If you haven't read the previous story proceed no further until you have done so.
This is a bit of a sad story. Well for me anyway. One suspects also for other fans of the art Republic of RusticA and, indeed, others who had been hoping to visit it one day. Those who have read my previous blog in this series will recall my promise at the end: "I am going back to Calvinia. The Republic will be my first port of call."
Well I did. And it was. Kind of.
When we stayed in Calvinia on the advice of Chris Marais in 2016, it was for two reasons: the town is brilliant in its own right and it is central to many of the delights one would want to see in this part of the Karoo. Many of the latter are described in the forthcoming Karoo pub crawl 2016/3 coming out this coming Monday. There was one exception, though. Williston, its Mall and Doppies Bar. We didn't have time for that before turning South again.
Determined not to miss out again, I took the scenic route from the Weskus (Cape West Coast) across the high Northern Karoo (I'll describe this in more detail in a future blog).
In this Afterword the focus is on the art Republic of RusticA. So much so that my hire car developed a will of its own as I approached the town, driving straight to the Stigling Street address. At first I thought I was in the wrong street. Then I noticed the tall telltale ceramic gateposts and stopped and stared. Involuntary tears pricked my lashes.
The Republic is no longer.
I saw from across the road that you could still "Lui die Klok" but all I could think was: "Bastards!"
The epithet was not intended for Sonja and Dirk but for the other residents of Stigling Street who had complained that the art installation lowered the tone of the neighbourhood. I felt so deflated I didn't have the heart to ring the bell so I snuck around the corner in cowardly fashion to ask the friends at Hantam Huis, who had looked after us so well in 2016.
"She's still there but it's called the Magic Garden now," I was informed. "He took all the old metal and stuff off somewhere further North."
I crept out of town up the R63 to Williston where I heard a bit more of the story in Doppies Bar.
TBC another day ...