Monday, 26 May 2014

Africa Burn - the Trickster

Africa Burn, Africa Burn, Africa Burn! This was by far the best festival and experience that I have attended. It was an adventure from the start. You hope that you get tickets and then finally the tickets goes on sale and then you realise that your credit card expired. Luckily our friends came to the rescue and bought my boyfriend and I tickets.

Boyfriend and I on the way there

Tickets bought, then the preparation starts. You do know about the festival well in advance and should really start planning early, but you end up running around like a headless chicken the weekend before you go away. Stupid I know. I thought yes next time I will start preparing much earlier. Yeah right. Life gets busy and time is precious. 

Jolize and I


Anyways the boyfriend bought us a brand spanking new green tent and we pitched it in the yard on the lawn to see how it looks and so that we can plan our set up. We made loads of lists. This is very important. We had a food and a booze shopping list. Then I went to a few places to get decorations for our bikes and dress up goodies. You have to decorate your bike, so that it looks unique and it prevents a stranger from mistaking that it's theirs. The dress up goodies we chucked into a bag and every day pulled out whatever we felt like wearing. At Africa Burn everything goes. Here you can dress up to your hearts content and you will never be looked at funny or feel weird. You will fit in and the more extravagant you go, the more likely you will be popular and everyone will be snapping away with their cameras paparazzi style.

Our group

Totally got side tracked their, sorry. Where was I? Oh yes perpetration. You need to take 5 liters of water per day per person. This is for showering, washing up and drinking. Our mates set up a teepee shower so we were super blessed to be able to shower. Having a shower is like the holy grail in the desert. Everything gets dusty and the dust makes your skin dry. Dust gets in your nose and forms this  layer over your hair. I took a day to climatise and then you get used to it. Just make sure you take enough wet wipes, they become your BFF.

Our teepee shower 

Our camp set up

Anyways so the day arrived that we had to depart. After work we packed the bakkie and we didn't think it would take so long. We had so much to take with and the bakkie was packed to the brim. Off we went to Ceres to a cottage we booked with our mates. We stayed there so we could get up at the crack of dawn and get to Tankwa town before everyone else. It didn't work out exactly as planned unfortunately, but an adventure nevertheless. 

Jolize

Me

The last part of the journey is a 100km gravel road which is relentless on your tyres. You have to drive super slow if you don't drive a 4x4. We followed our friends and the visibility wasn't the best through the dust cloud that was trailing ebbing their car, so we drive through a ditch too fast which resulted in a badly sliced tyre. Boyfriend was like: "I think we have a flat tyre, should we stop?" I was like: "yes!" So there we were next to the road feeling a bit ridiculous having to change the tyre and everyone else driving past us. Every car that drove past us was  another cool camping spot taken. I said to my boyfriend to use this opportunity to teach me how to change a tyre so he did. It made it an adventure!

Jande changing the tyre

The tyre

Another amazing element of going to Africa Burn is that there are no cellphone signal so you can take a proper break. Our mates were wat ahead of us and we were supposed to camp together. We got to the gate and there were quite a few volunteers working there, explaining to everyone where to go. As we arrived a bunch of them screamed: "Jandre in the silver Corsa bakkie is it you? We have been waiting for you! You are in a lot of trouble!" What a great way to be welcomed! They gave us a walkie talkie with a note attached to it that our friends left us. The note said: "We've heard from other people that you have had a flat and we have been waiting for a hour and a half and drank two beers. Put the walkie talkie on channel 2" Wow it was such a great gift to receive this note. It just made me smile and takes you back to a place before cellphones. That's a discussion for another day, as I can harp on about that forevs. 

If you are a virgin Burner, you have to hit the dong on your way in.  This is me and Jandre hitting the gong.

We contacted them and met up with them, then looked for a camping spot. We found a cool place and started setting up camp. We decorated our bikes and jumped on them to start exploring the desert. It's really hard to try and find words to describe everything we saw and the experiences that we had. I will try.

Every sunset and sunrise were magnificient

Jandre at camp life

Nico & Jandre had to grind off the bike lock as Nico forgot they key to the lock at home,  Only at Africa Burn.

Me making foodies in our tent

Loads of people asked me if it's like a trance party. NO ITS NOT!! Africa Burn is about interacting with other humans and sharing experiences and gifting. You can't buy anything here. Except ice. Gifting are recommended and this could be anything from a service (massages, haircuts, fortune telling, postal service, answering question), gifts (sweets, swapping a hot beer for a cold one, wine, food, stickers), mutant vechiles that's decorated in a surreal way (you could hitch a ride) and many more! We took popping candy and handed that out to everyone.

Jandre and I

The kissing tree

Me

Burning Man

If you want a theme camp, you need to register it and then it goes on the map handout. Then everyone can know about you and can come and visit you. There's a horseshoe shape lined out by themed camps which is called the binnekring and then another row on the outerline called the buitekring also shaped by theme camps. You just mission from one camp to the other and see what's going on, stay a bit, maybe dance a bit. Some theme camps have their own music.


Jolize & Nico

Hansel & Gretel's spot



My favourites were Sonskyn en Wyn, Burning Mail, The Bus and The Exchange. At Sonskyn en Wyn there were two barrels of wine which you could just help yourself to. They had a huge silver boat that was made out of sheet metal that was in front of the camp. You could chill or dance on the deck. We visited these barrels often!

Nico grabbing some vino from Sonskyn en Wyn

The boat at Sonskyn en Wyn

Burning Mail was such an insane concept. They had all these beautiful postcards with photos on of previous Burns that you could take, then you could write your message and then post it internally, nationally or internationally. How cool is that? I sent my mom and boyfriend a postcard.

Inside Burning Mail

Burning Mail

The Bus is painted in bright paint to look like a motherboard circuitry. On the second floor there was a mixing deck and the roof opened up. You could hop on the bus and then take a drive to wherever it stopped and then just jam to the beats then and there. The bus was a party on wheels, wherever the bus went, the party followed!

THE BUS

There were plenty of incredible structures spread across the desert that you had to cycle to. Every structure was unique and amazing. Here's a few of them:


Me

Loved this installation


This was a 3D structure and most people couldn't figure out what it was.  I was pretty impressed that I figured out that it was a baby in a womb.

We only witnessed two burns. We saw these dudes burn:



Then we saw this bunny burn down. This was definitely my favourite structure. At night strobe lights shone from it and a string of helium balloons where rigged up on the bunny and was drifting in the sky. Each balloon had an led light with solar panels in and at night they would make the lights change colours and go on and off in different patterns. It was beautiful. Me and Jolize even helped with blowing up the balloons with helium.


So many things happened during the 4 days that we were there and I'm not going to go into detail, but all that I can say is that it was loads of fun! I will definitely go again, but wish we could skip the gravel road. I learnt a lot from the Burn and might do a few things differently next time.  I'm sure that every Burn experience that you have is different, unique and one that you will treasure forever. If you ever thought of going to the Burn, do it, you will never regret it.

Jandre and I

We having a bath in the middle of the desert

One of the happiest moments of my life

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