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Zvastica, Omul de Fier si Magicianul - Partea II / The Swastica, The Ironman, The Metal Jockey and The Magician - Part II

Su Shi

209 vizualizări

Couchsurfing in East London & Durban 16 - 27/04


Am plecat de la ferma Avon Heights intr-o dimineata rece, incotosmanati cu tot ce am gasit prin bagaje. Drumul de-a latul muntelui, apoi printre fanete si pe poteci pietroase de tara ne-a luat o buna parte din zi. Spre dupa-amiaza am regasit asfaltul, am luat inca un pranz de pui si legume (mancarea de supermarket e chiar ok in AS), apoi am mers intins pana in Gonubie. 

We left Avon Heights on a chilly morning, wearing almost everything that we’ve got. Across the mountain, then through some farmland and rocky trails, the ride to East London took the better part of the day. We reached tarmac again in the afternoon, stopped for another barbecued chicken and veggies lunch, then rolled into Gonubie.


Chiar si pe drumurile singuratice de tara bietele animale salbatice cad victime traficului

This poor fluffy jackal had been hit by a car, even in this lost land


Un cartier de provincie pentru negri si metisi 

A puzzle of suburban homes for coloreds and blacks. Something that in South Africa is called  ’township’.


Amicul nostru din Cape Town a fost primul care ne-a sugerat sa ne intalnim cu un anume Metal Jockey, ‘tartorul’ comunitatii moto sud-africane. In Port Elizabeth am primit acelasi sfat, in unanimitate. Aventurile moto ale lui MJ fac valva pe Asa ca i-am batut la poarta si am petrecut o seara impreuna. Tipul face mai mult decat cinste legendei. Ca sa nu mai vorbim de nevasta si copil. Nu am avut decat o seara de braai la dispozitie, dar a fost una pe cinste! Multumim, Metal Jockey & co. Daca intr-o zi o sa am un plod, sper sa am curaj sa fac in continuare ceea ce iubesc, sa il/o leg de motocicleta si sa raman cine sunt. 

Am plecat la jumatatea diminetii si pe drum am hotarat sa tragem tare: 675 km pana in Durban. Noroc ca drumurile sunt foarte bune! Am traversat repede pitorescul Transkei, desi am intalnit multe STOP-uri si drumuri in lucru. In zare Drakensberg si Lesotho promiteau aventuri viitoare. Soarele si-a vazut de treaba, insa odata disparut sub orizont, am cazut prada unui vant rece care ne-a patruns pana in oase. Incepeam sa ne facem un obicei din a ajunge la destinatie pe intuneric; am intrat in Kloof, o suburbie la cativa km de Durban pe la 8 seara, dupa ce am depasit o naluca, dar si o imagine familiara la periferia metropolei.

Our big hearted main man from Cape Town had been the first to suggest we should meet a certain Metal Jockey. In PE it seem to be unanimously agreed that that was a good idea. So we popped in, our only chance to meet the legend. And the man, not to mention the wife and the kid, were up to the hype. Their ride reports on advrider are a must read. Our encounter was brief, but rich. These people are keeping it real. One day, if I’ll have a kid of my own, I hope I’ll have the balls to follow MJ’s example and strap him or her to my bike and keep on being myself and do what I love best. Cheers guys for the braai and book!

We left late morning and on the way we decided we would push the 675 km to Durban. Lucky that the roads are top notch! We zoomed across the picturesque Transkei countryside, stalled by STOP sighs and roadworks. In the background the Drakensberg and Lesotho lured us to future adventures. The sun followed its prescribed route and as soon as it fell behind the horizon a cold wind gripped. We arrived in the Kloof suburb of Durban metropolitan area late at night, after passing by a familiar industrial sight. It had become a habit to reach our day’s target by darkness. 


In 1497, in ziua de Craciun, Vasco da Gama ajungea pe aceste tarmuri pe care avea sa le boteze Natal. In prezent Durban este cel mai mare port industrial de marfa din Africa de Sud si o mecca pentru turisti. Noi venisem insa doar datorita unui telefon neasteptat. Dupa toate aparentele, aveam sa ne incheiem traseul pe canapelele unor compatrioti. Martin si Camelia sunt stabiliti de 20 de ani in Durban. la scurt timp dupa revolutia din ‘89 au pariat pe libertate si au castigat. Astazi sunt si cetateni sudafricani si duc o viata confortabila, care le-a permis sa calatoreasca si sa viseze la o aventura over-land de-a lungul coastei de est a Africii, din Cape Town pana in Cairo si Bucuresti. Intamplator au aflat de prezenta noastra de la consulatul roman si, cum in cateva zile urmau sa isi transforme visul in realitate, ne-au invitat sa ne cunoastem si sa impartim povesti si planuri de drum.  

Amanuntul surpriza insa a fost faptul ca Andrei, fiul lui Martin si al Cameliei, este magician. Foarte tanar, foarte talentat. Ca sa fiti vrajiti de poate cele mai tari numere de magie insa, trebuie sa luati avionul pana in Durban.

In 1497 Vasco da Gama named this stretch of coast Natal (Nativity), having reached it on Christmas Day. Today Durban is the municipality of KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa’s biggest general cargo port and a mecca for holiday makers. We had come here invited by the most unlikely family that had accidentally learned about us. It looked like our couch surfing journey across South Africa would end among compatriots and now citizens of this land.  Twenty years ago, Martin and Camelia gambled their life, left a newly freed of communism Romania, and won. Today they are living a comfortably if not wealthy life, which has allowed them to own property in exotic places and even indulge in the fantasy of overland travel. In a couple of days, they would be making the fantasy a 4x4 reality, taking the road from Cape Town to Cairo and Bucharest

One of the coolest thing is that their son, Andy is a magician. A very young & talented one. To get your mind blown by some of the most new age magic numbers though, you must travel to Durban, before this guy will explode on the international scene.


Iubita lui Andrei, Candace - jumatate femeie, jumatate zana, de profesie terapeut 

Andy’s sweetheart, the half woman, half fairy Candace, a massage therapist and healer.


Am fost primiti cu ospitalitate romaneasca: supa de perisoare… 

We were received with Romanian meatball soup


Slana si ceapa rosie… 

Pork rind and red onion - another Romanian ‘snack’


Romanii sunt printre putinii albi care savureaza amassi (lapte batut african). Localnicii il mananca cu mamaliga (pap).

Romanians must be amongst the few whites who savor African maas or amassi (sour milk). Locals eat it with pap (maize meal similar to our polenta).


Audrey, o angajata la curatenie, care locuieste cu chirie (cam 35 de euro/luna) in apropiere de cartier. 

Audrey, the maid. She rents a room close to Kloof for 350 rand/month (about 35 euros).


Durban are tot: cartier de afaceri, agrement, plaje cu ape calde numai bune pentru surferi, parcuri nationale pentru escapade pe jos si cafenele sarmante pe Florida Road.

Durban has a lot to offer: bustling city life, mild beaches, great surf, hiking trails in the Kloof Gorge and a heap of pleasant cafes along Florida Road.










Atmosfera urbana




O lampa din sticle de lapte intr-un bar in Durban

A funky way to recycle: making lamps out of discarded milk bottles


Stadionul King Senzangakhona, contruit cu ocazia Cupei Mondiale din 2010 (capacitate 80,000 locuri)

The new football stadium, built for the 2010 World Cup





Biserica Scientologica nu putea rata un centru financiar de talia Durban-ului

The Scientologists couldn’t miss to have a share of the pie


Sud Africa detine cea mai mare corporatie care fabrica bere din lume.

South African breweries are world’s biggest.


Cat ne-am organizat bagajele si ne-am pregatit pentru continuarea calatoriei pe coasta de est, ne-am zis ca dam o fuga, fara bagaje, pana in Sani Pass si Lesotho. Am legat doar cortul si saltelele de Tenere, am umplut un rucsac cu mancare si am pornit pe sosea inspre regatul alpin. 

While sorting our shit out and gearing up for the continuation of Into The World we had an attempt to do Sani Pass on a light set up, with just the tent and mattresses strapped to the bike. Even if we took the tarred road to Sani, the ride was great, the green mountains stretching forever. 




Esec total! La doar 50 de km de granita am observat ca guma Heidenau de pe spate se de-lamina, si in curand o bucata considerabila de cauciuc s-a dezlipit. Hai sa ne riscam pana la frontiera, ne-am spus, dar ajunsi la ghiseu, situatia parea dezastruoasa. Dovada:

Epic fail. 50 km before the border I noticed that the back Heidenau had been delaminating and soon a big piece of rubber fell off. We though we would give it a go, but at the border we decided it was too risky to head into Lesotho like that. Figure for yourselves:


Ar fi fost inutil sa ne aventuram asa in Lesotho, o tara pastorala unde in cazul unei pene riscam tot felul de complicatii. Asa ca ne-am intors cu coada intre picioare in Durban, un pic cam sifonati, chiar daca drumul la vale e superb.

So we returned to Durban, kinda pissed, even if the ride down was fantastic.







Cu siguranta ne vom intoarce pentru a termina ce am inceput

We would definitely give this place another shot



Norocul nostru a fost ca ne aflam in zona Durban: baietii de la Bike Gear Port Elizabeth de unde luasem cauciucul au fost ultra rapizi si ne-au facut legatura cu Gear Up in Umhlanga, unde in cateva ore problema era rezolvata, gratis. Pentru ca nu am gasit Heidenau pe stoc, am ales Michelin Anakee 2, cu care speram sa ajungem pana in Europa. Din pacate asta inseamna ca ne vom abtine de la drumuri nebunesti.

We were lucky to return to the city: the guys at Bike Gear in PE were fast in sourcing us a free replacement tyre. A quick visit to Gear Up in Umhlanga was all it took. We couldn’t find another Heidenau, so, taking into consideration the state of the roads up the East coast, we decided for a Michelin Anakee 2. Hopefully we are not sacrifing our love for off-roading in vain and this tyre will last to Europe.



Dar Calatorului ii sta bine cu drumul. Asa ca bagajele odata facute si moto gata de aventura, ne-am luat luat la revedere de la Martin & Camelia. Multumim, prieteni, drum bun si noroc in calatorie!

But a Travellers’ life is the road, so off we went. Good bye Martin & Camelia and safe travels along the East coast of Africa!



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