Middelpos, Upper Karoo

Some may know the name of this Karoo dorp, in the remote parts of the Northern Cape, as the title to a book by the actor, Sir Anthony Sher.

Sold as Middelpost the book is a bestseller in England.

Sher, who was born in Cape Town, is a renowned British Shakespearean actor, writer and theatre director, and has roots in the little hamlet where his family, who had fled persecution in Lithuania, owned and ran a successful trading store around which the town was built.

In those days the trading post supplied Ceres, Sutherland, Williston and Calvinia and was something of a centre for trade, auctions, and social life.

The little village, with roughly 300 residents, lies almost exactly halfway between Sutherland and Calvinia on the R354 (or take a more direct, though less enjoyable, route from Ceres).

Some believe Middelpos is one of the last truly authentic Karoo villages because of its remoteness and relative seclusion (no holiday homes for Gautengers here).

More farm holdings, than town, Middelpos has a shop, petrol station, police station, post office, a row of houses, and the Middelpos Hotel. The Middelpos Trading Store is still there, its major function now to serve up sweets to local kids in exchange for their two-rand coins.

Middelpos is just 30 km from the Gannaga Pass, the quickest route to the Tankwa Karoo National Park over the Roggeveld plateau, with incredible views out over the Tankwa Valley, the Cederberg Mountains in the distance.

During the spring flower season, the road between Middelpos and Sutherland is particularly beautiful, a secret of the locals, who realise that the combination of old stone buildings, green fields, and the yellow, purple and red of flowers and indigenous bush are a major reason they remain living in this remote, harsh climate.

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