The quest for continuous travel adventures, the exploration of roads far less travelled and, in my case, the hunt for images, bring physical and mental exhaustion. Once, while stopping to rest, I fell asleep in the middle of the gravel road between Hotazel and Sonstraal in the far Northern Cape. Quite lekker and harmless, I would say, just bossies, a few sheep and no cars.
In more recent years, I have taken on a new psychological approach to rejuvenation. All you need to do to follow this method is to find a tree, a few birds and a wide-open sky. That’s quite easy in Africa, although it might be a little difficult in parts of the Northern Cape. Then you simply (a yoga mat is optional) lie on your back and look up at the sky. Or, as some of you might wish, at heaven. This already removes you from the trivialities and trudges of the long road, stopping at every farmstall and reading the Sunday newspapers.
When you to start to relax and your mind slowly floats up to the birds chirping and fluttering in the branches, focus and zone in on moving upwards, ignoring the peripheral annoyances of crows eating roadkill. Swallows are real good, but following them around might make you giddy and a little high. Most of our lives are spent looking straight ahead so views that extend upwards or ‘up from below’, bring great relief.
One of my best experiences of this new method of relaxation happened in the mission village of Wuppertal. This is a good place as the villagers are all good, righteous people and there are no thieves to rob you while you levitate to heaven, trees (palms in this case) and birds (Sociable Weavers). In fact, this spot (32° 16’ 37.98” south and 19° 12’ 59.72” east) just over the bridge of the Tra-Tra River was so idyllic I made camp there for the night.
That evening, sharpened by the upward views, I took a 20-minute exposure, during which I lit up the palms and weaver nests with a powerful hunting torch.
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