dirk diggler arrived to pick me up, gave me a quick run-through of his car, a beat-up citi golf sans power-steering or automatic gears that actually allows one to drive his vehicle: sweet!
we had drinks with noddie and a couple of his friends, and now that i've seen who noddie's dating i understand why he's not quite comfortable seeing hyperviper - one really shouldn't date one's best friend's ex. especially not immediately after him...
i dropped dirk diggler at his girlfriend's place, and began the journey to the vortex.
i broke camp and left yesterday at around 2.30pm, and now that i've slept 13 hours i find it absolutely amazing that i managed the drive back without incident. i was exhausted and hurting, and can now appreciate just how badly i've mistreated my poor muscles with my antics ^_^
although i must say that i'm well impressed that i only got slightly sunburned - i used cream and was very particular about being in the shade as much as possible.
two bags of jelly tots, and i still caught myself falling asleep at the wheel - i'm very lucky that i registered what was happening and managed to sort myself out quickly.
i will no longer consider alternatives to the vortex.
i'm going to begin my description with a revelation that i had on the first day: contrary to how it feels on the outside, the vortex is the real world and everything else is just a dream.
these people arrive from all walks of life, and are free to drop their assumed external personas and just enjoy themselves. it is a place where being happy is okay, and thinking about others is cool - where the concept of "brotherhood of man" actually makes sense and doesn't need to be attacked with cynicism.
i spent the first night wearing my mask. most people thought it was great, some people had a good laugh and a couple were frightened... whenever someone asked me why i was wearing the mask i had to explain that i wasn't.
i wear a mask 24 hours a day for most of the year, and it's only when i come to that kind of environment that i can really take it off.
as i passed a tent on my way to the dancefloor on the second evening, i overheard some girl saying: "jesus, that's the craziest looking guy on the dancefloor" - that made me smile :)
the truth is that i don't need drugs to get into exactly the same frame of mind and feel the music - obviously not as intensely, but close - and just let my body go as the music dictates. the only difficulty is that the energy that i'm using is my own so i get worn out a bit more easily.
from the first evening i managed to develop a slight chafe, which got progressively worse throughout the festival. funnily enough, it didn't affect my dancing / stomping / digging, only my walking, so by the end i was awkwardly trying to dance my way from place to place even when there wasn't a beat to assist me :P
public service announcement: using anthisan cream burned a lot, but although it doesn't specify any use relating to chafing i woke up this morning in an unbelievably better state!
i managed to sneak my car into a sweet space very close to the main stage, parking next to a bunch of sweet guys with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground.
it bothers me that so many people came in with glass bottles in spite of the specific request on the invitations and the check at the entrance. and if you are going to bring in glass anyway, and you accidentally drop a bottle on the floor, then even if you're completely wasted you should pick up the shards or move them to the side of the path, because most people are milling around barefoot.
hyperviper and his buddies only arrived about an hour and a half later, it was great spending so much time with them and a real pity that hyperviper himself just isn't into trance :(
i cannot even count the number of old friends i ran into the last couple of days - it was absolutely wonderful to see so many faces from the end of the 90's (and, fantastically enough, to remember their names), and it turned the festival into another sort of a reunion :P
i spent most of my time dancing, very little of it near the tent, and the rest of it chilling at the coffee tent. hyperviper's friend and the guys who ran the stall are practically family, so we all became fast friends :)
including a very serious straight-laced dude, who almost immediately asked me: "bru, are you a military man? i have a sense for these things". the angel also picked that up fast, in spite of everyone else assuming that i was just another half-crazed and high hippie... interesting.
a few hours before midnight i caught up with tgtbt's little brother, and we had the longest conversation we've ever had the opportunity to have. i'm really glad for the opportunity for the other half of the discussion that i had with his mother the evening before!
the crossover to new year's was nuts, as usual. the main stage was simply too packed to move! the first ten minutes of 2009 were spent jumping up and down crazily and being covered in j.c. le roux :P
i finally went to sleep around 3.30am in order to have enough energy to do the wake-up set. it's a pity i was too tired by that stage to set up my tent, because when i put it up in the morning it only took about five minutes and i would've slept SO much better than in the car :S
[and in case you're wondering, i hadn't put it up yet because until it was dark i didn't know that i'd picked the right place - every year i end up having to move]
after a quick swim in the dam, and some bouncing around to dry, i had another hour's nap - four hours' of sleep is a lot for a vortex :)
then the native american came out for some serious stomping, replete with orange and black laces for my arms. they were great except that every half an hour or so i needed to retie them. those were removed by a couple of sweet girls on my way out, i hope they got good use :)
i finally introduced myself to the angel from the easter vortex. she's absolutely gorgeous, and embodies so much awesome that i immediately regretted meeting someone that interesting that i won't be able to see. she's not even living in cape town anymore, so we basically have a week together if things do work out :S
the chill-out floor, after a full day of horribly bad breakbeat - annoying everyone back to the main stage every time - had become the place to be, with good groovy tunes and a great game involving a giant ball and lots of players. and me, the hero of the day, the only one able to retrieve the ball from the netting above with well-aimed throws of the waterbottle :)
i slept about two and a half hours before waking up 3am freezing - i was so cold that i was shivering and chattering to the dancefloor and it took me about ten minutes to warm up enough to mission for coffee, i was terrified that i was going to be sick.
i had peanut buttered chicken for breakfast, and then went to the israeli stall for coffee and to be be introduced to the jewish contingent - it was a great way to wake up :)
the sun rose on a beautiful set, dancing with tgtbt, the watermelon man and the guys from call-a-pizza.
i woke protoplasm up for a repeat breakfast at the israeli stall, and we took over the field to play frisbee. a puppy (i can't tell the difference between pit-bull and staffie puppies) decided to join us, and hilarity ensued as we just couldn't display the tenacity she did. at some point i realized that she'd been working way too hard, and i had to trick her into going to the bar to get some water.
the angel returned toward the end of play, and i joined her on the dancefloor until it was time to chill again.
on the way to the dam i suggested to tgtbt's brother that he join us, but it took him and his buddies so long to get organized that i saw them on my way back :P
up there i said goodbye to the neighbours, laughed at the girls who were shocked by some guy skinny-dipping, was impressed by farmhands taking cues from the trippers, and enjoyed a few minutes cooling off in the stunning water.
i missed the path on my way back, and picked up a fellow traveller in the form of a giant bulldog bitch. i walked with her for a couple of hundred painful metres before realizing my mistake, and she escorted me back to the path.
the end of shift's set was inspiring, and had me drawing on energy that i hadn't been aware that i still had! the angel went off to get something, i went for another bacon & egg burger, and she came to find me to say goodbye.
it drizzled a bit while i ate, and i quickly made my way back to the main stage in the hopes of digging in some mud. for the next couple of hours there were hints of rain, and all of us praying for more - one girl with a giant inflatable shark was sitting on it in the hopes that "noah's shark" would keep her safe :)
there's a gorgeous, and extremely tall black woman who i see at all the parties, but this is the first time we actually communicated - i think she noticed that i'd taken a photo of her. ooh! that reminds me, hyperviper missed his calling in life. he used to be a model photographer, but what he's even better at is voyeurism - he caught so much unsuspecting talent on my camera that i was surprised when i went through the photos :P
it eventually did rain, allowing us a solid mud stomp, and i was joined there by aeroplane's ex, another person i haven't seen in absolute ages, and whose pure joy brought the most ridiculous smile to my face ^_^
and then it was time to go.