We planned to travel through for Africa in one year, as the kids grow very fast and so do we.
“Which coast? East or West?” we asked ourselves while looking at the map in a truck of Dutch travelers that were camping next to us in India.
We travel with our fingered map routes in a continent which we think is huge, or better said is enormous.
“East” we decided. “It is where more animals are.”
LEKKER, BAIE LEKKER – PLEASANT, VERY PLEASANT
As a child I always wanted to come to Africa and I could not get in better time than the day of my birthday. It is the best gift I could have received.
Meeting the car in the Port of Durban after 2 months of not seeing him; is exciting. Even the kids were moved. For them the car is not only that, it is their home; it contains their toys, their books and their imagination.
For me, seeing the car means journeys, roads travelled, moments and experiences… It is incredible to contemplate the car stepping for first time on the African Continent and see our encounter with him in this new place of the world. What I feel is very strong. I imagine in this moment everything that may happen in these lands or what lies ahead: The surprises, the challenges, and all the good that is still to come. It also scares me, but it moves me. I know that adventure and challenges will come and at the same time I love it. I caress his fender and I am moved into tears. I welcome him to our new destination: South Africa!
Herman: The first feeling that I have on having come to the African Soil, is that I get to the land of my ancestors… a few generations ago, a few thousands of years ago, my ancestors… began a journey from Africa to Europe and from there to America. We traveled through Australia and then Asia to come to Africa! Now, from South Africa we will reach Europe and from there America. It is a journey to begin again and follow in my ancestors footprints.
My great – great – great – great GrandPa.
Speaking of beginning again… We should have begun the trip here! It is here that we find the answer. The questions that we are always asked by people are: What we are going to do if the money runs out or if we get sick, what will happen if the car breaks down and where do we get spares from? Answer to all these questions in South Africa is simple "A boer maak plan" (We'll make a plan) and as they also say it is 100% true.
In addition: Do you know how a man eats a whole elephant in Africa?
One bite at a time!
And is exactly this way, how we are accomplishing our Dream.
But the truth is…it is good that we haven’t begun in South Africa. The fact is that the plan before coming was only to stay for 2 months. Actually, in just a few days we will fulfill a year of being in this country! Plus, if we started here 13 years ago… we would still continue here. We feel at home. It is difficult to choose which family to call, when we have as nice and as many invitations. Some here, others over there, no matter where they are… we feel at home with the 74 families with whom we stay. They love their land, they understand dreams, travel and adventures, are very family oriented. It is totally natural for them to accommodate us and as always: “A boer maak a plan”.
With diamond divers, with pilots of small planes, with farmers, bishops and nuns, with collectors of steam train and cars, restorers, on vineyards, farms, missions, in cities, in Zulu houses, in hotels of all stars, on game farms with wild animals and safaris… with all of them and more, we’ve stayed.
A Vintage Car Train designed by Wilfred Mole in Sandstone Estates pulling the car.
8 Oxen and an Ox Wagon in Sandstone Estates pulling the car. Fun!!
If we came to Africa to see animals, this was a great start. It is a completely different world and with so many National parks. In a single day we saw 14 rhinoceros or a group of 9 lions or elephants, giraffes, wild boar, zebras, cheetahs, antelopes and more… Even in a town we have come across a hippopotamus that was wandering down the street.
“Where would you like to go on your first day in South Africa?” ask the owner of the Bed and Breakfast when we arrived in Johannesburg. Then he continues: “Here in this city there are many things to do, science and history museums to visit, craft markets, you can go to a nearby park or you can go with the kids to…”
Herman interrupts him. “Where is the closest butchery?”
The bewildered man does not understand, but we do. Coming from Tibet, Nepal and India where we were almost vegetarian we had to find a butchery. What good meat it is: LEKKER! BAIE LEKKER!
This way we said our good-byes thinking what a nice welcome to Africa we have had!
Even the Graham is grateful for all those services, repairs, replacement parts and its new wheels it has received.
Brian Style Professional Helpers!!!
Mouton to our rescue – Brian y Paul Koski, new axles
South Africa has everything and gave us everything. Thank you very much!
We are already missing you a lot!!!