Fascinating And A Little Creepy!
We were anxious to go to a small town that we had read about called Nieu Bethesda. It’s situated in the middle of nowhere in an area of South Africa known as the Karoo Heartland. Limited accommodation, two small restaurants and world recognition have come to the town all because of a wacky and weird place called the Owl House. It has been on several television programs that feature strange houses from around the world. It was also used in a movie.
A lady named Helen Martins decided one night while lying ill in bed that she would transform her yard and house into something different from the drab and gray environment that she lived in. I think she may have lost her mind. Over the next 30 years herself and a few people she employed created her obsession.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to something out of the twilight zone. The inside of the house, the walls and doors are adorned with bright coloured paint and crushed glass. There are hundreds of lamps, candles and mirrors.
The yard is filled with cement owls, camels, acrobats, mermaids and pyramids. They are all created with broken glass, bottles and wire. You can’t help but feel the sense of despair that was portrayed in many of the sculptures. In other sections of the yard it seemed like the message that she was trying to get across was one of urgency. The people were praying to the skies as if they were asking to be saved.
At the age of seventy eight Helen was worn down by arthritis and blindness. Sadly, she committed suicide. She left instructions that her house was to be preserved as a testament to her vision. Perhaps it was the knowledge that someone had taken their life here, that it was in the middle of nowhere and the strangeness of the place, but both Jack and I couldn’t help but feel somewhat unsettled. We looked through the house and walked around the yard with a sense of relief once we were off the property.
The Brewery And Two Goats Deli
It was recommended that on the way to the Owl House we stop at The Brewery And Two Goats Deli. This is a small gem that is operated on a rural property. The owner makes his own cheese, as well as Kudu salami and brews a few different kinds of beer. We had a plate made for two, that had several kinds of cheese including feta, a mild cheddar, a chevre, and a soft cheese with pieces of figs and honey drizzled on top. There was also a homemade olive bread and a delicious salad. Jack tried one of the stout beers and thoroughly enjoyed it. Everything was so tasty, I wish we could have sent some samples back home.