I was invited to speak to the members of Wild Dog at an Adventure Braai at Jim and Henrietta’s house in Johannesburg. Wild Dogs is a nationwide motorcycle club, base around an online forum.They are a great bunch of guys who get together quite regularly for ride outs and insane adventures in and around South Africa. If you ever need information about South Africa or help these are the guys you should turn too. Check out their forum here.
I was fortunate to meet our hosts a week prior to the event, where we arranged the details of the Adventure Braai. Jim has quite a colourful background with a number of crazy stories to match. Before I was due to talk in front of the group of people, Jim pulled out several photographs of himself in his younger years. There was one, where he had his hands around a small antelope’s horns. He goes on to tell me, him and a mate would chase them down on their motorcycles, once they began to show signs of tiring, they would leap off the running bike and onto the back of their prey and cut its throat. Not long after that, it was on the menu for dinner later that night.
The group of people who were able to attend were amazing, they all loved motorcycles and traveling. A lot of them had also travelled extensively around Africa. But the one thing I love, was a lot of them rode Suzuki DR 350! I had arrived at the land of 350’s. The only difference was that their bikes looked white and almost polished. My bike still had mud on it from Tanzania!
We spent a long time, standing around our bikes asking each other for opinions and swapping tips. Jim generously offered his workshop to do our general maintenance and my the much needed piston ring change. I was looking forward to working in a nice and clean garage for a change!
This was my first South African braai, I had hear stories of the great South African braai and the endless meat. Sure enough this braai exceeded my expectations and everyone had enough meat and pap (a maize mash) to last them until the next braai (which will probably be in a couple of days!) Once everyone had finished eating, catching up and inspecting motorcycles, it was time for me to start my talk.
Despite my nerves and some much needed beers, I chatted endlessly away about my adventures over the last couple of years. Shared my woes, my triumphs and battles with cultural differences. Before I knew it, two hours slipped past and I had come to an end of my talk. It was oddly satisfying to see my whole journey laid out before me on a sequence of images and maps. I was glad to see everyone so entwined in my tales and had some great questions to wrap up the evening.
A note to Jim and Henrietta.
Thank you so much for making all the arrangement and hosting an Adventure Braai at your house. I was very happy to meet two amazing people.
Also, thank you also to Mike who kindly arranged for a projector and a portable screen. It made my talk so much easier and more accessible to those who came to watch.