Home > Surf Trips > 2180 kilometres into Hanli and Tim’s Soccer & Surf Road Trip

2180 kilometres into Hanli and Tim’s Soccer & Surf Road Trip

June 22nd, 2010

Scenery along the roadside in the South African hinterland 

‘We’ve seen good and bad soccer games in stadiums, pubs, small township TV screens and live Afrikaans radio broadcasts. We’ve played street soccer with the kids of Carnarvon, surfed the sunset in Elands Bay, bought Rooibos tea in Clanwilliam, been told that in Bloemfontein soccer is colour-blind, drank tea in Orania where the soccer world cup is persona non grata. We’ve spent not a cent on accommodation as hospitality is alive and well in SA.

We’ve lamented Bafana with a small man named Peanut in the Karoo, cursed England in a smokey pub with loud Afrikaans dance music blaring. The road is either flat and straight and lulls you to sleep, or potholed and rutted and rattles your teeth. South Africa is huge when you’re driving to every host city, but brought close together by this common denominator… It’s AYOBA!’


For more words and pics see: www.soccersurfroadtrip.com

Searching for the Source in the Karoo: by Tim

If the football World Cup has yet to arrive in the further reaches of South Africa, it’s little wonder. Driving inland on the R27, away from rural Elandsbaii on the west coast and towards the snow capped peaks of the Cederberg and beyond to the Great Karoo, the population fades to nothing. In a day of driving we see just three cars, and each one waves feverishly at the novelty of passing strangers. Towns appear on the horizon, out of the dust, and fade just as quickly…

Brazil/ North Korea: by Hanli

I’m surrounded by hundreds of unbelievably enthusiastic Brazilians, I’d almost like to say that Brazil invented enthusiasm. The only colours visible are yellow and green, the purple and red feathers from the scantly dressed dancers sticking out like a beloved sore thumb. The Sea Point Community Hall is positively bouncing! Vuvuzela’s joining in the rhythm of the live music flowing down from the stage. Beautiful girls dance around singing along to tunes I’ve never even heard. My black outfit feels utterly dull and unimaginative in this festive fruit salad. Man, these people know how to have a good time. And the game hasn’t even started yet!…

It’s not possible to be calm when you meet your heroes: by Tim

So when I bumped into Alan Shearer in the bathroom of the Harbour House, just next to my home in Kalk Bay, and I turned into a mumbling, head scratching, thumb twisting, mute, it is understandable. My fellow diners were less understanding. I’m not one to approach celebrities; I am the shy type, not wanting to impose. Hanli, for those that know her, is not. So I was on my way. At the table they were warm and welcoming. They listened to my request of an email to send details of my charity to, and we chatted. A two-way conversation rather than the star struck gabble I feared…

What does 16.5 billion rand look like: by Hanli

… I saw what 16.5 billion rand looked like on Friday night at the Green Point Stadium. Not the stadium, although it is impressive. Not the glitch-less way in which thousands of people were ushered in and out of the area. No, on the face of the little boy next to me, when he watched his hero Henry walk onto the field. In his lifetime, in his city, in his country, he sees this man run tall onto his grass. His eyes were glassy, his mouth wide open. His shivering under his thin jersey stopped and he let out a yell of joy never to be forgotten. A 16.5 billion rand yell that got drowned out by a 16.5 billion rand vuvuzela honking, 16.5 billion rand of goodwill and pride. 

I have seen what 16.5 billion rand looks like, and it looks good!

I am English, I am cursed: by Tim

… Little did I know what becoming an England supporter entailed. Nobody warned me. My parents didn’t follow the game, or more accurately had given up. 1990 was a false dawn and a litany of failures followed. I feel sure that the England team fails unlike any other, running aground in the calmest of waters, surcoming to the most preventable of calamities. I wander if every nation feels what we do, if we all share the same feeling just from a different perspective. But I often feel being an England fan exposes me to a unique type of emotional torment and pain. All the past glories of our small island, we now look for in our football team. We expect so much. From 1990 – 2010, my World Cups are nightmares revisited. Each time I tell myself it will be different, each time I think of new and ingenious ways to circumnavigate the pain of just watching England, but I’m yet to find a tonic.

Elands Bay vs Doubt, 1-0: by Hanli

… I have strong memories of being a kid and being taken in by random people when my dad’s car broke down, as it always did. Maybe that was then. We drive through Melbosstrand, Velddrif, Ventersdorp… we are aiming for a last Atlantic surf in Elands Bay before heading inland past Bloem to the northern host cities. The surf is small and clean on the Elands Bay beach break. ‘What about the Hotel’, Tim says. ‘You could ask them’. I swallow drily, he really believes my tales of bygone hospitality. But it is practical. The Hotel is right on the beach. We park the muddy bakkie outside the Hotel door. Crap. The sign on the door says, ‘No surfboards, No wetsuits, No vuvuzelas.’ We’re stuffed….

For more words and pics see: www.soccersurfroadtrip.com


Issued by:

Hanli Prinsloo
Email: hanli@iamwater.co.za

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