Johannesburg to Capetown,
15. January till 11. Febuary 2006
After Gerdi takes off towards Vienna I do not feel
like traveling too much that day. Interesting is the fact that my
cell phone breaks down on the same day and we can’t even send
each other text messages anymore.
Since I have already seen plenty of elephants it is easy for me
to skip the Kruger National Park. Instead of going there I take
the side roads towards Cape Town. Between endless meadows and farm
areas I enjoy the pure Africaans back country.
The side road ride is just a phantastic gravel travel since most
of the dirt tracks are narrow and crooky. And suddenly I arrive
in Tarkastaat, a little town in the middle of nowhere.
When asking for a camp ground I get invited for beer in the local
Rino Bar and after a day in the saddle it would have been too hard
to say “no”. Dirt and dust covered as I am they invite
me to spend some days on a farm that has twice the size of Vienna.
„Wanna shoot with a real hunting rifle?“ As I join Poacher
(he is a professional hunter but his nick name is really Poacher!)
and his friends on a private game drive, a kind of safari, I would
of course take the chance to shoot with that thing.
as a typical Middle European you are not really confronted with
guns and for sure I don’t know what 416-Rigby means. Today
I know better – they use that amunition to kill elephants
and buffaloes! Imagine box champion Mike Thyson hitting your shoulder
cause he thinks you are after his girl friend – this might
be the same impact as the recoild of that rifle.
trip continues and again I see the Indian Ocean.
From being a Cowboy I turn into a Beach Boy and spend some days
in cool surfer athmosphere.
For the last time the chain has to be tightened. I had put it on
in Turkey but now it has really done its job and hangs down almost
to the ground. But it will make it from Port Elisabeth to
Cape Town on the famous Garden Route.
Betty’s Bay Bruce and I meet again. We had
met for the first time in Ethiopia when he was going North and meanwhile
he flew back from Jordan to Cape Town. Fortunately he has a crate
for the bike (same model as mine!) left over and I buy that wooden
box from him. Cape Town is just one day away and I think of Paris
– Dakkar rallye pilots who get psychological support when
they notice that they win the race. In my case a chat with people
I meet on the road does the same job!
Just before CapeTown the first spokes get pulled out of the rim.
This is a late result of the pot hole impact in Sudan. I tighten
them with cable straps to prevent them from causing bigger damage.
most southern point of africa
Cape Agulhas is the most Southern point of Africa! An
old British gentleman sees my number plate and shakes my hand without
saying a word – but the spark in his eyes says much more.
Big day is 20 January! NOTHING compares to the feeling when arriving
in Cape Town after such a crazy, great and wonderful ride across
the African continent. I roll down town on a clear sunny blue sky
afternoon with tears of happiness in my eyes. One hour of crowded
life is worth more than a life without a name. My aura must have
been so strong that suddenly the entire city has a black out. Friday
afternoon, everybody on the road to leave town and no traffic light
works – was funny to look at!
(from Lion's Head)
Town has a lot to offer. Street artists on Water Front, Party life
on Long Street or seagulls that steal your sandwich from your hand.
find time to heal an infection on my leg from surfing which was
the only health problem on the trip. Some shipping companies offer
to ship my bike back.
one day the Table mountain burns! A tourist had
thrown away a cigarette with dramatic consequences!
Helicopters fly for days with water bombs but still some houses
get destroyed by the fire.
Of course a day trip to Cape of Good Hope is part of every Cape
Town tourist. In Simons Town the owner of a restaurant gives me
a bottle of red wine to show his enthusiasm for the trip.
The botanic gardens of Cape Town are inviting to
read books, the aquarium is certainly worth visiting.
Beach #2 is meeting point of fire artists every Monday, and a great
thing to do is to climb up Lions head to get a phantastic view on
down town Cape Town.
One day the shipping company calls to inform me that it’s
time for getting the bike customs cleared. Shipping a motorbike
from South Africa to Austria is not like buying a tram way ticket.
So for the last time I have that Easy Rider feeling, rolling down
the highway, heavy metal thunder, looking for adventure and what
ever comes up to me … born to be wild! Then I face the down
grade from king of the road to simple pedestrian.
Mud guards have to be taken off, front fork disassembeled and even
a tire has to be taken off the rim. One day of screwing and in the
end the whole thing is packed in a wooden crate. Mission accomplished.
With a group of friends we celebrate farewell and finally a draught
through time and space pulls me back to freezing winter Vienna.
My girlfriend and family are more than happy to see me – a
I remember one moment in the airplane when the captain informed
us that the plane was 300km north of Karthoum, Sudan. I looked out
of the window and could see the Nile again reflecting the moon light