Sunday, 17 March 2013

Naries Namaqua Mountain Retreat, Springbok, Namaqualand, Northern Cape

Stillness in the Desert

Throughout my stay at Naries Namaqua Mountain Retreat I had to remind myself to appreciate this present experience, rather than constantly planning a longer return stay.

The Naries characterful round thatched huts are nestled into similar shaped boulders of the Namaqualand desert. The cool interior surrounds one with thatched comfort which is complemented by the smooth polished floors, while the clean white linen of the King sized bed contrasts well with the thatched texture of the suite, creating an inviting pool of silky softness. My dark grey stone bath was decorated with pretty flowers, linking the interior to the views of the surrounding desert landscape.

Things I love about Naries Namaqualand Mountain Retreat:
  • Being removed from one’s normal busy life, immersed in the remote, quiet desert landscape
  • The unique architecture of the fully rounded thatched mountain suites, camouflaged into the landscape by mimicking the shape of the natural boulders in the area
  • The contrast of thatch walls with cool polished floors and fresh white linen
  • The windows creating framed views of the desert beyond the comfort of the interior
  • The large stone bath and well designed bathroom
  • The creative and delicious food served at the Naries Manor House

Accommodation Experience:
Despite the luxury of the interior and the fascinating style of the architecture, it is the vastness of the desert that silently calls to one from Namaqualand. I found myself sitting for hours outside on the deck of my suite, watching and waiting in silence as the desert stillness drew me in. As I sat motionless, watching the colour of the rock change from grey to pink to orange, I began to notice small movements in the surrounding sands. There was a quick scurry of a lizard and the flit of a butterfly. Although my first visit was not in the spectacular flower season of Namaqualand, my eyes gradually attuned to delicate blossoms coming out of the coarse gravel. In the distance I saw a herd of Springbok and Eland crossing the desert plains in search of their evening drink. A jackal called from the far horizon.

I felt vulnerable, thin skinned and awake, yet secure, stripped of any false self by the empty honesty of the landscape. No matter how busy or stressed one is on arrival, the desert will do its gentle work on one’s soul, calling one back to the essence of oneself and one’s integral connection with the ancient landscape.

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