Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 1: And we're off

We handed ourselves over to the road yesterday. It was quite a rush for ten minutes, but after about an hour, the doubt set in.
Most of the cars slowed down to look at our signboards and at us; we got an abundance of smiles, laughs, and waves, but no one seemed to actually stop.

An hour passed and eventually a silver bakkie slowed down. We ran up eagerly to chat to the driver, and that’s when we met Gert.

Altruist Nr. 1:

Age: 52
Favourite colour: Blue
Motto: The choices you make, are your’s 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 vuvuzelas, 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.

Just after he picked us up a local traffic official informed us that Sir Lowery’s pass was closed. This meant that we had to drive around the mountains, putting Gert near his destination but us 70km from any real highway. Gert being the altruist he is, decided to drive out of his way and dropped us off in Caledon.

We waited alongside the highway of the one horse town for three hours, with nothing but crickets, raisins and a rogue baboon. The sun began to dip and feared that we would have to spend the night in the nearby forest. Eventually, another small silver car appeared. It pulled over and the driver, a tall French student with a mop of curly hair, leapt out and made some space for us in his boot.

We spent the journey to Wilderness listenening to a variety of excellent tunes, and discussing the nature of an interconnected universe. The altruism was not over: Cedric drove more than 25km out of his way and dropped us off safely in Wilderness.

Waiting for us at a local petrol station, was our host for the evening, Jacques.

Jacques is an older gentleman, who has had a variety of jobs including, a soldier, a magic bus driver, a tree feller, and veggie burger salesmen. Jacques drove us up a steep dirt road and to his little wooden house looking over the eastern coast. He invited us into his home, shared his liquor and told some of the most fantastic stories. When he realized we would be camping out in the cold, he opened his home and luxury caravan for us to sleep in.

The next day he gave us coffee and took us on a 4X4 trail through his beautiful property.


  1. Hi, well, actually Gert's 3 daughters each has a vuvuzela (and not a flag on the car). Otherwise fine, have a lovely journey and wonderful adventures.

  2. Hallo Anna-Marie
    Sorry about the mix-up, my awful handwriting was made worse by the bends of the coastal road, and we were so excited to finally get picked up that I thought he said "flags". But vuvuzelas are much better anyway!
    Say hi to Gert.

  3. Really looking forward to following your journey! Wish this Gretel could have come along for the ride! Live it!