Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kuruman: better late than never?

On Mother’s Day weekend, I traveled to a nearby town to meet with other Peace Corps volunteers to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I’ve already told you my sad story of my trip ending up being a very expensive taxi sit, but I want to share some photos of my friends and the lovely town of Kuruman. Better late than never, I hope.

Kuruman sits in the middle of the Kalahari Desert and the town’s name, Kuruman, literally means, “oasis in the desert.” The town is named this because it has a natural spring that feeds the town its water—even to this day. According to the 6th edition of Lonely Planet’s South Africa: Lesotho and Swaziland, the “spring produces 18 to 20 million liters of water per day, every day” (499). This body of water is called, “the Eye of Kuruman.” In the photo, it looks like a lake or pond.

I’ve read in a South African hiking book that there is a nice hiking trail that begins at the Eye, but no one is able to confirm this for me.

My friends Jonelle and Marcia took me to see it, but because I arrived so late, it was closed. I took pictures anyway!

The nice building behind the fence is the Kuruman Visitor’s Center, which unfortunately, is only open during the week! (I learned the hard way that the best time to visit Kuruman is during the week as traffic doesn’t flow well in and out of Kuruman on weekends!)

In the photos, that’s me with Jonelle and in another is Marcia and Jonelle. Marcia is the dear that cuts my hair every time I ask her.

Jonelle and Marcia were staying in a lovely guest house called the Kuru-Kuru. The owners of the establishment were more than charming and accommodating. Actually, these very same people hosted a lovely, lovely Thanksgiving dinner for several Peace Corps volunteers last year. I couldn’t go because it was during “community integration.” Peace Corps volunteers call “community integration” something else—“lock down.” :-)

As the hosts of the Kuru-Kuru are South African, they did a bit of research on the internet to make our very American holiday special. Jonelle tears up to this day recalling the turkeys, the dressing, the cranberries, and even a green bean casserole! The Kuru-Kuru hosts even provided an autumn-like ambiance with hay-bales, a scarecrow, and autumn “leaves” decorating a table.

It really is a lovely guest house and the hosts are absolutely wonderful. If you’re ever in Kuruman, I highly recommend a stay.

Although I only had a very brief visit, it was a very nice time, and I hope to return at some point when I can stay longer or perhaps not sit on a taxi for two days!



PS. Although I went for the Cinco de Mayo party, I only stayed a few minutes, and only snapped one photo of the party! There were lots of us there and I wish I had taken more photos!


  1. Awesome pictures and what a lovely rainbow! I hope you get to return to this place for a longer visit. Miss you terribly...

  2. There is an eleven k hiking trail that begins at the eye in kuruman, but it is closed indefinately due to vandalism. Even if you traveled 15000 k to see it. Even if you ask nicely. The people who work the 'information' booth are not more helpful than the brochures published by the northern cape dept of tourism. At least, not the folks i have encountered.

    kuruman is great, next time stay for awhile and we can go to the moffat mission. Suzette, peter and robert at kuru kuru are totally awesome.

    And what was with you guys only staying 5 minutes? Are we THAT bad?

  3. Thanks for the update Jennifer! I'm glad to finally know the answer to the mystery of the "hike from the Kuruman Eye." Vandalism--too bad!

    And no, you guys are not bad at all. We stayed only for a bit because a) I arrived in Kuruman so late; and b) there seemed to be some confusion about how well we could eat at the brai. Since we (some of us) didn't bring meat to grill, we thought (wrongly) we wouldn't be able to eat at the brai and had made arrangements to eat at Spur.

    Should have stayed at the party because the food--and the company--was marvelous.

    Will return when I can stay longer!