The Chronicles of The Mexican Horse Thief III

I am doing some editing and rewriting The Chronicles III. Reading it now, in retrospect I can see… “O Fok, hier kom GROOT kak.”
When the mission starts of like this, you should know that there will be no happy ending. But as they say, no good story starts off with someone making a salad.
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“So when Karen called and said she would put R1000.00 in my account for petrol and toll roads, the die was cast. I was going to Simon’s Town in the Cape, 1428 km down the road. Again, not one to sit on my hands I packed up and put most of my stuff in Evonne’s spare room. I had a full tank of petrol so could leave four hours before the banks opened and Karen could deposit the money. That would bring me to Bloemfontein, capital of the Free State, where I could draw money and fill up the car.

5am I packed my computer, CDs, Camera equipment, bedding and my cameras into the car. Since I had drank a 750ml bottle of vodka the night before I was still intoxicated. Never mind. First I made a flask of strong coffee and added brandy and whiskey to keep me going. The Mexican Horse Thief was on the road again. Rushing into places where angels fear to tread. My alcohol addiction was well looked after and now my lust for adventure would be too. Four hours of uneventful driving got me to the outskirts of Bloemfontein, I was a bit worried as, the car license had long since expired, my spare tyre was in use as one tyre was in shreds in the boot and the passenger side front tyre had a nail one could see sticking out of it. The latter just needed to be pumped up once a day, no problem. Got to an ATM and the money was in, filled up and on my way again. Karen was phoning every hour or so to check on my progress. I was fine, my flask was half full and a few sips and hour was keeping me on a nice pluck.

The landscape had changed dramatically and I was in the Karoo, beautiful semi-desert surrounded me, the road just went on and on. I was fortunate enough to be driving through huge storms, not very common in this area. Here I hit the flask a bit heavier, as I believed the cops would not be out in this weather and at this time of year. Made it through a couple of the small towns with no incident, I was very worried about cops, being drunk, having a unlicensed car and smooth tyres can do that. Then the inevitable happened, driven out of Gauteng, clear across the Free State and well into the Northern Cape when outside a small hick town I hit a road block. I was very polite and although the man looked at the tyres sceptically he just fined me R300.00 for the licence story – no question about drinking. Got out of there. Just after the incident I saw the most beautiful rainbow and sky I have ever seen in my life. I could see both ends touching the desert floor, with a golden sun shinning through an azure opening of almost black clouds. My thoughts on this drive had not been pleasant ones, dwelling on all the bad things and what could have been etc. Seeing that reminded me that all this mess I was in was just human folly..

My second great beauty was the crossing of the Orange River. The sun was going down at this stage and shinning a golden orange which reflected off the river, I saw why the normally brown, muddy river got its name. I had reached the Western Cape. Here my booze was almost finished so I stopped in another small town an bought a half jack of vodka, trying to limit my intake with the smaller bottle. The journey got a little more tedious, road works and a lot of traffic up to and around a place called Tous River. I did not like been in the tunnel which seemed to go on for miles. On the other side Karen phoned and said to look out for water towers, considering I was back in the mountains and it was pitch black, I had to ask how was I going to see bloody water towers? Turns out they were many, many kilometers ahead in a build up area with lots of lights! It was outskirts of Cape Town itself in fact. Found the right hi-way and finally reached the sea, moonlight shinning over the bay. Had a good few slugs of vodka in order to celebrate. From the town Muizenberg, I really had an itchy feeling about that place at the time, for no reason, it would be clear later in the year. Even drunk and far off my path, I was given warnings, that I chose to ignore or explain away. I needed to get to Simon’s Town, the last little village along the bay. A quaint little town that was founded and survived on the fact that it is the site of Navy HQ in South Africa. My directions and memory served me well and I found Disa road with ease. Another long pull at the vodka and I was ready.”

The first two Chronicles leading up to this event and a collection of the lessons I learned along the way can be found  in The Mexican Horse Thief’s SHOP.

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