Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wild Coast to Durban

Road Trip Log Thursday April 14th, 2011
Jeffreys Bay departure.
Back cruising on the N2.
Petrol stop in Port Elizabeth.
Caffeine stop in Grahamstown.
Then north into the country side.
Mountain bound on Route 67.
Past waterproof shepherds.
Into the wet green altitude,
into Tolkien's playground.
The original "Middle Earth".
Hogsback, South Africa.
Couch surfing on the bluff.
Up in impenetrable fog clouds.
Damp to the bone.
Warm fire refuge with new friends.
Libations and storytelling until shut-eye.
Morning waterfall hiking.
Lunch and whisky at a 125 year old tavern.
Half-day of nothing.
Then back on the road,
towards the coast.
The Wild Coast.
Dodging hitchhikers and cattle,
goats and potholes.
And more potholes.
And always hitchhikers.
To Coffee Bay and the rolling Indian Ocean.
$4 beach hostel fish n' chip dinner.
Way off the grid.
Trading rolling papers for a fragment of internet.
Midnight drum circle.
Fade to black.
Breakfast in the car.
8 hours to Durban.
In the rain.
All day.
Kokstok petrol...Westside!
Rolling into civilization.
Rental car return.
Durban without bust.

Sketch - Cape Town to DurbanSketch - Cape Town to Durban

Madonna & Child WaterfallMadonna & Child Waterfall - Hogsback, South Africa

Road to Coffee Bay #1Road to Coffee Bay #1

Road to Coffee Bay #2Road to Coffee Bay #2

Westside"Westside" - Kokstad, South Africa. Ronnie, Mzingisi & Mlungisi at a petrol stop in Kokstad, South Africa. You can't pump your own gas in South Africa so sometimes I got to know the guys doing it for me.

Umhlanga PierUmhlanga Pier - Durban, South Africa

Gorilla Sticker Sighting #0080 - DurbanGorilla Sticker Sighting #0080 - Location: Umhlanga Beach - Durban, South Africa

Sketch - Umhlanga PierSketch - Umhlanga Pier

Currently Listening To:
Song: How We Roll (listen)
Artist: Plushgun (myspace)

Currently Reading:
The Places In Between
by Rory Stewart

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Till There Is No More South

Road Trip Log: Tuesday - April 12th, 2011
Rental car in Cape Town.
Driving for the first time in a year,
on the opposite side of the road.
To Cape Agulhas or bust.
The most southern point in Africa.
Arrived mid-day.
Climbed the lighthouse,
and peered out at the surf
where the Atlantic and Indian meet.
Refueled in the tiny town on calamari and chips.
Then back to highway N2.
Through rolling farmland,
and road trip oddities.
Past the town of George,
And into a foggy, dicey driving night.
Ghosting our way into Sedgefield gas station,
where we met a rad facebook friend...
for the first time in person.
Followed her old VW beetle for 10k
down a secluded mountain road
to a cabin in the woods.
Eerie pitch black night.
But safe.
Rest day in Knysna,
and then back on the road.
To Monkeyland primate sanctuary.
My peeps.
Then the suspension-bridge cliffs of Storms River.
End stop - a hostel in Jeffreys Bay.
Our first night not coach surfing.
Can hear baboons howling,
and oceans waves rolling in.
Salty ocean air (smells like home).

Driving on the opposite side of the road in AfricaDriving for the first time in a year. On the opposite side of the road. In Africa.

Road Trip OdditiesRoad Trip Oddities

Cape Agulhas LighthouseCape Agulhas Lighthouse

Atop the LighthouseAnnie atop the lighthouse

Standing Against the Southern Cape WindStanding against the southern cape wind

Where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Meet - Cape AgulhasWhere the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet

Storms River Suspension BridgeStorms River suspension bridge

Gorilla Sticker Sighting #0079 - SupertubesGorilla Sticker Sighting #0079 - Supertubes

Currently Listening To:
Song: Wandering Around (listen)
Artist: Coconut Records (myspace)

Currently Reading:
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cape of Good Hope

Couch surf.
Weet-Bix for breakfast.
Coastal day trip.
Past the ostriches.
Till there is no more South.
To the end of Africa.
To baboonville.
Along towering cliffs,
and WWII bunkers.
Up the stairs to the old lighthouse,
and international stone signatures.
Crashing waves below.
Cape Point.
Cape of Good Hope.

Sketchbook - Baboons

Cape Point CliffsThe cliffs at Cape Point

Cape of Good Hope wild ostrichesWild ostriches at the Cape of Good Hope

Gorilla Sticker Sighting 0078 - Cape Point LookoutGorilla Sticker Sighting 0078 - Cape Point Lookout

Cape Point LighthousesCape Point Lighthouse

Sketchbook - Cape Point Lighthouse

Currently Listening To:
Song: Thistle & Weeds (listen)
Artist: Mumford & Sons (official website)

Currently Reading:
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy

Monday, April 4, 2011

South Africa - Arrival and Roadtrip

On a spur of the moment trip Annie and I find ourselves in South Africa for a month. Being our first time in Africa, it feels kind of surreal. Two weeks ago going to Africa was not even on our radar. However after hearing that the flight from Buenos Aires to Johannesburg was only 9 hours and relatively inexpensive compared to other international travel, and the fact that we'd be able to stay with friends part of the trip and Couch Surf the rest, we determined South Africa was something we could make happen on our travel budget. So we went for it, and two days later we found ourselves here.

After flying into Johannesburg we scored a free ride to Cape Town via our friends Jonathan and Wendy. The catch - all we had to do was keep Jonathan's 19 year old daughter Michelle company on her first big cross-country roadtrip back to college. Deal.

Packed to the brim in her tiny Rav4, we zipped southwest across the interior of South Africa. Other than it holding wildlife like baboons, monkeys and other crazy four-legged things I don't even know the name of, the landscape we passed was not much different than that of the south western United States - expansive and desolate.

After covering roughly 750 miles (1200 km) and thoroughly sampling the fast food of South African freeway stops, we found ourselves pulling into the stunning mountains of Cape Town just before dusk on the second day. And so begins our week (maybe more) at the Cape.

a new sketchbook begins...

we past miles of sunflower fields

Currently Listening To:
Song: Bottom of the World (listen)
Artist: Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton (official website)

Currently Reading:
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 1000

Today is day number 1000 since moving away from the U.S., from home, to experience living abroad and seeing the world from another perspective. To tell the truth I didn't expect there to be a Day 1000. I thought we would have made it home by now. And I for sure didn't expect the one thousandth day to be Day #1 of a road trip through South Africa, but if I've learned anything throughout all of these days about living abroad it's that life is unpredictable and you never know what any 24 hour period is going to bring, pleasant or otherwise.

I've learned to more quickly adapt to life without. The internet not working. A subway line shutdown. Soy milk out of stock at the grocery store (for 2 months). Or, like last week, the power going out and getting stuck in a pitch black elevator for 15 minutes (felt like an hour) 14 floors up (thought I was going to die). While living in Argentina I've learned I can rely on myself, my partner and my friends here, and that's about it. On the flip side I've also learned that with that uncertainty there are bright moments that unexpectedly surface as well. An email from a stranger who saw the Gorilla Sticker and wants to buy a painting. Or after not leaving the city limits of Buenos Aires for literally a year I suddenly find myself in South Africa for a month.

How long past 1000 days will our sojourn in South America go? I have no idea. Right now my only goal is to make it to Cape Town in one piece sometime tomorrow. What I do know is that I miss home (the States, friends and family) a ton, and if the stars were aligned for it I'd move home right now. Time has yet to deal that card however, and until it does I'm just going to keep trying to take it all in, and keep soldiering on with my art and the Orange Gorilla.

my first glimpse of Africa

Currently Listening To:
Song: Bicycle vs. Car (listen)
Artist: Bob Schneider (official website)

Currently Reading:
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy