After a morning of frantic last-minute packing, we finally load the boot of the Subaru Outback with our luggage under a torrential downpour and lock the front door of our Mowbray house around 13h00. Earlier in the morning, our future tenants, Tobias and Claire, who will move in next week, came to pick up Flash, our beloved dog. He will remain in their care during our trip. There were some teary goodbyes but both Guy and Max feel reassured that with Phoebe, Tobias and Claire’s labrador, as companion Flash will be well looked after.
We swing by Summer Greens for a last lunch with Pa to bid farewell to Guy and Max’s grandfather and from there, take the R27 northwards to the West Coast. Table Mountain is fading in the background. We are on the BRICS road!
Our journey of a thousand miles begins with a mere short hop to Yzerfontein though and we already stop 45 minutes later at !Khwa Ttu for the first night. We had booked to stay in a San hut, in the replica Bush village of this San culture preservation center but the rains had the huts flooded so we are happily upgraded to a cozy little remote bungalow, tucked in deep fynbos between the R27 and the sand dunes of Langebaan lagoon: Bos Huisie.
The boys and I settle in while Guillaume drives a short 10 minutes to Yzerfontein to buy us a dinner of pasta and minced meat. We light a fire. We read a few pages of Tintin in Tibet, the latest foray discovering the places we will travel to through stories (after devouring collections of folk tales from India, Russia and China, a biography of Baden Powell and his extensive stays in South Africa, the story of Siddharta and a few bedtime story collections from Brazil) and put the kids to bed.
Soon after, the late nights spent closing boxes, amid election coverage (I stopped work just before our departure) pay their toll and I sink into a deep slumber. Guillaume is on his own to walk a short while under the stars, gaze at the fire in the tiny living room, leaf through his book, and let freedom slowly seep in.