09 Apr Addo-Cradock
Today marks the start of the leisurely trek northwards that will lead us through the semiarid region of the Karoo and evenually to the Kalahari desert. The day starts on a happy note, the road is good and the traffic light. We set off at a good speed down a highway which is actually little more than a state road and has a really wide shoudler, which is fortunate, as we won’t be too much of nuisance to other drivers. The sun is shining – what else could we wish for? An easy journey, without a hitch. But as soon as the sun goes down it’s time to party once again! We have been invited by McCormick’s Cradock delaer at a gathering of local farmers who want to welcome Xtractor. When we arrive at the venue a whole lamb is being roasted on a spit for the quintessentially Southafrican rite of braai, the national version of a barbeque. But we have our own ace, Michelin starred chef Ilario Vinciguerra, who takes up the challenge and whips up a dish prepared with what local ingredients are available at the town’s little supermarket. The area is known for cattle and sheep, as well as citrus groves, therefore milk, butter and cheese are melted together and used for a tasty risotto flavoured with dried sausage and lemon peel, cooked right in front of an interested (and hungry) crowd. The evening ends with lots of toasts, rivers of beer and a downpour that makes farmers even happier. Long hail Xtractor!