We arrived at the doorstep of two complete strangers, Nichelle and Christo in Fish Hoek. We had been introduced via Facebook to this young couple through Loren and Alex (who first hosted us in Somerset West). Nichelle and Christo use to be guides for them on the Nomad Adventure overland trucks at least ten years ago. It’s not our first time landing on the door steps of strangers. But for them it must be strange to have two unknown bikers come and move in and take over their house. We planned on stay for only a week, but we got caught up in work, enjoying their beautiful garden and puppies. I took over their awesome kitchen and cooked up everything I had been craving for the past couple of years. Before we knew it a month slipped past and we knew we should find a place of our own.
We shared many adventures with Nichelle and Christo. From hiking to caving, from bouldering to rock climbing. From dinner out to long weekends away in the Cederberg for Christo’s birthday. We generally couldn’t go a week without a meeting at least once and having a good catch up about our week and plan our next micro adventures. We met their families and occasionally took care of their dogs, Luke and James when they were away. We loved their dogs like our own and even witnessed the passing of James and the introduction of young Kyle to the family.
When our time in Cape Town finally came to an end, we packed up our apartment that we had been living in for a while and slowly said goodbye to our maatjies around Cape Town. We moved back into our room in Nichelle and Christo’s house. This time it was only for a weekend, but it felt as if we had come full circle one year on from when we first arrived at their house. A year of fantastic adventures. What is left is now feelings and amazing memories. Ones I know that I know we will cherish forever.
I’m glad we left Cape Town on a Monday, for Nichelle and Christo are both at work today. It was hard enough packing our bags, with Luke watching with his sad eyes and him constantly looking for cuddles. Let alone having Nichelle and Christo there, watching us, waiting for that moment we drive out of their driveway for ever. Every now and then, I let a tear slip and gulp down my pride. It’s tough to be the one that leaves. I hug goodbye to Luke crying silently into his fur. Then we quietly let ourselves out the gate for the last time.
Wind dries my eyes as I know time and distance will heal the pain in my chest. Now I know why one shouldn’t make such good maatjies. It hurts so much to leave them behind. I’ve only felt like this twice on this trip. Once when leaving behind my maatjies and family all waving from my front lawn as I leave Brisbane back in 2010. And when I left the maatjies I had made in Pakistan. Now, it’s time to work through those feelings once again while watching Cape Town disappear in my rear view mirror and wait for more adventures in front of me.
Maatjies means Friends in Afrikaans.