Written by: Patrick Tillard
It was the first time that I’d really noticed stars. By which I mean that I truly had my gaze taken hostage, my neck snapped skywards and my mouth left unwittingly agape. As I sat clasping an icy lager around a campfire in Sossusvlei, a blizzard of stars littered the heavens like glitter; piercing the inky darkness with a savagery that I never knew possible. It was like nothing that I’d ever experienced before. Nothing I’d ever felt before. And it was about to be just one of many highlights on this epic journey through Southern and Eastern Africa.
We had harboured the idea for some time: five friends, four months, 20,000 miles in a rustic Land Rover Defender; exploring societies, dodging the helter-skelter of everyday life and immersing ourselves in the vivid beauty of this eclectic continent.
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DISCOVERING THE TRUE VALUE OF SPONTANEITY ON A FIVE MONTH ROAD TRIP
by JEFF TYSER & KERRYN-LEE MAGGS 24 October, 2014
Day one. It had been dark for nearly an hour by the time we arrived at the campsite near Kuruman in the Northern Cape, and one of our rules was to never drive at night. It wasn’t a very good start.
Being the Easter weekend, the place was packed. The last vacant site was a patch of red Kalahari sand beside a half-built ablution block. It would have to do. Ensconced in their laagers, seated around expertly made fires, the bush-hardened 4×4 set stared as we pitched our little tent for the very first time. They would have heard our whinging too: ‘Where did you pack the headlamps?’ ‘What are we going to eat?’ ‘How did all this sand get into my sleeping bag?’ ‘Why did we leave Jo’burg so late?’
It was the first night of the greatest adventure of our lives, and we were supposed to be bursting with anticipation and excitement. But we couldn’t help but feel completely out of place.
The years leading up to our departure had been filled with much planning, preparing, scheming and strategising