Western Cape DestinationsNuwerus, Cape West Coast
The hamlet of Nuwerus lies at the intersection of the N7 and Route 363 between Garies and Vanrhynsdorp, just south of the equally small Bitterfontein.
It's described by those who live there as a little, country town within an area known as the Hardeveld, a portion of the Succulent Karoo Biome that has a wealth of endemic plants. This area has a subtle beauty not immediately obvious but requiring a stilling and patience to experience.
Nuwerus is the kind of town that can list its facilities in a nutshell - a post office, a convenience store, an ATM and a laundry facility, give or take a tourism information office and the SAPS. Which does not mean that the little village lacks gravitas. Nuwerus not only boasts the only complete corrugated iron house in the country but it also has a number of beautiful, Victorian buildings, and a Dutch Reformed church worth visiting.
Its smallness is probably its saving grace – there are so few towns today that have retained their original flavour. In the case of Nuwerus the town would not be there at all if it were not for the fact that getting post from Vanrhynsdorp to Garies was just that much too far to manage with one set of horses.
So a halfway house, with the rather rough name of Aardvarkgat (ant eater's hole), emerged where stables housed the horses who needed to rest. At the same time it gave the riders a resting place. Before long the rather unseemly name was changed to that of Nuwerus, or new rest.
Why go there? To experience true country hospitality, to see the flowers in season, to walk and mountain bike. And did we mention the stars?