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Keeping It Real

Charl lives in Cape Town and is a keen rider. We could also say he is some sort of an urban priest, a welcoming guru to his Bikers’ Church, where he’s working to offer hope to many lost souls. He read our story on advrider.com and invited us for lunch. What a find! Charl has become a friend and a solid source of information, helping us to find the affordable accommodation at the surf house, a fitting shop and even a free garage so I can service my bike. But the best part of the day trip we took with Charl and two of his biking mates. We left at a frisky 6.00 a.m., so we pushed the snooze at 5.00.

After Ceres the traffic slowed down, sketchy zulu and xhosa barracks stopped popping from behind the swanky white neighborhoods and protea, the national flower in SA, took ver reign. Innumerable buses bearing the pink prickly beauty covered the hills that soon swelled into mountains. Soon the roads become too narrow to allow two bikes side by side. Bend after bend we felt again our hearts pumping with joy, the world was ours, we were young, and nothing could go wrong. Baboons in winter coats seamed to agree. The horizon was wide and deep.

We lined up to let our metal horses cool down and to enjoy the view over the veld. It felt good to knowthat we were heading over there.

In the middle of this deserted oness of plants and mineral perfection, two free souls, brothers, piled onion sacks on top of the thirsty land and built a home. Not far from there an equally hippie pub offers homemade ginger beer, scones, preserves and tea to lost travelers who stumble upon this lonely places.

The youngest brother

The dormant architects in us appreciated the interesting “agro” decor.

The original window bars, a nice touch!


The flag from the Apartheid era, reason fro some inflated passions

This break was spot on

Beyond this remote retreat we would part ways: the guys were going to continue East and return the next day, we were riding north to Stonehenge, the location for the Africa Burns festival.

The heat intensified, as if someone had left a cooking stiff burning. 40 kays and a couple of funky gates further, we were pushing it uphill on the lost path that stretches across the lost end of April home of fringe South African artists. Every year the whackiest people gather in this desolate place at the end of summer, when finally the air cools to a bearable 30sh something. They arrive in search of inspiration, a whole community of wild campers toting along some of the most amazing pieces of kinetic art. The cooky machines have a short lived destiny: their ephemeral magic will last only as long as the festival. Om the last day the intoxicated stampede will turn arsonist, setting everything on fire, so next year new inspiration will be born out of nothing again. The Cerberus of this jolly Hades is Bernard, a lovely Malawian dude based on the premises since a couple of years ago.

Some remnants of last year or some anonymous work in progress litter the veld.

We enjoyed a beer with the dudes who take care of the place – the so-called African ‘Stonehenge’. We would have loved to stay over for the festival, to join in ecstasy the 5000 people strong gang of creatives and their wacky machines. Maybe some other time. To go back, we chose to drive along False Bay, to smell the dearly missed Indian Ocean. Its warmer waters wrinkled in rapid waves, the beaches stretched forever in the haze of yet another sunset that only Cape peninsula can deliver. Too late to drive thru the Cape of Good Hope park though: too pricey to dedicate just 20 minutes, we’ll have to come back or forget about it. But not too late to drive the madness that is called Chapman’s Peak. Bents and insane views that only a Mission Impossible writer would imagine, nature has frivolously put them together along this scenic drive that any petrol head must do. As the darns took over, we had arrived in Table View. We were home. Our last standing brain cell barely recorded that we had driven over 600 kays: maybe a record distance months ago (even if a seizable part of this distance was off-road), had become now a normal feat.


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