Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Altruists: Cape to Jeffreys Bay

Altruist Nr. 1

Age: 52
Favourite colour: Blue
Motto: The choices you make, are yours alone.

Every journey starts with the first step and Gert took that step wearing big shoes to fill. He spent the previous night watching the Springbok’s wipe the floor with the French at Newlands, and was on his way home to Bredasdorp, where he owns a sportspub and a restaurant. He doesn’t know a lot about soccer, but all three his daughters have flags on their cars, and he forced his whole staff to take the afternoon off and watch the opening match at a community centre. (He didn’t mention this, but logic dictates that he could have rather been making a lot of money during the opening match, him having a sports pub and all.)

According to him he picked us up because we looked like we needed a ride. He said that he did consider us being dangerous, but that he preferred to not live with fear.

Thanks Gert!

Altruist Nr. 2

Age: 18
Favourite soccer team: Congo
Motto: We’re all one, man. We are all ONE.

Returning from Friday’s World Cup festivities in Cape Town, Cedric was just thinking to himself how he needed good conversation for his long ride home, when he saw two scruffy guys next to the road offering just that.

Back in France Cedric once attempted to hitchhike to his favourite surf spot with his surfboard on his back. No one picked him up, not even the giant corporate Quicksilver Bus headed to the same beach. He vowed he would never do the same thing.

Thanks Cedric!

Altruist Nr. 3

Age: +/- 60
Claim to fame: Driver of the Magic Bus

Jacques lives on a 48-hectare property in Wilderness. It is a vastly untouched area, consisting of scrubs and forest that stretch out right onto the sea. Jacques welcomed us with open arms in to his fully self-sufficient home. His little house is equipped with solar panels, generators and water filtration systems.

We spent the evening huddled around his fireplace watching the football and drinking beers. Jacques entertained us with stories from his past ranging from the time he “scraped” his colonel with his bayonet to leaving South Africa, joining the Israeli army, dropping out and then driving a busload of hippies from London to Kathmandu.

After the night’s festivities we spent the night in a caravan, overlooking the ocean.
Thanks Jacques!

Altruist Nr. 4

Annie/ Beach house Backpackers

On our second day, the rain and the wind came and we could feel ice forming around our bones. We found shelter from the storm in Beach house Backpackers, which is both comfortable and budget appropriate.

Annie, the manager, welcomed us warmly and was very accommodating to a film crew that lugged in all their equipment.

Annie also mentioned that if we were going to Jeffery’s Bay, we should stay at Ubuntu backpackers, which is definitely in sync with our altruist investigations. This little bit of advice had joyful consequences, which appeared later in the journey.
Thanks Annie!

Altruist Nr. 5

Age: 53
Favourite Band: “Have you seen how old I am? It all just sounds the same to me.”
Motto: “You can’t polish a turd.”

Chris came swooping down the Kaaimanskloof pass in a rental car, becoming our quickest pick up yet. We spent the first part of the ride slightly doubting the legitimacy of his claims at being a slightly famous journalist and documentary filmmaker.

Chris was the funniest and most cynical altruist, we have met so far. He took us to his house, made us coffee and showed us all his articles. Chris has quite a name in the industry: we worked at the Berger, was one of the founding members of the Vryeweekblad and the producer of Not quite Friday Night.

What a guy!

Thanks Chris!

Altruist Nr. 6

The Rastas
Age: N/A
Favourite word: “Appreci-love” (any words ending with the sound “hate” gets replaced with “love”).
Motto: One Love

Chris dropped us off right in the middle of Judah Square, a humble little area in the middle of the Knysna valleys. As we arrived, we felt immediately comfortable. Members of the community would walk up to us greeting us with “Jah Love” and inviting us into their homes. We spent a fantastic day chatting, learning and feeling the good vibes!

Thanks Brother Maxi, Sista Kerry, Sista Leah and Brother Ras Mau Mau!

Altruist Nr. 7

The Rothschilds
Motto: “You are as young as you feel.”

Standing outside Knysna, the lift we few and far between. Eventually a fancy looking 4x4 pulled over.

We climbed into the car and were greeted by the Rothschild family. Lance Rothschild pulled because his wife took pity on us. He said that he had hitched many times in his youth but feared that those days were now over.

Lance had originally worked as the station manager for 5fm and entertained us with anecdotes of his past.

Thank you Rothschilds!

Altruist Nr. 8

The Israelis

We were getting a little worried about obtaining a lift outside Plet. However pretty soon a car with a bunch of Isrealis student pulled over.

It seemed that in their eyes hitchhiking was a pretty normal pastime and saw no big deal in giving us a lift. They shred numerous hitchhiking stories and shared some of their ideas of Hitching etiquette.

Thanks Guys!

Altruist Nr. 9

The Germans
Age: 20
Favourite colour: Red, Yellow and black.

Getting dropped of under a sign reading “No Stopping – R500 fine” made us feel pretty hopeless about getting to Jeffery’s bay. However after half and hour a tiny little car, with German flags erupting out of its sides, pulled over to pick us up.

We squeezed into the car with the excited Germans and were on our way to J-Bay!

Thanks guys!