tried to lift the skewered Lion but could not move it. When Dirk was very sure that the Lion was dead he nimbly assisted.

Moving the entangled carcasses to the shade seemed impossible, Dirk suggested that they cut the Lion open across the back and quarter it, this would spoil the skin. Dirk was told to fetch Klaas and the horses. The Lion would be skinned from the hind part as he lay and then take away the hind quarters. This enabled them to remove the entrails, and then it was easy to cut along the belly to the forelegs, which were soon skinned and cut off.

During this process it was found that one horn had pierced its heart, it must have died almost immediately, but not before it had torn the neck and shoulder of its prey completely to pieces.

The Gemsbok were hauled away by the horses from the grass to the top of the hill, here a skerm was built to protect them during the night until the wagon arrived.

Dirk and Klaas were soon asleep, but the excitement of the day kept Farini awake during his watch, he studied the bright stars in the dark Kalahari night, while listening to the snoring duet.

At about 02:00 he got his relief awake enough to trust him to do his watch. The fire was stoked and he dozed off.

It was broad daylight when Dirk came and whispered” there is a man coming towards us”.

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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:32 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 12.


Farini immediately was wide awake; he grabbed his glasses (binoculars) in the direction to which Dirk was pointing, and there not a mile away was a human form, apparently a boy, judging by its height, he was naked and darkly coloured. He was alone and made no attempt at concealment. He stopped every now and then, to lay down his weapons – a bow and arrows and a stick – and held out his hands as if indicating - I am a friend and I come in peace.

Farini got up and gestured to him to come closer, then out from the grass there emerged the funniest looking little fellow he had ever seen, perched on thin legs a round ball for a stomach, and above that another smaller round ball for a head, the wrinkled face proclaimed him a man and an old one too.

They waved as a greeting and then the old man started talking in a series of clicks and chirrups, Klaas and Dirk tried to communicate in Koranna and every other language but to no avail. The visitor then went into miming, he pointed towards a kopje and made signs for them to follow him there; then he lay down and pretended to be unable to get up again. It became clear that someone was ill and that he had come to get assistance. He placed his fingers on Farini’s hand gave a grunt followed by the shake of the head.

Farini made signs that he would follow, the old man made utmost signs of delight. He gave Klaas and Dirk instructions to skin and cut up the Gemsbok, the two protested and said the man may be drawing Farini into an ambush and then offered to accompany him, they were told to remain behind. He then filled his canteen and some brandy to his hip flask, saddled “Lady” and off they went.

The thought of the murder of Mr. Harris a trader who was murdered at Kwang Pan, crossed his mind but it was put aside.

Lady often stopped along the way to pick a tuft of grass or chew on a Tsamma, she was thirsty having nothing to drink since the day before, she had to be kept as fresh as possible, in case of necessity.

After about two hours the little man suddenly ran forward down a dune and disappeared behind a Noi-bush. Farini saw the little man bending over a man who lay curled up in a little space in the centre of the bush, he gestured to Farini to come closer.

Farini crawled in on hands and knees, very aware and careful of the wait-a-bit thorns, there under the bush he found a big pale faced white man, his brown eyes sunken deeply into the head. Every bone stood out prominently from the gaunt frame, the parched lips indicated a high fever, and the slow pulse indicated that a stimulant was needed. F

Farini held him up and poured a little brandy and water into his mouth. This revived him and he whispered “Mutter! ich bin sehr durstig”. He was given more water, a few drops at a time, he then went into a stat of delirium and collapsed.

Farini prepared a dose of quinine and gave it to him. After about a half an hour, the man opened his eyes, he was given more of the prepared quinine and told to relax.

Farini then went back to Dirk and Klaas to fetch more water, the wagon was sighted approaching their camping spot, Klaas was cooking some steaks, Farini then realised how ravenously hungry he really was and steak after steak disappeared down his throat with a drink of Tsamma water.

Farini took a tin of soup and a bottle of laudanum and rode off to the hospital bush, with the wagon following. The sick man was carried out; he was in a terrible plight: his hands and arms scratched and torn by the sharp thorns, his hair matted by blood, his clothes fell to pieces when he was lifted.

Korap watched on with a glimmer of satisfaction on his old wrinkled face.

The patient was made comfortable on the wagon and given a few spoonfuls of soup and then a dose of laudanum, which would prevent him from feeling the jolting of the wagon, they drove carefully back to Klaas and Dirk at the camping spot.

The next three hours were spent making camp and skinning and cutting up the three Gemsbok. Fires were made and meat was cooked.

The patient was then fed some finely cut meat and a bit of rice – he ate ravenously. Then after taking thirty drops of laudanum he fell soundly asleep . . . .

They all had a good meal and then had a good night’s sleep.

Early the next morning the German awoke, evidently much better. The fever had left him; the only thing now was to assist him in regaining his strength. A hammock was swung up and he was lifted into it, he was fed porridge cooked in Tsamma water, a little bit of meat and some boiled milk and then coffee.

After being looked after for three days he was able to sit up and tell his story.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:25 pm 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 13.

His name was Fritz, a German by birth; he came to South Africa where he had been trading for seven years. His last journey was into Damaraland, trading powder and guns and knives and beads and coloured cloth and coffee and other things.

He had done well and mostly taken oxen in exchange for his goods. Due to the war been the Damaras and the Namaqua Hottentots there was no hides or feathers.

He was returning with about two hundred oxen and some feathers and skins, he escaped the Namaquas and reached the Kalahari. Reaching the desert, all danger seemed past. He had ten Hottentots with him that seemed as eager as he to get out of the country. One night Korap woke him up saying “Hottentots, Hottentots” while pretending to fight, he immediately understood that there was danger, and jumped up, gun in hand, he called for his people, they were nowhere to be seen. Then he realised that there was treachery.

He ran to the front of the wagon and saw his men driving away the cattle, while others were cutting riems; he was struck a hard blow on the head and knew nothing more.

When he recovered his senses he found himself lying on the ground with little Korap by his side. Korap mutter Hottentotte and pointed out into the desert. Fritz tried to get up but had a terrible head ache. He then struggled up and ambled round with giddiness, then the scene of the night came to mind, Korap assisted him. He felt his hair caked with blood, everything was gone, except for a blanket a tin cup and a dead Hottentot.

He realised that to follow the wagon would be useless, it may have meant certain death. He had no means of redress. He knew that no Government would take up his case, as traders had to take their own risks and chances.

Here he was left stranded in the desert, without food or shelter, or the means of obtaining either, hundreds of miles away from everywhere; out of reach of water, and even a Tsamma. Yesterday he was well-to-do and today he was ruined and half murdered. Why had they not killed him outright? Anything else would be better than to die a maddening death of thirst.

That evening he felt better, Korap was safe and well and would be able to find some kind of sustenance in the desert. He resolved to get back to Kwang, on the dry bed of the Nossob River this would even take him into a Tsamma strip.

He knew that way pretty well, he may even find another trader – Cann, who was to leave Damaraland about ten days after himself.

They then set off. The worst of the whole ordeal was that neither him nor Korap could speak the other’s language, although they had been together for two years.

Fritz had bought Korap from the Ovambos, while on a trading trip, for the price of a silk handkerchief and a handful of beads.

He had been told by the Ovambos that a tribe of these dwarfs called “Kara,Kara” lived in an area with the same name, and that Korap and a girl of about fifteen years of age were the only ones left out of a number of prisoners they had taken during a raid a short time before.

Fritz took pity on the little fellow, and took him out of his horrid slavery among the Ovambos, who treated him worse than a do; and but for Korap, he would long ago been food for the Hyaenas and the Vultures.

After walking a short distance and came across some Noi-bush from which they managed to clear some space large enough for them to lei down. The cleared brush was piled overhead some more was used to cover the entrance. They were now protected from attack by wild animals prowling in the dark.

The following morning they found many tracks circling round and round their little scherm.

They found some Tsamma which they ate raw. That evening Korap found some KiyKiy roots and some cocoons with the chrysalis inside, which they ate. They managed to collect some brush wood to make a fire, the cocoons were placed on sticks which were placed in the hot ash for about a minute, the chrysalis was removed and eaten, as from the second day onwards they became quite tasty.

Korap also managed to catch burrowed hare in the sand.

When they arrived at the Kwang Pan they found the tracks of a wagon that had already left in a southerly direction, he then knew that Cann had passed.

The two wandered along for a few more days him getting weaker after a bad attack of dysentery – until he felt a mixture of brandy and water being trickled down his throat . . . .

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:24 am 
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The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 14.

Fritz was regaining his strength slowly, with the assistance of a daily dose of Hop-Bitters he picked up rapidly, with the advantage of his experience; he also was quite a cheerful soul, and he managed to create a pleasant atmosphere in the camp.

He seemed a good acquisition to the party. His build resembled that of the village blacksmith and was never idle. He could cook well, he understood the natives and many of their languages, he was fond of natural history and entomology, when he found out that they were travelling for pleasure and also so for exploring the country for possible cattle ranching, he threw in his weight whole heartedly, Fritz was made the foreman of the wagon.

He was also particularly interested when told that they hoped to establish the truth of the reputed pygmies of the Lake Ngami, possibly quite similar to little Korap.

Acting on Fritz’s advice they abandoned the idea of crossing the hard ground, and followed the Tsamma flow, only now and then traversing a narrow strip of hard limestone formations.

They were getting tired of eating Tsamma, it was eaten raw, they ate it fried, they drank the Tsamma water, their coffee was made using Tsamma water, their meat was stewed in Tsamma water, they were sick of the taste of it. Their cattle throve on Tsamma.

They still had two barrels of priceless fresh water left, which was religiously left untouched against the time when they may have to go into an area where there was no Tsamma.

They tried every possible way of storing the Tsamma water in their containers, but found that it invariable went sour if kept overnight, and then its flavour was abominable. The natives drank it and it was decided that they would in any case store some of it, for just in case . . . .

They came across a large patch of ripe Tsamma; the flavour was not as good as when green. The cattle ate it with difficulty as the rind was hard and the melon was filled with hard dark-brown pips. When in this state it could lie for a year provided it was kept dry.

One of the Bushmen drew Farini’s attention to a large herd of Springbok, most of the herd ran away when approached, about one hundred stayed behind, running around, jumping and staggering to and fro like drunken men, some of them falling down and then lay kicking. Gert then told that they had been poisoned by the beautiful white lily like flower growing in the area, the Bushman called the plant Marbo.

Soon the area was covered in hard ripe Tsamma, some of the animals even slipped on the hard round gourds.

They were now heading for Lihutitung where Mapaar was the reigning Chief.

They took a long halt to overhaul the wagons and filled up every space with Tsamma as they expected to be moving through a very dry waterless area for the next three days, before reaching their destination.

The two cows were always well looked after as they provided fresh healthy rich creamy milk.

The nights became cold and everyone huddled closer to the fire before going to sleep. Many stories were told and re told around these camp fires.

One evening Bull startled everyone with his fierce barking. Farini grabbed his gun, then a call which was interpreted by Gert said “don’t shoot, we are friends”.

Out of the dark came four Bechuanas. They said they were hunters and traders, with two trek oxen; they saw the fire and would like to camp close by.

Gert, Dirk and Klaas held a safe distance behind Farini and Fritz and only came forward when Gert was told to offer the new arrivals a welcome, and calling of Bull the latter advanced.

Two oxen with huge horns appeared from the dark. Their bodies laden with pots and kettles and skins and bags full of almost anything imaginable, raw or manufactured.

Two of the hunters appeared, black like ebony with only their teeth shining like ivory and a sparkle in their eyes light of the fire shone on them.

Another man appeared dressed in corduroy appeared also as black as ebony and then followed a copper-coloured individual, over his shoulder he was covered in a skin, concealing the remnants of a shirt, on his head he wore a large conical hat from which a woollen birds nest was suspended, with a bunch of ostrich feathers was visible at the apex. His arms and legs were decorated with rows of bangles of iron and copper wire, to the jangling of which was added at every step the strings of dried cocoons suspended from the knees. Around his neck were rows of many coloured beads, interspaced with clusters of Lion and Hyaena claws and nails, vertebrae and a bunch of three cornered bones decorated with hieroglyphics.

Each man carried a knobkerrie in one hand an assegai or spear in the other. They showed their friendly intentions with shaking hands with all present except the three white men.

After the greeting, the visitors squatted as per their custom as a sign that they wanted something to eat, and to be friends.

The only symptom of hostility from their side was from one of their two curs, whose ear hanging torn and bleeding, and from the hosts’ side – Bull who was strutting around with stiff legs and eagerly watching for a further opportunity to continue with the already inflicted damage, finishing him off, then and there.

While eating the guest had along chat with Gert.

Gert told that the four were from te Bangwaketsi country, to the east, they traded with the Bakalahari and the Bushmen. They hunted Ostriches and Jackals along the way, the latter being their principle game, as their skins were much sought for as robes for the Chiefs, such a robe could be exchanged for a horse. They were rich and they should get almost everything they wanted from the four. They had coffee, powder, tobacco and lead and much more, trading could be done the following morning. They could also tell where there was plenty of game and Tsamma.

Gert told that the decorated character was the Soenya or Mtagati as he called by the far away Zulus – the witchdoctor. He could also tell whether their expedition would be successful, whether the Lions would attack our cattle, in fact he could foretell anything and everything.

Lulu stated that if that was the case they had better raise the Stars and Stripes as well as the Union Jack in his honour . . . .

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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