AfrikaBurn Part 1 (Finally!)

Heyo! So I guess I’ve been pretty busy, in fact I am still busy. This is just me procrastinating so I don’t go insane oh god there is still so much work left before the deadline wtf.

Anyway… Here is the first part of my AfrikaBurn series. These are basically vignettes from my ‘Burner diary I wrote during the experience.

Day 0

It’s Sunday and Liesbeth and I have finally finished packing. Two hours after we planned to hit the sack. We depart in two hours, 4am.

Weeks of planning, thousands of Rand in equipment and supplies. I still don’t feel ready for this legendary event. Will I enjoy it? Will it be as I expected? Will I last the whole week?

So much anxiety, but no turning back now. We will see what the road ahead holds…

Day 1

Delicious Leftover Pizza Breakfast

We made it! Camp is setup, arms are murderised from hammering in massive pieces of rebar into the unwielding Karoo. Normal tent pegs just look at the ground and go lolnope.

We have a nice cosy nook near 6ish Plaza, on the corner of Stoffadil and Abundance Roads. A neat triangle of car and awning, our home for the next week. Let’s get back to Liesbeth and I waking up this morning.

We managed to drag ourselves out of bed at 3:30 and by 4:15 we were on the road. It was quiet, dark, and cold. The moody hour offset by our palpable excitement. We passed the first other Burners just outside the Huguenote tunnel. I slow for no being.

We left the empty N1 for the R46 and R101, guided onwards to Ceres by the soothing voice of EvilCorp Google. We hit the town in the dark, the looming mountains framed by bushfires, we head onwards. Dawn was beginning to break as we hit the R355, slowly cresting the mountains that marked the boundary of the vast Karoo. Reds, purples, and deep indigo framing the black-hole silhouettes of the mountains.

We passed many far more cautious people on the dirt road, their vehicles and nerves not up to the harsh conditions. The road was supposed to be a tyre eating hellscape to Mordor paved with razorblades from the descriptions we were given. I think perhaps too many people don’t know how to drive on dirt roads and fail to realise when they have a puncture.

Cruising at 110km/h we seemed to fly smoothly over the rough road, my adrenaline pumping with concentration. The pre-dawn light helped to throw the sharper rocks into stark relief, making avoidance more an exercise in anticipation than surprise.

The sun was breathtaking as it breached the surrounding mountains, gentle pinks and reds flowing through the moonscape we were driving in.

No living humans were in sight, it looked like we might be amongst the first, if not the first to arrive today.