A 100 day rogue road trip in South Africa by KW associate editor, Kyle Cabano

Words and photos: Kyle Cabano

THE PRELUDE

Tonight is my three month anniversary since starting the road trip. It is also the final week that I will spend on the coast before returning to Cape Town for the arrival of spring and the early summer south-easters. I am sitting in my van; the same van where it all began. I think the idea came about in the first week of this year as I was travelling home along the east coast with a newly acquainted friend, Rudi. The beginning of a new year always seems a great time to set goals and mine seemed clear as day: in two years time I see myself living the van life, full time. Putting some more committed thought in, moving along the coast in search of the best surf and wind conditions, while exploring new parts of my home country, seemed so ideal. Not long into my brief investigation into the used van market I came across a 1984 Volkswagen Transporter 3 campervan in March; totally unique in its look with a fibreglass high top and an electric blue paint job. I didn’t ask too many questions after I heard it start first time and, before I'd given it too much more thought, had the keys in hand. The plan was coming together sooner than I had anticipated!

The van project very quickly became an obsession and each of the restoration projects took far longer than expected; three times longer to be precise. Between March and June I spent a lot of my off-time working on the cosmetics myself and getting mechanical work done by tradesmen in preparation for a big winter road trip. The winter in South Africa is absolutely spectacular along the east coast and it only gets sweeter the further north you travel. My goal was to travel the full 2,500 kilometres on offer, known to be spectacular for surf with clean ground swells, offshore winds and a temperate climate. I hit the road on 4th June and it was an indescribable sensation to be driving out of the Helderberg basin overlooking False Bay, my home town and the area I have resided my whole life. I have travelled locally and internationally a fair bit, but this feeling was totally unique. A combination sensation that felt like I was driving to the airport, but there was no airport and I was just to keep on driving...

Kyle’s full story of vehicle challenges combined with emotional highs on and off the water as he discovered the full glory of South Africa’s winter coastline will feature in the Kiteworld Winter 2021/22 print edition, released November. Subscribe to our special winter and summer print editions now – Click here

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