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The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Wed May 19, 2010 12:56 pm Unread post
The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 28.

Soon after returning to camp Klaas gladdened every Bushman’s heart by reporting that he had come across found wild bees about an hour from camp. All the other news seemed to have paled before this piece of intelligence.

The foot hunters returned that have seen Ostriches and Lions, the horsemen had brought in some Gemsbok and Hartebeest, Klaus’s news was best.

Gert told Farini that sometimes the nest is found hanging from a bush or the limb of a tree, in a cleft in a rock or an Aardvark hole or a hollow tree, the comb quite open with the bees clinging to the outside.

The Bushmen organized the bee-hunt.

They put a bit of water in a broken Ostrich-egg shell and placed it near some flowers, and watched for the thirsty bees to come to drink. It was not long before at first singly and then twos and threes and then in larger numbers they came to quench their thirst.

A Bushman picked up the shell and held it aloft as he followed the direction in which the insects took their flight. Sometimes the eggshell was covered by the bees coming for a sip of the water and then darting off homewards.

Soon the bees could be tracked by the sound of their humming, at last they came to a Wait-a-bit bush around which the bees were swarming, the Bushmen said that there was comb inside.

A little smoky fire was lit and held underneath the cluster of bees, this had the desired effect, and those on the outside became stupefied and fell down, the others offered no resistance. The Bushmen reached into the bush and found seven combs hanging crossways from the branch, the middle ones the longest and the outside ones growing smaller, both honeycomb and honey nearly as white as snow.

It must have been a young swarm as there were no young bees in the comb which had not been discoloured by brood.

No one paid any attention at the few stings they got, the prize fully compensating for the bit if pain.

The honeycombs were put into a leather bag.

Three more swarms were robbed, one with young bees in the comb, these combs were eaten with great delicacy, the juices of the chrysalides, as they crushed them between their teeth, running down the corners of their mouths like thick yellow cream.

Korap offered Farini a piece which he in turn passed on to Lulu who declined saying that he may eat many strange things but that he draws the line at eating maggots, they may be sweet but no thanks.

Farini then tried it and it was quite good. Thick and rich like cream sweetened honey.

Back at camp the Bushmen commenced in boiling some Tsamma to make water for their honey beer. Farini got a bit worried about their behaviour on getting drunk but Jan set his mind at ease saying that they will dance and sing, Bushmen are not quarrelsome.

Gathering and boiling Tsamma took up most part of the night, then all pails and calabashes available were filled with a mixture of Tsamma and honey and put in the sun to ferment.

By the evening there were signs of fermentation and at once the drinking began. There seemed to be a competition to see who could consume the most as the sweet slush was poured into their stomachs, which soon were round and hard as drums. The drinking continued right through the night with seeming to have any effect, they stopped for a short sleep and then continued, the brew now seemed a bit more potent.

Soon they were laughing and dancing and singing, their howls making the dark of night hideous as they staggered around the fire, narrowly escaping from falling into it every now and then.

Their legs did not seem to get drunk, they danced and stamped and yelled and gesticulated for hours, without any signs of exhaustion or heaviness, except that they seemed to have lost control of their necks, the muscles seemed to become more rigid as the excitement increased.

As the evening went on the voices grew weaker and the stamping less vigorous, eventually Jan and Gert quitted the circle and soon sank to the sand, the others followed their example, one by one till daybreak and then all was peace.

There they lay, utterly exhausted, in a sort of comatose state, neither dead nor alive for hours. Jan and Gert were the first to come around and begged Farini for some eau de Cologne to sober them up. Upon awakening everyone was sorely disappointed that all the calabashes were empty.

Farini decided that they would leave the following day.
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Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Wed May 19, 2010 4:21 pm Unread post
The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 29.

Along the way the came across some Vaalpens, who were also hunting in the area, and told them about the whereabouts of their Village. Farini decided to make a call.

They got permission to outspan, later that afternoon the Chief paid them a visit. He also brought on of his wives and four daughters with him. On seeing the guns, he promptly offered the eldest daughter to Farini in exchange for a gun – Farini declined but in order not to offend explained that he could not then spare one just then but when they were finished hunting, which would be quite soon they could strike the deal.

The Chief was quite thrilled and said that Farini should come and live with his people and that his daughters could all then be his (Farini’s) wives. His people would hunt for Farini and they could all live as one happy people.

The Chief took Gert away and the wife and children made themselves quite at home, just as if they belonged to the Farini party, some squatting at the fire, others helping to inspan the oxen, all accepting the situation quite cheerfully.

Soon the “best of friends” had to part after an exchange of handkerchiefs wherewith to dry their tears and tobacco to solace their loss they bade them adieu.

Walking down a dune Farini stepped on a snake which immediately struck on the boot. Farini took off the boot and examined his foot – fortunately the boot was made of stout leather and the only sign of snake bite was two deep scratches on the leather.

Now going further south the trees became more and more scanty. On the second day they sighted a mountain, Jan thought may be the Kiy Kiy Mountain on the Nossob River. They walked towards the mountain but soon realised that it was one that it was one that had never seen before.

They camped along the foot of it, beside a long line of stone resembling a wall of some kind.

On examination it appeared to be the ruins of some extensive structures, in some places buried beneath the sand, some were fully exposed.

The remains mostly a heap of huge stones was traced for more than a mile. The top row of stones were worn away by the weather and the drifting sands, some of the uppermost ones curiously rubbed on the underside, standing out like a centre table on a short leg.

The general outline of the wall seemed to be in the form of an arc, inside which lay at intervals of about forty feet apart a series of heaps of masonry, in the shape of an oval, about a foot and a half deep, with a flat bottom, but hollowed out at the sides for about a foot from the edge.

Some of these heaps seemed to have been cut from solid rock, others seemed to have been formed of more than one piece of stone, fitted together quite accurately.

Most were more or less buried beneath the sand. Upon removing the sand with shovels it was found that the sand had protected the joints who were quite perfect. This took up most of the day.

Jan was quite disgusted as he could not understand why so much time and effort had to be spent on uncovering old stones.

Farini tried to explain that this may have been either a city or a place of worship of some great nation many thousands of years ago or perhaps the burial place.

Jan replied that it may have been so but asked what good it was for them; he still thought it was waste of time and effort. The stones could not be carried off and put to good use or even sold. They should move on as the men wanted to get home to their wives.

Farini told Jan that they would stay there for the next two days, to explore the place; Jan replied that he knew that the people would not dig any more and doubted whether they would even stay.


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Thu May 20, 2010 9:00 am Unread post
The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 30.

Jan was told that Farini did not really care whether they stayed or not and whether they assisted with the digging or not – it was immaterial.

Jan replied that if they were foolish enough to dig after a lot of old rocks; they were free to do so. While they were wasting their time he would go out hunting.

The following three days were spent digging, Farini felt that the discoveries they made amply repaid their toil. On digging they came to a pavement about twenty feet wide, made of large stones, the outer ones were long and lay at right angles to the inner ones.

The pavement was intersected by another similar one at right angles, seeming to form a cross, in the middle there seemed to be the remnants of earlier may have been an altar, column or some type of monument, the base quite distinct, composed of loose pieces of fluted masonry.

Having searched for hieroglyphics or inscriptions and not finding any, Lulu made a few sketches and took some photographs, Farini decided that he would leave it to those more knowledgeable than himself to judge who may have occupied and when, the place.

After a further three days travelling they reached the Kiy-Kiy Mountain. Here they found a vlei with a considerable amount of muddy water, the result of recent rains, here were quite many water-insects and a fish shaped animal of some kind.

Footprints of Baboons littered the area. Social Weavers had huge nests in the surrounding trees.

Gert called Farini and pointed out a large yellow snake, its tail coiled around a branch on the roof of a nest, poking its head into the chambers of the communal nest, stealing eggs and young birds. The adults flying and chattering and darting in, pecking at the snake. The serpent struck at a bird that ventured too close, it fluttered downwards and seemed to die before touching the ground.

Farini raised his rifle and fired. The golden coloured snake fell to the ground and lay motionless on a pile of bird droppings. It measured seven feet four inches. The head was flat and the body tapering gradually from the middle to both extremities.

Inside they found thirty two still perfect little snow white eggs. The fangs measured nine sixteenths of an inch long, with three more ready formed ones to replace those. The poison sacks were one and a quarter of an inch long.

Now everyone made best use of the opportunity for a real swim and a good wash. A few hours later the bushes were covered in freshly washed clothing.

The oxen were so used to eating Tsamma that at first they would not drink the water, the horses did so sparingly. Here they camped for three days and then set off again along the dry sandy river-bed for a couple of days and then struck the level smooth hard road, bearing the tracks of several wagons. Jan recognised the peculiar foot-mark of an ox belonging to the Verlanders.

They now trekked through dry barren area, with no Tsamma or water.

The oxen were now dead-beat; everyone was put on short water rations. Farini and Lulu had to strictly keep watch over the water barrel gun in hand, for fear of some of the group taking it and drinking all.

They drove all night resting every two hours, all the animals were losing conditions fast, fortunately the nights were cool, causing the humidity in the air to condense; loading the grass with dew-drops which sparkled like liquid diamonds in the morning sun, now far more valuable than the genuine ones, for without them the animals would have perished.

Along their way they came across some other trekkers who told that they had just come down the dry bed of the Auob, all the Tsamma had been cleared by the wild and trek beasts passing through.

The other trekkers parted and Farini imagined that his luck was now lastly running out.

They trekked on and at the Auob River mouth they came across Boll, a Jew with a lot of cattle which he intended driving to Kimberley, some of them just skin and bone. Boll told that he had shot a few of the cattle that morning to relieve them of their misery. He told Farini that his men had just returned and reported that Tsamma was found in not in abundance but enough to save them, about two days trekking towards the east.

Boll traded ten of his better looking oxen for two of Farini’s rifles.

They inspanned and left, soon weakened the animals could not move the wagons, no matter how much coaxing and driving, they could not move. Farini decided to wait until daytime and would then inspan his ten newly acquired animals, they had nut been to the yoke for many months and were wild but in better condition than his poor beasts.

By now the condition had deteriorated to critical, many of the animals could not even rise and had to be shot. One of the men came and said that they could not continue, he suggested that they leave the wagons and drive the oxen on – or let them go al together, they should proceed as fast as possible on foot to Mier.

Farini decided that they would continue, they brooded through the night and as the sun rose Farini felt someone touching his shoulder, it was a Bushman who handed him a half-grown Tsamma of which he had a whole bunch. The little man pointed in the direction of where he had found them. At last . . . .

The oxen were driven towards the Tsamma; some were left behind as they were to weak to even move. The oxen were left at the Tsamma to feed and the men carried back as many of the precious life preserving melons to the stricken animals left at the wagons.

What a transformation, everyone was smiling gradually overpowering despair. Even the oxen had lost their sad look. Farini’s horse – Lady Anna did not survive the ordeal, her master quite heart broken at leaving his faithful mount behind.


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Fri May 21, 2010 9:28 am Unread post
The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 31.

Three of the oxen had been bitten by snakes. One of the little men undertook to cure them. Taking a knife and making one or two slight incisions round the place were the now swollen bite mark was.

A powder was rubbed into the incisions; he said that the powder was made poisonous sacks from another snake.

Within a few hours the swelling had entirely subsided and the oxen were again as well again as their poor state allowed them to be.

Farini asked whether the cure would be good for a more poisonous type of snake and was assured that it would be the case. The Bushman was not afraid of being bitten by any snake in the country as long as he had the poison-sack of another snake as an antidote.

The following day Farini saw a full grown Cobra laying under a bank, he called the Bushman and asked him whether he would catch the snake alive, the answer was in the affirmative, he would catch the snake for a roll of tobacco.

The Little man went to the snake and kicked at it; the reptile rose and bit him on his naked foot.

The Little man calmly took out some dried poison-sacks and reduced it to a powder; he pricked his foot and rubbed the powdered antidote powder into the wound, just as he had done with the oxen. In the mean-time Farini put an end to the serpents biting activities with a hefty blow from the whip stock.

The Little man extracted the fangs, drank a drop of the liquid from the poison sack and fell in a stupor which lasted some hours. At first the swelling increased rapidly, after some time it began to subside.

The next morning he inoculated himself again. By the evening the swelling had disappeared and four day later he was again as well as ever.

Two days later they sighted the habitations of Mier; it was more welcoming that any luxury could have been.

Had it not been for the forever ongoing begging of the inhabitants they would have stayed longer but soon moved off, Mrs Verlander was given a pair of gaily coloured blankets as a parting gift.

A few days later they outspanned at a large pan of water. The cries of the water-fowl keeping them awake most of the night. The following morning fifteen teal, two flamingos and nine avocets were shoot and were soon on their menu for the day.

They trekked on and that evening arrived at the K’abiam Pool- a large lake in some places up to eighteen feet deep, with several islands in it.

No one was allowed to camp there for more than a week and then only one group at a time. The surrounding country had an unusually bright appearance, with plenty of grass and wild fowl.

They remained here for four days, enjoying the clear water, the cattle luxuriating in the grass, Tsamma and wild cucumbers.

Shortly after leaving K’abiam Pool they crossed a wide flat which Gert said would positively be the stretch of sand they would come to.

After emerging from the sand plain they came to a pan of clayish water, two days later the whole area consisted of nothing but clay. Her they met up with a farmer named Steyn and enjoyed a cup of real coffee with real sugar – sheer bliss.

A little way further at a pile of stones indicating the border of the land of the Korana people they parted company Gert and most of the party would head for Upington while Farini, Lulu, Korap and two others would make a detour to visit the Great Falls of the Orange River. Here also Dirk and Klaas left the group.


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Sat May 22, 2010 10:25 am Unread post
The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 32.

Following the banks of the river, the sand waves to the north were still clearly visible. Passing through Swartmodder, a place with two stone houses they came across a brick farm house, the residence of a French Canadian, named De Jay, who had come to this country many years ago and made his fortune from hunting on the Kalahari.

In one season alone he cleared 60000 shillings, nearly losing his life, however another time after abandoning his wagons and oxen in the sands he was now the owner of 40000 morgen of land, on which he had built two stone dams and opened out two running springs. His land now carried 1540 head of cattle and 10000 sheep.

De Jay told them that during the wet season the mist could be seen from a distance and during the dry the divides into several channels, four or five streams had to be swum before anyone could get close enough to see anything but a series of yawning chasms, rugged rocks rushing rapids and steep cliffs.

Farini reckoned the greater the challenge – the greater the reward.

Two days later they set off with gifts of butter and mutton and bread also with full particulars of the easiest route.

As the descended the banks became more rugged and the scenery grander, a strong wide stream was flowing between the lofty banks only broken by frequent ravines which led away from the river on the one hand to a sandy plain on the other.

They came across a number of Hottentots camping in a beautiful valley, hemmed in by a wall of precipitous brown rocks, where water and grass was abundant, and their cattle looking sleek and shiny.

They offered to sell Farini a boy and a rather comely girl, her light bronzed skin colour, high check bones and almond shaped eyes reminded Farini of a Chinese – the Hottentots seemed to have a more or less decidedly Celestial expression of countenance. The offer was declined, instead some meat and milk was exchanged for tobacco and coffee.

They spent the evening camping at a lovely spot, beneath a high cliff and near some Camel-thorn trees their wide spread branches decorated with gaily coloured cheerful birds.

After dinner while peace had set in, the serenity abruptly came to an end when the oxen who were lying chewing the cud, stamped with a roar, the leaders were around to the fore wheel, dragging the yokes and chains to which they were tied, after them; then snap went the riems, away went four of the oxen, the others in their effort to follow pulled the wagon over on top of them, absolute chaos.

It took some time righting things again, getting the wagon up took much time it was eventually achieved by fixing ropes to the under wheels, passing the ropes over the wagon and then attaching the ropes to the oxen, in this way it was again rolled back onto its wheels again.

The runaways bellowing in the distance in alternate tones of dismay and defiance.

The next day the missing cattle were recovered and soon the party was creeping along the dry river-bed of one of the side streams of the river, between high cliffs which narrowed in the distance, seemingly barring their passage.

Suddenly the oxen stopped and the Busman that was leading them called out that there was no road. Farini and Lulu found their passage barred by a huge fallen rock. They decided to sink the rock into the sandy surface as there was no way in which they could turn back. The only other alternative was to dismantle the ox wagon and that would be near impossible.

Many hours of sweaty toil was spent and eventually the rock had sunk deep enough for the oxen to climb over with the wagon following.

Passing through the cleft, they came across the wildest country they had imagined. Picking their way around numbers of immense rocks that had fallen from the almost perpendicular cliffs, they seemed to have reached a dead end, then suddenly turning a sharp corner they came in sight of a Hottentot tending a large flock of sheep.

They were told that about two miles further they would come across a werf were some men were digging a well.

Arriving at the werf they found the diggers an Englishman named Harper and his Afrikaner brother-in-law, all in very good humour – they had just struck plenty of good fresh water. . . .

Their breakfast of fresh eggs and goat’s was a treat and supplemented by Farini’s it turned into a real feast.

Farini was told that now that the water was low they would be able to wade and swim to get close to where the fall fell into an abyss; they would not be able to get to the foot. Only one man had succeeded in doing so – a Hottentot and he had never come back.

They plodded along.

The following day they made preparations for the falls. By utilizing the riems they managed to make rope of four hundred feet long, they also built a little raft.

After crossing one stream by wading they found themselves on an island covered with trees and flowering shrubs, most of them well armed with vicious thorns, in most places so thick that it was almost impossible to get through them. They had frequently to turn back and try and find another route.

Guided by the roar of the falling water, they now creeping on their hands and knees, slipping over patches of wet mud, or jumping over or wading through pools of water, then climbing over rough rocks or smooth boulders they eventually reached the other side of the island, past whish flowing a rushing torrent; whit with anger, foaming with rage as it found its course impede by a multitude of cold grey rocks.

They sought a likely-looking place to cross the rapid and bruised their shins and tore their clothes as they jumped from one projecting rock to another, only to find themselves confronted when half-way across by an intervening space, too wide to leap, too deep to wade and too swift to swim.

Then trying again in another direction and yet another, then they found a broad patch of reed-covered mud, too soft and slippery to give a foothold, they crossed and recrossed the different channels several times, finding themselves seemingly worse off than the previous.

At last they came to a place with a practicable shallow, turning up their pants, they carefully felt their way across. The bottom was flat rock, covered with a thin layer of greasy mud.

At last they reached the edge of the water; standing behind a mighty rock whose steep sides trembled with the jarring of the water, Farini prepared himself to climb a jumble of angular granite rocks with here and there a dead end or a deep chasm which equally barred their progress.

At every step the roar of the rushing water grew louder and louder, eventually they had to shout to make themselves audible – they were clearly now very close to the Falls, then suddenly they came in sight of a cloud of mist rising like white fog, or like a bank of white powdered snow.

Between them and the chasm down which the cataract plunged was a deep bed, whose precipitous sides- as smooth as polished marble- enclosed a large pool of water.

The only way of getting to the Falls seemed to lie across the basin, which at high flow would no doubt be full to overflowing and add its quota to the general din, but which was now laying placidly reflecting the rays of the burning sun.

A troop of Baboons scampered away down the rocks on their approach. Farini and Lulu followed them down the face of the grey granite walls, depending upon the crevices and projecting corners to give hand and foothold.

Running round the pool he saw a gorge in front of him, at the end of which he caught glimpse of a great waterfall half encircled by the halo of clear beautiful rainbow.

Only a part of the cataract was visible, the rest being hidden behind the projecting cliffs of veiled behind the mist.


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Sat May 22, 2010 1:33 pm Unread post
Is there by chance a map that shows the route taken by Farini?


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Sat May 22, 2010 6:36 pm Unread post
:clap: :clap:
Are they now at Augrabies?
This part reminds me of Blouputs, the most beautiful valley I've ever seen. :)
gmlsmit wrote
They came across a number of Hottentots camping in a beautiful valley, hemmed in by a wall of precipitous brown rocks, where water and grass was abundant, and their cattle looking sleek and shiny.

The suspense is killing me, please continue? :lol:


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Mon May 24, 2010 9:41 am Unread post
Hi everyone.
Yes they now are at the Aughrabies.
I have a map of their route I will place it and the end of this series.


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Mon May 24, 2010 9:43 am Unread post
The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 33.

Just a glimpse of the great Falls could be seen in the distance, wreathed in spray. The river running through a deep gorge fed by innumerable cascades of water tumbling into it from all sides.

Immediately below them rose a cloud of mist, Farini peered over the precipice and saw there thirty feet below him a huge jet of water rushing out of the face of the solid rock on which they stood, tumbling though the air some three hundred feet downwards, breaking itself into a myriad of snowy white particles, before losing itself in the dark surging waters beneath – it was evidently a subterranean outlet to the waters of some of the rapids they had crossed.

The sun was getting low they had to get back or otherwise spend the hours of darkness on the brink of that seething abyss.

The edge of the precipice was followed , climbing, slipping, sliding, jumping and wading for nearly two hours, they struck a mass of great square and angular rocks. They took to the water again and then onto a glade of carpeted with dark green grass decorated here and there with rich pink lily like flowers which bowed their beautiful heads gracefully to the soft breeze.

The pendant branches of the weeping willows lent an air of sadness to the scene, and served as a foil to the sterner forms of the stately Camel-thorn trees, round whose mighty trunks clung the twining arms of a climbing plant, beautifully decked in rich scarlet fruit like rubies in the sunlight.

They then passed through a deep gully with steep clay sides, sheltered beneath the deep shadows of overhanging trees and plants whose flowers filled the air with perfume. Emerging at the end of a wide pool mirroring its rich border of vegetation whose shadows gave it a mysterious depth. Skirting the brink of this pool, they came to an open space of red sandstone rock, with here and there a patch of soil supporting the most beautiful flowering shrubs, completely studded with thousands of deep red flowers, shaped like a folding Japanese lantern.

Behind these were brilliant whit flowers in contrast with their dark green healthy looking leaves.

The twilight was still trying to hold on but it was in vain.

They waded once more and then they saw the welcome sight of their camp.

A little while later the wet cold hungry satisfied group sat down and boiled some coffee and quietly passed their thoughts of this hard but very rewarding day.

The next morning broke brilliantly, while the breakfast was cooking, Farini explored the river higher up and found a place where they could easily cross dry footed by jumping from rock to rock.

An hour after breakfast they were safely on the other side, carrying the rope, the camera and some plates.

They reached the spout without much difficulty. Then three hours later of climbing and slipping and wading and getting half drowned they reached spot from where they could not actually see the water take the plunge but watched as they tore along the rapids above, the waves struggling to surmount or avoid the impediments placed in their way by the huge angular rocks that strewed the channel, elbowing each other in their excitement to see which should be the first to take the awful leap.

The spout was in full working order, Lulu took a photograph of it, with the banks of the mighty river stretching away on either side. The perspective completed by a pile of rocks resembling a group of ancient towers.

Lulu decided that he was going down the face of rock as smooth as glass without a crevice or cranny for foot or finger hold, by means of the made up rope.

The evening was spent strengthening and testing the rope for the following day’s great adventure.


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Mon May 24, 2010 2:36 pm Unread post
The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 34.

The next morning as the still friendly sunrays lit the eastern skies, the group were on their way to Lulu’s open air studio.

After crossing many streams and knocking elbows, knees and toes against sharp end rocks they eventually reached the spot from where they were to go down into the deep.

One end of the rope was tied to a selected rock and dropped it down the rock face; Farini went down first twisting the rope around his leg and sliding downwards. He found that the rope was about ten feet short of the bottom. He wrote a note notifying Lulu to lengthen the rope before coming down and tied it to the rope before letting go and dropped down safely.

A half an hour later the camera and of the equipment was lowered.

Another half an hour later some blankets and food and another half an hour later Lulu – the photographer.

The sun was just right and the shadows very impressive, Lulu was thrilled at the prospects of being the first to ever photograph this spectacle.

Their way now lay over, under or around huge rocks and through deep gullies. A narrow chasm would now and then yawn at their feet, completely barring their progress, jumping over was the only way . . .

After about two hours they found themselves on a narrow point of a precipitous rock, about eighteen feet wide. The river was running about 400 feet below to their right. To the left about half the depth were masses of broken rock, with pools of water in between altogether as rough and wild a place they had ever seen.

It was now late afternoon and the sun was casting deep shadows on the rocky sides of the chasm. They decided that they had done enough for that day and made themselves as comfortable as possible.

The following morning they noticed that the river had risen, many of the rocks they climbed over the previous day were nowhere to be seen, the water being high, they built a raft dry willow logs and poles which were laid six in a row and four deep and tied together using ox-hide.

The raft was too narrow for them and their equipment so it was decided to ferry over as much as possible at a time. The raft gave and Farini found himself waist deep in muddy water. They then decided to load the equipment onto the raft and guide it through the water while swimming along with it.

Farini led the way, with the raft tied to him, after a few moments they reached the opposite bank, shivering and their teeth chattering, the water was cold and the early morning air, stirred by a light breeze even keener.

A sharp walk soon had them warmer, Pheasants were plentiful and the shot-gun came to good use, large flocks of Rock pigeons also crossed the gorge, of them were also later enjoyed during breakfast.

Otters possibly had their first view of man that morning.

They then descended further and then crossed a sticky muddy patch – mud up their knees – which was near impossible to scrape of, they then crossed a large jumble of great jagged rocks – some as large as a two storey house that seemed to have come loose and lipped down from the cliffs above.

They had to climb and crawl over and squeeze in between them where there often was just enough room to pass through, every now and then the disturbed a large heavy-winged Owl, who would alight onto a rock point and stare at them with their large eyes with wonder, the humans seemed to be of greater curiosity to them as them to the men.

Eventually they reached they came to places almost perpendicular and as smooth as glass, worn by the waters which had flown through that gorge for uncountable seasons.

They had to lower themselves four times by means of the rope, which they often had to tie to a log which had been jammed into a crevice of some kind. At last after about four hours of hard labour they reached the end of the gorge and could see the main river flowing forty yards below.

There stood a number of grand granite tower, seeming to reach the sky, like giant sentinels keeping watch and guard over the wilderness of rock and water that plunged from all directions into the deep dark chasm.

Turning a sharp corner they came across a beautiful waterfall bursting out beneath a rectangular arch, formed by two gigantic rocks that had fallen against each other., out of the crevices grew dark green trees and shrubs, in beautiful contrast to the grey-black and brown rocks and the snow white foam on the often muddy water as it danced from shelf to shelf.

Lulu was delighted with the novelty of the scene and hastened from point to point to select the best places from which to get a photograph.

In the mean-time Farini strolled off and on his return noticed that a waterfall suddenly appeared his son and himself, at first there was just a small cascade, just enough to wet the rocks but growing slowly every moment being fed by a considerable torrent, a half an hour later a big fall was tumbling into a two foot deep basin and several yards wide. Soon various pools previously dry were filled. Farini asked the question whether it would be safe to remain there but Lulu was bent on getting his shots.


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Tue May 25, 2010 12:52 pm Unread post
The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 35.

Lulu argued that they had spent much time in getting there it would be a waste of time returning to camp, he suggested that they remain where they were, he was quite unconcerned about the rising water, he was convinced that it would be quite safe where they were.

Lulu won the argument and carried on taking his photographs while oohing and aahing at each new wonderful sight.

The water was rising and eventually Lulu agreed that they may have to move a little higher. For some distance the jagged rocks and huge boulders now more or less covered with water after being dry earlier the morning – lay in the wildest confusion, making their progress very slow and diminishing the quantity and quality of their clothing while increasing their anxiety.

Their load became heavier, the load on their shoulders gradually increased as they collected the ropes they had left behind hanging at different places on their way down.

They came to a pool, Farini waded in up to his middle and then sank into the soft mud up to his rib cage, nearly destroying the valuable plates for which Lulu had often that day risked his life.

Eventually fortune smiled on them and they were back on nice dry hard soil.

Arriving at the camp much time was spent on getting rid of the sticky clayish mud from themselves and their equipment.

After a meal of grilled Rock Pigeon and pap they fell soundly asleep until the following morning, after the friendly sun had warmed their blankest.

Their plan for the day was to follow the riverbank. After half an hour’s walk along the banks of the river they were rid of most of their pains and aches, the shot-gun was again put to good use, ensuring a hearty meal of feathered game for supper.

The walking was smooth compared to that of the previous few days, now and then a small ravine with a dry watercourse that in the wet season drained the distant mountains, crossed their path at right angles forming pretty glades and glens partially covered in deep-green foliage.

The heard the roar of the rapids as the water dashed against the great rocks, they hurried forward thinking they were near the spot where the river made a dashing downward leap, but they had not yet reached the point of junction with the main stream.

The river seemed to have disappeared, there was a big pool, dammed up by a ledge of barren rocs, and here the river seemed to have come to an end. There seemed to be no overflow, after searching they came across a subterranean outlet from the pool through a cleft in the rocks which was invisible from the upper side.

On the lower side hemmed by on all sides by a confusion of rocks, they found the perfect wall of water, which burst through a narrow crevice about a foot wide and ten feet high.

It sprang several feet before spreading into a white spray, and tumbling down a steep incline of shelving rocks, making a beautiful cascade and then finally bringing itself to rest in a series of pools encased with perpendicular walls of granite. Here the water seemed to have forgotten about its struggles and resumed its journey in peace.

Then it fell headlong own a dark precipice, breaking itself into a myriad of particles on the hard polished rock fifty feet below, then quickly gathering itself together it slid over, under and around huge boulders.

To get a full view of the last cataract it was necessary to descend the chasm of the main river, a difficult and dangerous task, which took them one hour, going down the face of the corner, formed by the two gorges joining one another at nearly right angles.

Several more days were spent exploring the falls. Each day finding a new gorge communicating with the main river.

During their explorations they counted and mapped nearly a hundred distinct cascades, Farini named them “the Hundred Falls”.

He wrote:

We leave the arid waste and sea and grass,
Where lurk the dangers of the desert sand,
And climbing mammoth rocks as smooth as glass,
Behold a scene surpassing fairyland!
We hear the murmur of the rippling rills
Combining with the voices, sweet an long,
Of bright-winged warblers, whose rich music fills the air with song.

Bright is the picture to the eye revealed
Of waving meadow and of shady glen:
The land of paradise seems here concealed
By careless nature from the gaze of men.
Led by contending waters’ angry sound,
We reached the jagged cliffs, and towering walls
Beneath which tumble, boom, crash downward bound
The Hundred Falls.

Transfixed we stand, enraptured with the sight,
Upon the massive walls of silver grey,
Above the mighty waters foaming white,
With mirrored rainbows circling in the spray;
The torrent through its channel sweeps,
Impeded by grim rocks on either shore,
As o’er the precipice it madly leaps
With sullen roar.

Scores of snow-white cataracts swiftly gush
From the lofty crags, majestic cold and bare,
Then headlong down the deep dark chasm rush,
And quiver flashing in the startled air;
Glittering in the mist, the tempest blew
The silver spray to the abyss below,
Like liquid diamonds scintillating through A cloud of snow.

More dreadful than the powder’s bursting blast
Than cannon roaring o’er the battle plain,
Louder that thunderbolts from heaven cast,
Or warlike engines heard across the main,
Wilder than the waves of maddened sea,
Or earthquake, that bewilders and appals,
Were, roaring, writhing, fighting to be free,
One Hundred Falls.


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Thu May 27, 2010 4:40 pm Unread post
The Lost City of the Kalahari Part 36.

They left and trekked for two days and then in the distance noticed the white church spire in Upington.

They saw a newly built house of brick with a shiny corrugated iron roof and were told that it was the residence of the Commissioner, Mr. John Scott; Farini drove up and after introducing himself handed over the letter of introduction.

Mr. Scott kindly offered a room. After outspanning and getting permission from Captain Dyerson of the Northern Police Force, to send there oxen on their veld, they returned to tea. Mrs. Scott made them feel most welcome.

The kindness of the host and accomplished hostess would never be forgotten. What a pleasure it was to again place their legs under a table over who presided a lady – and to share a civilized meal, garnished with the conversation of an English family.

After trading all their excess guns, ammunition etc. for oxen they set of for Hope Town a further 250 miles away.

That evening just before dark, they were all startled by a brilliant light, like the rays of an electric arc, suddenly illuminating he scene. The sky was dark and starless and looking up they saw a beautiful white ball of fire, as big as a broad rimmed hat, shooting in a straight line across the heavens, this lasted for about twenty seconds and then vanishing without a sound.

Two days later they arrived at Grootdrink, here a German ran a shop, hard and long drives began to tell on the oxen. Near the town of Prieska they stopped at the house of a Boer, one of the daughters was being married and all the neighbours and friends from the district were present. Plenty to eat and drink was enjoyed by everyone.

They crossed the Orange River by ferry and entered Prieska where the fertile flats were watered by a running spring. The neat little town had a church square which appeared to be in the centre of all activity. It was surrounded by shops run by Jews, a Hotel, a Police Station the Prison and a Bakery.

Fresh bread was ordered from the bakery; at a shop they purchased a few tins of Italian butter.

That evening they were entertained by the Inspector of Police, the Clerk of the Court and the Magistrate.

Near the Brak River they camped on an Ostrich and sheep farmer, who questioned them about their expedition, the next morning after the Morning Prayer and paying the farmer half a crown for the privilege of using his outspan, grazing and water, continued their journey to Hopetown.

Evidently rain had fallen recently as the dams and pools were all full of water.

On arriving at Hopetown they outspanned near the church, here they made arrangements to sell the wagon and the oxen etc. by auction the following Saturday.

Auction day came slowly along in the quiet town, the goods fetched about one quarter for what it was worth. The last of the crew who accompanied them on their epic journey were paid off and good-byes were said.

They left Hopetown at midday on Sunday arriving at Cape Town on the Tuesday afternoon

The steamer Drummond castle left the following day, not much time was available to spend with friends of whose hospitality he enjoyed before the trip inland.

Farini was interviewed by a journalist from the Cape Argus about his journey “through the Kalahari”.

On board ship Farini was fortunate enough to meet Mr. George Baden Powell, C.M.G., M.P. with who many hours were spent discussing the country and its people.

Many days later the arrived in Southampton where Farini had many interviews about his journey and here he decided to start penning the story you have been following for quite some time.


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Thu May 27, 2010 4:46 pm Unread post
Farini's Route.

Image


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Thu May 27, 2010 4:47 pm Unread post
The Lost City of the Kalahari – the end.

Oom Joep le Riche the man who can be called the father of the Kalahari Gemsbok Park had the following comments about the Farini expedition.

It is the nature of man to be thrilled by the unknown; therefore the “Lost City of the Kalahari” has always attracted the attention of very many people.

Many expeditions have since entered the Kalahari in an effort to find the Lost City. Even aircraft have been employed in their search, all in vain not a trace of the Lost City had yet been found.

The Legend of the Lost City is and will always be attached to the Kalahari it even intrigued Oom Joep.

He said that upon entering the Cape border from Aroab in Namibia, the road leads to Rietfontein the centre of the Mier settlement, in the direction of Hakskeenpan and further along the Malopo River.

Just before reaching Hakskeenpan one will see the high blue crest of Buys se Kop, near the farm Middelpos.

Just north along the road is a turn-off to the Oxford-Pan, and from a little track to the farm Klipkolk. Going along this track, one will eventually be forced to travel in a little dry river bed; the vegetation will now rapidly change. Thick growth of trees and bush will make way for more open veld. Which in the earlier times must have been excellent hunting grounds for Mier population.

Further along the little river bed one will notice a high rise that may give the impression of something grotesque maybe from the earlier ages. Oom Joep says that to him it resembled something similar to a smaller version of the Great Wall of China that had been damaged by maybe an earthquake.

He hesitantly went closer to the massive flat surfaced rocks which still tower into the sky, erosion may have worn the rocks to their current appearance, emphasising its dramatic mysterious appearance and the illusion of a collapsed wall.

Mysterious lighter streaks also create the impression of the possible use of cement n the construction.

Oom Joep is convinced that the above mentioned is what Farini came across, he also mentioned with a bit of imagination, one could really picture what Farini had described.

Oom Joep also mentions that the Farini map is not quite correct.

Further as he swept his eyes over the ruins he noticed the mentioned centre one legged table. He is convinced that what he had photographed and what Farini described was the very same object.

Samples of the table and the cement were taken and sent to the WITS University for analysis, the results were:

The square rocks.

A rough dolerite passage or surface of the Karoo system sediments, where one can expect to find a pattern of parallel cracks. In the dry areas erosion is slowed forming square brick like patterns.

The cement.

Dolerite consists of feldspar containing a high percentage of whitish calcium as well dark oxide also rich in calcium and iron and magnesium.

While still subsurface the magnesium carbonate dissolve easier and only limestone remains which calcifies the dolerite at the surface in between the cracks.

The Karoo system consists of shale and softer sandstone, which through the ages erodes and then in later times the dolerite passages appear above surface as they do not erode that easily.

The surface lime erodes and disappears from the dolerite as it is more protected from erosion in between the cracks and may then give the impression of being cement in between the cracks.

Oom Joep ended that it is such a pity that he had to end such a wonderful mystery with these cold facts.


Re: The Lost City of the Kalahari.

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Fri May 28, 2010 10:15 am Unread post
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Oom Joep ended that it is such a pity that he had to end such a wonderful mystery with these cold facts.
Yes, it really is :wink:

Not knowing the territory very well, I had not immagined that Farini went so far north. Quite an exploit in those days :shock:

Thank you so much gmlsmit, it was a very exciting story. Mr. Hunt must have been quite a character (I asked Google about him) :thumbs_up:

Why not try to go with the oxen in october :whistle:

P.S. Did you not start a TR from Kruger? I cannot find it anymore :doh:
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