The Gariep River, formerly known as the Orange River in honour of the Dutch Royals, is the longest river in South Africa – about 2200km long. It springs in the highlands of Lesotho, and proceeds to flow over the South African interior and ultimately spills out into the Atlantic ocean on the West Coast of South Africa. Somewhere in between, just outside a small village of the same name in the southern Free State, it is crossed by the Bethulie Bridge. It is here that the river broadens, like a vein branching to feed an organ, only to join one single highway on its journey.
The landscape emanates earthly earthy tones, calm and serenity – a sense of still acceptance of its past. It’s like the river branches out here to nurture the earth where horrors have been committed a hundred years before, but it has accepted the past as a piece of its own puzzle. A few lonely cows stroll around, a few birds are gathered on the sandbanks, and nothing else disturbs the calm of this place.