Zen and the art of scootering

Last weekend, I once again discovered a hundred reasons why I want to flee the city for the country life.

It was our classic Vespa club, The Chicken Runners’, bi-annual Vuilvoete mini-tour (the name is derived from the fact that we were not allowed to bath the whole weekend). A 760km ride on the beautiful back roads of our beautiful country. A chance to meditate and clear our heads, away from the humdrum soul-sucking demands of our daily lives. Our worries slowly faded away on Friday as we passed through and past little towns with exotic names like Grootvlei, Greylingstad, Perdekop, Volksrust, Daggakraal and finally arrived at our destination – Wakkerstroom.

In Wakkerstroom we roughed it, sleeping in our one-man tents after we tiredly devoured some potjiekos and liquid refreshments. Early the next morning I was able to walk into the veld and sit in a thin mist, surrounded by mountains, and read my Bible. Then we were off to a town by the name of Val, where we were warmly received by the townsfolk. Obviously 14 men travelling hundreds of kilometres on classic scooters were an oddity for them and solicited conversations I am not used to in the city, where I do not even know the names of my neighbours. Once again we braaied and although we were exhausted, we enjoyed the camaraderie between us before falling asleep under the stars, some of us on mattresses made of straw.

Sunburnt and and tired we returned home on Sunday. But my soul was rejuvenated and my priorities straightened out. We owe it to ourselves to break away and connect with nature and other human beings as often as possible.

We all need a Vuilvoete tour in our lives. Maybe our lives need to be a Vuilvoete tour.

Riaan van Zyl

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