New adventures with bicycles…
- This post is late. It’s for the week of 28 April to 4 May. There may be some signal/noise issues with this post – some of it reconstructed from photos.
- Monday, packed the rental van with all our AfrikaBurn stuff and two bicycles, Mia and I got a few last minute items like a light for her bike and some things for her backpack, drove in convoy to AfrikaBurn with Ernst and the Joburg gang, had a long chat with Mia about all the things to expect and see at AfrikaBurn, a burger at the padstal, we arrived just before sunset, Mia banged the first-timer bells at the gate, I did not spot the “welcome home” sign, but I’m sure it was there somewhere, we set up our tents – minor snag: no stretch tent.. muppets, Mia and I went for an evening cycle, she had a few minor falls and saves, but we kept going, she was just that excited about cycling around.
- I phoned Naulene recently, asking if Mia can cycle. She said: Yes, sure, tip-top. Turns out this was her third time cycling without training wheels – so she was a bit nervous. In the end I’m actually happy that her first long cycling experience was at AfrikaBurn. Good memories. By the following evening she was a very confidently new little cyclist going for fairly long rides on her own.
- Tuesday, cycling around the art projects, Paul and Ben arrived, we built some cubes from wood, sunset shower – Mia had her first camping shower experience… pretty cold, Mia watched Mary Poppins at the Sweet Love Cinema camp, some painting with light with Ben (long exposure shots), Paul misplaced his new (unmarked) bicycle – sadly, it was not seen again.
- Lesson from the Burn: living in the desert is so much easier if you have good routines and rituals and you are generally well organised – putting stuff back where you found it, for example. I’m hoping that’s something Mia will remember.
- Wednesday, more cycling with Mia, photography, more theme camp construction, Mia went exploring with Frieda and later watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
- Thursday, Mia took a ride and took some photos from inside L2H2 (~R2 droid), we drove back to the Western Cape, Naulene feched Mia in Ceres (thank you Naulene), Steers burger… my office for the afternoon, figured out the story (mess) with our stretch tent, got some water and supplies and a chocolate for Ernst, video conference to London, standing in the Ceres post office… seems post offices are still useful – and quiet and right next to the town’s 3G tower, drove back to AfrikaBurn – mostly in the dark (meeting was at 5pm), not so smart in hindsight, listened to the Alt-J CD three times on the way back (concentrating on the 2.5hour mostly dirt road drive), only upside was stopping to take a leak and appreciating the stars and clear night sky, more painting with light.
- Mia says she wants to stay 5 days next year. We’ll have to find the really quiet zone. I think she loved the Burn. She may have enjoyed the cycling a bit too much – did not really want to do much else, other than watch the evening movie at Sweet Love Cinema (thanks Julia).
“Did you bring your big kid pants?” — Paul
- Friday, Ernst, Wouter and I had a bit of a gate jam – waiting for the stretch tent muppets to bring our tent, the guy actually arrived about three hours later – but the tent was 30km away with two flat tires, after a quick meeting we made peace with not having a stretch tent this year, general theme camp mayhem at sunset – probably the best night at our theme camp bar – medical scrubs, rabbit masks and Tequila in syringes.
“Ain’t nobody got time for that.” — this line was used more than once to express frustration with the stretch tent muppets.
“So many levels of contentness.” — Paul, master of the euphemism.
- Saturday, the long queue for ice with Wouter, cycling around and exploring, taking photos, a few gin and dry lemons (with ice) and a gas braai, sunset theme camp bar, watched a burn or three, Groovenator, I remember insisting that Christina watch Rushmore.
- Physical activity levels at the burn are so much higher than in default life.
- Sunday, dust, dust, next level dust storm, long queues to leave so we cycled around a bit with dust goggles on, at this point only Paul and I stayed (from our camp), we got some photos with L2H2, cycled around (Paul on Mia’s bike), foam party with Christina (pretty much the only remaining party to be found), beautiful sunset, we watched a silent burn that evening – pretty powerful moment… one of maybe two parties I can remember thinking – if I die tomorrow I’ve had enough fun for one lifetime.
- After all that effort – the van’s clock was out by a few hours!
- How did I manage to get sun burnt on the back of my knees?
“I got you, ponytail.” — Paul
“Ahhww yeah, yeah.” — Groovenator.
“I’m so f$%^ing happy right now.” — Paul
- AfrikaBurn 2014 – thank you. I’m happy we participated this year. I guess there will always be that feeling that you want to do more. I’m happy it put me outside my comfort zone. The Burn culture (virus / drug / religion) is spreading. I’m hoping it’s challenging people… be that guy, be a better man. Read this post.
Have a fun week, crazy kids.