Hello. Let me start by saying that there are some things which photos simply cannot capture and that words cannot describe. These past five days which i spent in the mountains are those type of things.
Plans are like water here. They shift and change like nobody’s business.
Last post, i put forward the question, “Is it safer to walk home alone in the dark in Pretoria or get a ride from an inebriated motorcycler?”
Well, just after my friend dropped me off last wednesday, he crashed his motorbike and severely broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder.
We were going to take a magical bus up to the mountains. As it turned out, my friends Gram, Yonni and i took this magical 22 year old Volkswagen. It looks like a car, drives like a truck and lasts like a tank.
For those of you who might like to follow adventures on a map, this will be a very difficult journey to trace for a couple of reasons. First off, the new government is renaming everything in SA because of the scars of Apartheid, and second, i can barely pronounce, let alone spell, most of the places we went.
The first night, we drove into the bush and cooked some dinner and had a fire. Then, we stayed at a friend’s house in Ellis Rush.
The next day, we went down to a lake.
Gram is actually building a cabin there.
Then, we went to meet up with a local music legend. He is Gram’s brother. He sits on a mountain and makes music all day every day. He is also scared of technology and will not let most people hear his music, because they may steal it. We jammed together a lot in those few days.
Later on, a bunch of us went to a river for some swimming….
…and some jumping.
(let me admit now, i jumped from the meager hight of that little green bush there. My sprained ankle is still not such a fan of impact, but i couldn’t be a total pansy and not jump at all.)
Then, later that night, my friends in the band SoulJah got me into a rock festival for free. It was awesome. In return for the admission, i took some pictures, which turned out pretty badly. I need some practice being a band photographer.
A whole bunch of us stayed up all night. We cooked a nice meal on a camp stove at one in he morning by a lake and then went to a pub on top of a mountain. I jammed on guitar with some of the guys from one of the more famous bands around here. That’s one thing that’s nice here; the people in the bands remember that they are just people and remain quite accessible to the general public.
Anyhow, around about sunrise, a bunch of us loaded in some trucks and drove to an organic farm and slept there and camped out. Like so:
I found the location to be far too magical to get right to sleep. I took a good long walk in the fresh morning before going to bed. This is one instance where my camera fails to capture the magic…
i walked all through the farm and into the indigenous forrest.
(i wanted to think of something sensible to write here, because the picture above and the one below are slightly different widths, and rather than fussing with little ratios and all that jazz, i wanted to hide that fact by distancing them with some words….However, i count these words as a failure just as much as a kid in a game of hide-and-go-seek trying to conceal himself behind a sign that boldly reads, “hey, look! i’m right flippin’ here!” because afterall i am calling your attention if anything.)
All along the fringes of the forest, there are beautiful flowers, like these:
i was attacked by a ferocious dog. We made friends. He then joined me for a good part of my stroll…
i bid the beautiful morning goodnight and took a nap for a few hours.
That night, a bunch of us mountain people went up to the top of a mountain. We were all singing. Some of us were drinking or smoking. But we were all enjoying ourselves.
We watched a thunderstorm roll through the dark valley and over the twinkeling lights of the town for a couple of hours. Many times, we saw lightening strike the ground; one of those times, there was a giant explosion of green flame that filled the sky and all the lights in the valley went out. It is a new goal of mine to git a good picture of lightening–oh what a challenging thing to do. Late that night, we missioned back to Gram’s family’s house to sleep.
The next day (yesterday, now) we made the journey back to Pretoria.
We all concluded that it is not good for countryboys to be in the city for too long. We got our fix of country, and now here we are, back in the purple city, which is indeed fading to green…