A morning, next to the road, in Lithuanian

It was a June morning in 2012. Not long after I crossed the border from Poland into Lithuanian I decided to have a small breakfast next to the road.

An old East German car, a Trabant (Trabi) caught my eye. It was a wreck with a few flowers growing in the wreck, if I remember correctly. I took a few photographs and put one of my stickers on the car.

This morning I received an email from Britain from a Mr G Hendrey. After reading this email I felt a rush of adventure, a longing for the open roads, that pushed the cancer into a corner of no-importance. I feel like travelling like never before!

Thanks my unknown friend for the email and the following four photographs!

Hi Lodie,

Thought you’d be interested to know that your sticker is still on the Trabant wreck shortly after crossing into Lithuania from Poland. We took these photos whilst on our trip last year (2012).

You can imagine our surprise at finding your sticker, in such an out of the way place. I of course meant to contact you there and then but on the road it didn’t happen and then the other day I was looking through our photos and saw the sticker again.

I had a look at your blog and see you have done a few adventures. We still have in mind to travel through Africa, but so far we mainly travel in Europe. We have ridden almost every tar road in SA (less than 5% to go), and a lot of gravels ones too, as part of a personal challenge over the last 10 years.

I got the 1200 Multistrada for my 60th last year and my wife was on her Honda 500. We travelled 7000km across Europe via Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, then north through the 3 Baltic states. Then ferry from Riga to Stockholm, across Sweden to Norway, then Denmark, Germany and back to UK. We camped all the way and of course had a good time!

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15 March 2008

Today, six years ago, my first long ride, Naboom2Germany, started. The ride that changed so much in my life. I learned many lessons from many strangers, also from a piece of equipment, the KLR.

God deemed it necessary that cancer came into my life to pull some brakes. This morning, to celebrate life, I went jogging, shuffling, for a very short distance. And the whole time I told myself “I am alive!”

Going it Alone

Lord, I need others.

The way of man is too hard to be trodden alone. But I avoid the hands outstretched to help me,

I want to act alone, I want to fight alone, I want to succeed alone.

And yet beside me walks a friend, a spouse, a brother, a neighbor, a fellow-worker.

You have placed them near me, Lord, and too often I ignore them. And yet it is together that we shall overcome the world.

Lord, grant, that I may see, that I may accept, all the Simons on my road.  (Michel Quoist)

My first night on the way to Germany. I already realized then I that had too much luggage with me (15/03/2008)Day 1

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The song describing the sad, dark side of Jozi.

Johannes Kerkorrel was a well-known South African singer – songwriter. During the Apartheid years he used his music to to demonstate his opposition to the politics of the day.

One of his famous songs was “Gee jou hart vir Hillbrow” (Give your heart to Hillbow).

Hillbrow is a suburb in the CBD of Johannesburg.

In the song he painted the dark world of drug addicts in Jozi. The scenes may upset sensitive viewers.

Johannesburg. City of dreams and shattered dreams.

He died much too early on November 12, 2002. He committed suicide.

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“Sundays in the city…”
Arts on Main
Michael and Nick for GTA
http://www.michaelandnick.com

For the moment that is all about Johannesburg, the city of joy, gold, poverty, and humanity.

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We rediscover more about the giant Jozi / johannesburg / Egoli

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“Johannesburg … Ten Ahead … A decade of inner-city regeneration.”

Ten Ahead
Gerald Garner
http://www.joburgplaces.com

Two more projects fascinated me. It is about a city turning around.

The Forum

http://www.theforum.co.za/Forum/locations/theforumturbinehall/default.aspx?PageID=165

Have a look what can be done instead of letting a building going down the dumps.

Mill Junction

What is the potential of an unused frain silo in a city where young students need accommodation? Have a look.

http://www.designboom.com/architecture/mill-junction-container-residences-overlook-johannesburg-02-10-2014/

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Most foreign tourists fly to Cape Town to

- See one of the most beautiful cities in die world (Please close your eyes before landing so that you don’t see the poor shacks next to the airport, or fly KLM with a late evening arrival in the Mother City).

- to visit wine farms and sip some wine. If you are a Japanese tourist that normally takes 20 minutes rush-rush.

- Table Mountain and Robben Island.

- Clifton and the other beaches with the smallest piece of cloth, or nothing at all, to protect the body from preying eyes and not from the killer sun.

- Man o man, that is pure holiday, relaxation. And inbetween buy quickly a house in the Gardens at a price well out of the range of locals. Free market trade.

Despite the overwhelming proof that Cape Town is the non plus ultra city I med a lady who stole my heart completely. But she is not from the Cape. It is better to keep your love for her for yourself because people won’t understand. Think back to the infamous Apartheid and boytjie from the platteland who fell in love with a labourer’s daugther. You were an outcast.

My new love is fine and elegant. Her mixed origin is clear to seen. At the same time she can be brutally violent.

She has, to my opinion, more soul and spirit than Cape Town.

Her name is Jozi, or Egoli, or Johannesburg if she gets a few over the knuckles.

Thanks to my treatment in Josi I had the privilege of getting und her skin where she exposed her soul to me. It is a vibrant soul without rest. I look forward to see more from her. I still have a go a long way with her, but I have the time. My treatment will take me back to Jozi until at least July.

Jozi is noise and taxis and pedestrians and finger signs and lakes and peaceful green areas and live music on the streets and stiff millionaires being rushed by their chauffeurs to keep Gauteng on the go.

One comes not to Jozi to “see” like in Cape Town. One experiences Jozi. One smells Jozi. Sit down and listen. Feel. And one day she will he there and you will be hooked.

Over the next few weeks I will introduce you to another side of our financial backbone. Try and open your heart.
Www.lovejozi.com

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“Our skyscrapers don’t just scrape, they scribble.”
Spires of Newtown
By Gus Silber (www.gussilber.posterous.com)

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I cannot write for hours on end, but I can move photograhs around and attach small stories to it.

Earlier this week I didn’t feel so well.

My travel spirit will never forsake me, but, I have to admit, neither do I have the physical strenght to pick up my bike (worst case scenario).

I still have to share so much with ordinary people like you and me.. Enough is said and written about my first trip across Africa to Germany via the Russian border. Kate filled in the blank spots.

One year later, May 2009, we left on a trip across Africa with my KZ-TE pickup truck. The name of the project was AFRICA OUR HOME. Our sponsor, Anja from Germany, and I wanted to proof that despite bad patches Afrika wasn’t only doom and gloom. We pre-selected four ex-FSA exchange students who, with their cameras and notebooks, unrolled a new view on Africa for us.

A year later I left from Germany again, across Africa to Cape Town and then back to my home in Naboomspruit. Again after many months and thousands of kilometer I had to admit it was the most pleasant ride until then. The highlight was again the friendliness of the Africans.

And then, 2012, Russia, Siberia, Nordkapp and the four Scandinavian countries. The year with many wrong travel decisions.

So much to share, so little time to do it.

My plans are: Instead of spending so much time writing and editing I want to tell the last three stories by means of my photographs. One good photograph is worth a 1 000 words.

It is going to be only in the electronic format. More photographs to tell the story. And the best will be that it will be completely free of charge!

I consider doing the short text pieces in Afrikaans, my home language. Perhaps the is an English person that wants to share in the feeling of Ubunto.

Let me know what you think.

Photographs top left Women in Ethiopia, carrying heavy burdens. Anja with the FSA flag at Lake Malawi. Below Anja and Inge in Botswana.

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May 2014 be a blessed year for all of us!

May 2014 be a great year for you! May you laugh and dance, motivate your friends and relatives to always first see the positive, and may many travels turn you into a good spirit so that you can enjoy and appreciate our God-given world.

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Geseënde Kersfees,

merry Christmas, happy Holidays and frohe Weihnachten!

Lodie de Jager

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Mr Mandela

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Rest in Peace Madiba.

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R 50 235.53!

A traveller that has travelled the African continent knows what it means to be lonely, sad, filled with joy watching a beautiful sunset at a big river, or just quietly watching the African full moon over Lake Malawi.

That is how I felt yesterday. Nicole and Uwe, two German overlander friends, whom I met in Ethiopia during 2008, came to visit me. They brought a donation with, as well as a donation from Anja, another German overlander. With these two donations we completed our fund raising AND exceeding the R 50 000.00 mark.

Once again, thank you thank thank you!

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The Magrietjies invited for tea. Also a few cancer patients attended. I was privileged to have Ina, my sister from the USA at the function as well as Uwe and Nicole from Germany.

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Martie and Jakkie of the Magrietjies with me at the tea.

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My sister Ina, and friends Nicole and Uwe from Germany.

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Jakkie, the Magrietjie responsible for me, spoilt us with cake and coffee/tea.

No you can recover from all my blog posts over the recent months. It is time to rest. Goodbye for now.

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