Botriver is one of those in-between towns. In between Elgin and Franschhoek. In between Cape Town and Hermanus. In between dust and sticks. The dog show at Engen garage is the last gateway before prisoners of elevators and calendar appointments flee into fynbos country. Botriver feels like driving through a farmers’ backyard. Vague patchworks and scars of tentative farming between graveyards of earthmoving equipment. In a valley of haunted farm houses a few wineries work on bleeding out some of South Africa’s best shiraz. Our cabin at Kol Kol farm was in lockdown during an entire spectrum of weather conditions. Built on the edge of a small ecosystem of luminous veld which any UCT botanist would go nuts about. Primal feelings of feeding and fire burning take over when you’re bathing in rooikraans smoke and copper mountain water like a rite of initiation. Instead of speaking in tongues, you’re speaking in Afrikaans.