Far from the madding crowd

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Eendekuil, West Coast
The exhilarating experience of open space envelops Eendekuil.

When entering the little town of Eendekuil at the foot of the Piekenierskloof pass, 30 km north of Piketberg, it’s a case of ‘Hello 50s’. Set in an expanse of space as far as the eye can see, the 30-odd fifties-style houses in the main town nestle perfectly into this agricultural vastness where the inhabitants enjoy a communion with the earth.

Although farms in the Eendekuil area have been tilled since the mid-1700s, the town developed when the rail line from Cape Town was built northwards to Bitterfontein for the Namaqualand mines. In 1904, the ‘Doekvoet Flyer’ transported 2 441 people from and to Eendekuil. Almost immediately thereafter a hotel was built, followed by a post office.

Agriculture in the area consists of wheat, potatoes, wine grape vineyards, rooibos, some citrus, as well as sheep and cattle. Also, several lifestyle farms have been developed in recent years. The majority of the townspeople work in the local Co-op, citrus packhouse, police force, mechanical workshop, or their own transport businesses.

Opening its doors in 1952, the Eendekuil Hotel was a popular stopover for all self-respecting motor bikers and its delicious country fare was renowned far and wide. Sadly, the hotel was auctioned off two years ago and is now a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, Chalom Recovery Centre.

Today, Tokkie se Winkel and a general dealer constitute Eendekuil’s entire retail trade. The town’s current claim to fame is its gymkhana events at a nearby farm, as well as bike and quad fun rides.

All in all, Eendekuil has an atmosphere clear and pure to invigorate body and soul.

Photo: A paraglider’s bird’s eye view of Eendekuil by J Snyman.