Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Spitzkoppe an enchanted very harsh world of beauty and horror tales of murder. Crystals gems played a role but there are also rare plants, insects and  animals - all attracted adventurers through the ages.

Heading back to Windhoek from Henties Bay. Those are not just any hills up front. Pass them, then turn off into a smaller dusty road where only donkey carts and 4-wheel driven vehicles can go and enter a wonderland of gemstones. We were there once many years ago. It was a weird feeling to have to watch your step not to trample on a gemstone.
Please note. I do not suggest that you go there without the necessary permission. The minerals belong to the person/persons who have a mining claim on it. The area is guarded by the Damara people on who's ground it is.

I find the natural beauty of crystals dazzling, more so than a cut precious stone. In these informal stalls along the roadside near Usakos, stones are sold way cheaper than in any of the many shops that sell the mineral crystals, gemstones and semi-precious gemstones in Namibia. Gemstones and crystals have been traded for centuries although not on the scale as the last decades.
These informal traders know their stones. Not only the common names but also the scientific names and some geological information too.
It is difficult to resist "all that glitters" - but that is another blog.

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