WEST COAST SPOTLIGHT
Nuwerus is all heart and quaintness.
At the southern gateway to the Hardeveld, Nuwerus harnesses its sunny climate to produce one of the West Coast’s most joyous floral panoramas in spring. Flowers aside, this hamlet, 70 km north-west of Vanrhynsdorp on the N7, has compelling examples of Victorian architecture, as well as the only complete corrugated iron house in the country. Adding to its rural charm are adjoining paddocks with horses, sheep, chickens and geese.
Village amenities comprise a post office with Johanna’s convenience store inside, a school, church, police office, bottle store and three guest lodges. Ten kilometres from town is Meerhoff’s Castle and fountain – an overnight stop in 1662 for surgeon Pieter van Meerhoff while enroute to Monomotapa.
The 650 residents are friendly to a fault, happily engaging with strangers. Of note are accolades given to local shop owner Johanna van Wyk, who’s shown her kindness and hospitality to many a weary traveller. And mention also must be made of the town’s legendary rugby team.
When the 100-km postal trip from Vanrhynsdorp to Garies became too daunting for one set of horses, stables were built on Mr B Schreuder’s farm Erdvarkgat (aardvark burrow) to swop nags (the date is a mystery). As a new place of rest for both horses and riders, it subsequently was named Nieuwe Rust when the post office was built. In 1940 the name was modernised to Nuwerus. The end of an era dawned when the last postal trip on horseback was undertaken in 1952.
For those who enjoy roads less travelled, the raw beauty of Nuwerus is balm for the soul, while its people revives one’s love for mankind.