I selected to visit Nieu Bethesda with the specific desire of capture as much of the essence of this evocative Karoo village as possible. To breath in the fresh air, eat the locally grown produce, try the craft beer, linger in the Owl House, search for fossils, take a donkey cart ride, have an amazing coffee at the Ibis Lounge, walk the graveyard and meet to interview a collection of interesting locals. Not to mention sundowners overlooking the valley.
After checking in at our guest accommodation, which was sponsored by Ian and Katrin Allerman of Nieu Bethesda Accommodation, we took to the streets, staying loyal to my mantra always walk any and everywhere that you visit.
During the three days that we were there, we achieved all of this and more, capturing it to a short film and video. Also learning more about the very important anti-fracking movement. I felt completely at home, as though part of me belonged here. Relaxing into the atmosphere of the place, I didn’t want to leave.
Here is a photo essay of some of the sights that met us, architecture and Karoo style. Dirt roads with no street lamps. Character and community. For more info and additional accommodation options see Nieu-Bethesda.
NOTE – Nieu Bethesda has no petrol, bank or credit card facilities. Fill up your tank and your wallet before you arrive!
Evidence of the Fugard Festival which is held here annually.
A lovely bit of randomness about the spelling off the Nieu Bethesda website – In 1878, when the town was first formed, the name nu Bethesda was misspelt as “Nieu Bethesda”. “New Bethesda” is also popular. Other creative misspellings include: New, Nu, Nieuw, Niew, Bethesda, Betesda, Bathesda, Batesda, Bethesta, Betesta, Bathesta and Batesta.
And I found that once you start chatting with locals and discussing your return, Bethesda will certainly suffice.