Tuesday, 26 April – So I met a girl, another girl, another girl and yet even another!

Sparrow fart, and I am up in no time flat. Problem is, it’s just me so I kill time at the snooker table.

And in case you are wondering, I put that 8 ball straight in the pocket……..on my 23rd attempt! Not my finest skill.

The morning peace is interrupted by the shout of “Mealies! Mealies!”……just kidding, but girl #1, Blessing, came by early to get on with the housekeeping. Of course that’s the fastest way to send me on my way and soon enough the two of us are posed outside her house [if you consider that the owner, Boro, spends less time there than she does!] and then, …….like, even I am surprised that I kipped in such a larnie place for the night. Say, am I living the life or what?!

Anton with Blessings in front of Terrace View Guest House

But is already after 11h00 and I am starving!

Can you imagine a cafe? Well I did more than dream it, I slid over to Imagine Cafe and got tangled in the visual art feast on offer.

Imagine Cafe Collage

After 5 minutes of squinting at the menu, I still haven’t ordered. Why? I can’t read the menu: it’s not in Snake. It’s in Afrikaans!

And while they fashion- up my kos I head in to the Hot Gossip Hair Salon and let girl#2, Marelize work me over. They ain’t got dreads so I settle for a no-wash’n’go.

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Anton at the hair dresser

I browse some more. This place is bursting with all sorts of gems.

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Imagine Cafe Interior

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Imagine Cafe Exterior

And I even get to meet starry-eyed Sune and Jeandre who were chilling and sipping sodas.

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Imagine Cafe Anton with Sune and Jeandre

They smile so kindly at each other that soon I too am feeling fuddly-duddly inside. So I glide away and search every nook and cranny!

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Imagine Cafe Anton in Car

Fresh from the disappointment of a girl that does not talk back, I am soon back in the salon shooting the breeze with Chane’. Girl#3 smiles at me,…..she even looks me in the eye…..but what’s that rock she’s wearing on her finger? Darn!

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Imagine Cafe Anton with Chane

Who threw the dice again! 5 5 5 3……I guess I got to go 108km South East!

It’s so tough having to leave that I end up doing some soul-searching in the gardens. “How do you get such fine looks? I ask of all these beauties.

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Imagine Cafe Sculptures

“Anton. Anton” that’s all they reply. Who is this Anton Smit?

Aaaaaah, the bush and countryside!

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Countryside Ruins

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Countryside Road

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Countryside Rusty Hut

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Countryside Fence

I am so tempted to just crawl into familiar surrounds, but that would mean no one to share stories with Mucho and Maya back at the base!

Two hours later and I am unstuck [again]. Round-and-round-and-round-and-round in circles looking for the tourist information office in Witbank!

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Anton Witbank Traffic Circle

Luckily Trevor Noah is the background reminding me of the humour in all of this and Girl#4 is soon wrapped around me too. Gloria tells me she is from Harare in Zimbabwe and that she has been in South Africa for a year. She smiles! Mara on the other hand is serious and after 5 mins of him spelling the name of his village in Congo, I think I have figured why he moved here. You don’t believe me? Ok, try pronouncing “Komin Matete Q.Kinda”!

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Anton with Gloria and Komin in Witbank

Google to the rescue again! Dashing down the R550 towards Bethal, a glance eastwards and the power behind the power is in full view. No shortage of power stations in this locale!

Nathalie Boucry Photography | Power Station near Witbank

18h15 I am safely at Poplar Grove Guest Farm. Nice!

But heck, I am toast. 191km for the day and 96km South West from the start of the day. Yeah, I am finally out in the real countryside and now 146km South West of home!

But before I sleep, I remember the others I have just seen on the farm: the scary sight of burly Nero, who must be an exotic mix of Boerboel and St Bernard and the never-stopped-barking miniature Doberman “Pucca”. What will the morning bring thinks I?

Nighty nite.
Anton Signature

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