Thursday, 26 Jan ’17 – South Africa
Welcome back, I just spent the last 10 days at home, sorting out my banking and abusing the internet. Today I am off to Clarens in the Free State. I already have a Couchsurfing host here. I also have a ride organized to Standerton. I am catching my ride at 6 AM, I am there at quarter to six but he doesn’t show up until half past six. Anyway, a ride’s a ride.
I get off in Standerton and start making my way to Vrede, not long before I get a ride. In Vrede, I also find a ride pretty quick and they take me all the way to Bethlehem. It’s about noon and I have to meet my host after five. Everything went much quicker than planned and Clarens is only about 30km away. So I walk around Bethlehem for a while, trying to pass the time and decide to buy myself a decent meal.
It’s about 2 PM when I take the road to Clarens. The guy that picks me up, charges me R20 for the trip. I arrive in Clarens just before 3 PM and now I have to wait until my host gets into town. I’m pretty tired by now so I find myself a good spot under a tree in the middle of town and waited there for about an hour. Now I’m getting tired of sitting as well and I decide to start walking around town. Coincidently, just when I’m at the farthest end of town, he lets me know that he will be at the entrance in 30 mins. Perfect!
I rush all the way through town and arrive at the entrance in about 25 mins. Just in time as well. When he arrives, he introduces himself as Hermann van Heerden. Probably one of the most fascinating people I will ever meet.
He went on a road trip around the coast of South Africa with his father and he told me the stories and showed me the photos and it made me feel like ditching Lesotho and heading for the coast… Did I mention that he used to be a world record holder? Unfortunately, his record was broken 3 years after he set it but it’s still very impressive. He did a “stationary manual” for 10 hours, which is basically just a wheelie in a stationary position with a wheelchair. 10 hours without the front wheels touching the ground once. Amazing!!
He makes us great pasta for dinner and by 11 PM we are off to bed. Good night!