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Did you make it safely to AfrikaBurn?

AfrikaBurn 2013

Did you make it safely to AfrikaBurn 2013?

Off we go, here we come, AfrikaBurn!

Already the drive up is exciting, as we played ‘spot the burners’. There is the good old Land Rover with the luggage stacked high, then there are bakkies bakkies and bakkies, lots of fancy 4x4s, some with trailers or caravans, campervans and the odd overstuffed Citi Golf.

Together we’re doing the trek of getting to the burn.

But there are plentiful of obstacles in the way:

At petrol stations we saw vehicles that had broken down, people asking for last minute essentials such as gas bottles and plenty of repacking or looking for something.

Our biggest concern was the tire munching dirt track ahead of us. It seems everyone had a story to tell about getting stuck in some way or another on this rough road spiked with sharp pebbles and rocks.

What we however encountered, no one had warned us about: The police.

It sounds impossible on a dead straight road, but they came out of the blue with very little time to register what we were driving into. We had to step out of the car, having to produce the driving licence and emptying out pockets while being questioned if we had anything illegal. As our bags and the cab of our bakkie were searched including the cubbyhole and behind the seats I dared asking if this was ok in South Africa that people have their cars randomly searched like this. ‘They could unpack the entire contents of the bakkie if they wanted to’ was the reply that made me shut up.

To our relief we were let go without further ado. And there was indeed no more to do about it, as we didn’t even have cell phone reception to inform others about this.

The incident was quickly forgotten as it got dark and the journey continued on into the total unknown: Dust from previous cars was lingering and sometimes you just had to trust this road would continue straight, as the dust clouds engulfed you like a wall of sand. Not often had I been this happy to get to the ticket checkpoint.

From there on it feels like gliding through the sand dunes after over 2 hours of rattling and shattering. The excitement of arrival overtakes: Lights, art pieces, tents become visible like a dormant spaceship that is getting rebuilt for take-off.

The next challenge was to find our camp and the clock system worked out wonderfully. Soon we were united. As we planned on sleeping in the back of the bakkie, there was little set-up and we ventured out to gather our first impressions of AfrikaBurn beneath a canopy of stars.

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