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Lasam fitzele de orasean la o parte/ Keeping It Real

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Su Shi

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Charl locuieste in Cape Town si este pasionat de motociclete. Am putea spune ca e un preot urban. Ne-a citit povestile pe advrider.com si ne-a invitat la pranz. Ce descoperire! In zilele urmatoare Charl avea sa devina o sursa de incredere pentru orientarea in Cape Town: contacte pentru a gasi cazare in casa de surferi, Trac Mac, chiar si un garaj al unui amic care sa imi permita sa lucrez la moto gratuit si in liniste. Insa partea cea mai tare a fost tripul pe care l-am facut impreuna cu Charl si alti doi localnici catre centrul tarii. Startul s-a dat la un racoros 6 dimineata, asa ca am facut ochi la 5.

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.

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Dupa Ceres traficul s-a stins, casele de albi si cotetele de negri au lasat locul tufelor imense de protea - floarea nationala a Africii de Sud - iar drumul s-a ingustat in curbe care ne-au impins inainte, prin pasul Bainskloof si Katbakkies. Ride-ul a fost prea misto ca sa ne oprim sa facem poze: adrenalina pura, ac de par dupa ac de par, peretele de stanca din ce in ce mai la buza prapastiei, pe alocuri atat de strans, incat nu ar fi fost suficient loc pentru a trece doua motociclete una pe langa cealalta. Taramul babuinilor: in cojoace de iarna, camuflati printre busteni uscati de toamna tarzie. In zare, norii se risipeau sub soare, si incepeam sa zarim vastul peisaj salbatic catre care ne indreptam. Cum am atins macadamul, am inceput sa frematam toti trei, eu, Ana si Tenere, bucurandu-ne de libertatea ragasita. Orasul era departe, ne simteam din nou nomazi, si lumea, cat vedeam cu ochii, era a noastra. 

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. 

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IMG_9514.jpgNe-am aliniat motoarele pe drum si ne-am lasat ochii hai-hui peste intiderea de pustiu si lumina. Mergeam intr-acolo, si era bine.

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.

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IMG_9538.jpgIn mijlocul pustietatii, doi frati hippioti si-au construit o casa din saci de ceapa, au sapat un put si au inaltat o pompa eoliana care scoate apa sarata din piatra seaca. La o aruncatura de bat de barlogul lor eco, au deschis un magazin in care vand gemuri si fursecuri de casa si bere de ginger, iar alaturi o carciuma simpatica pentru drumetii care se ratacesc pe aceste coclauri pierdute in nicaieri. 

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. 

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IMG_9556.jpgFratele mai mic

The youngest brother

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IMG_9564.jpgRooibosul e din partea casei, si merge cu tematica “agricola” pe care am apreciat-o cu ochi de arhitect plecat into the world.

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

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IMG_9563.jpgUn detaliu fain: gratiile la ferestre, facute din furci!

The original window bars, a nice touch!

IMG_9561.jpgSteagul fostei republici sud-africane, din perioada apartheidului (pe care multi o regreta mai mult sau mai putin pe fata)

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

IMG_9562.jpgNe-am bucurat de popas

This break was spot on

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IMG_9549.jpgMai departe urma sa mergem pe drumuri separate: cei trei vor continua spre est inca o o zi, pentru a se intoarce dupa weekend. Iar noi mergeam sa exploram nitel locatia unuia dintre cele mai interesante happeninguri din lume: versiunea africa a celebrului Burning Man.

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. 

IMG_9585.jpgAfrica Burns are loc la sfarsitul lui aprilie, cand caldura dementa din desert se potoleste cat sa permita unei colonii de artisti si oarecare sa instaleze o colonie temporara. La sfarsitul festivalului creatiile sunt incinerate, pentru a permite inspiratiei sa renasca din cenusa, reinventata, re-creata, anul urmator. Cerberul acestei comunitati aparte vine din Malawi si se numeste Bernard.

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.

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IMG_9608.jpgResturi de anul trecut sau creatii in lucru zac in arsita.

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

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IMG_9605.jpgAm baut o bere cu baietii care o ard in asa numitul ‘Stonehenge’ - ne-ar fi placut sa fie sfarsit de aprilie si sa ne alaturam hoardei de 5000 de creativi. Poate cu alta ocazie… Aveam de facut cale intoarsa catre Cape Town, si i-am dat bice, topind pneurile pe intinderea de pietris si lumina. La intrarea in Peninsula Capului am vazut pentru prima data dupa multi ani oceanul Indian: aglomerat de valuri, mai cald si mai albastru decat fratele sau Atlantic, nisipurile adunate la tarm insa la fel de luminiscente si ireale. In lumina apusului muntele si-a intors umerii colturosi catre noi, i-am admirat pletele de fynbos si i-am cazut prada, re-indragostiti, fermecati. Eram acasa in Cape Town, prea tarziu pentru a intra la Capul Bunei Sperante peste care spiritul capitalist apus o usturatoare taxa de intrare, nu prea tarziu insa pentru a ne distra pe curbele nebunesti de pe Chapman’s Peak. Drive-ul s-a incheiat in golful nostru linistit, de unde am zarit inca, in intunericul noptii, silueta muntelui ‘masa’. Inainte sa cadem lati de oboseala am remarcat cu ultimul neuron ramas activ ca am parcurs peste 600 de kilometri, multi off-rad. Pe nesimtite, ceea ce acum luni de zile era un accident, incepe sa devina o obisnuinta: limita de anduranta s-a modificat.

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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