The glories of globetrotting

2012-07-07 00:00

IF anyone had told Herman (44) and Candelaria Zapp (42) that they would be on the road for 12 years, have children along the way and run out of money, they wouldn’t have realised their dream.

The Argentinian couple has been to more than 40 countries in two continents — America, Asia and now Africa.

It all started in the Argentinian city of Buenos Aires with a 1928 Graham-Paige Model 610 car, $4 000 and a dream. Since then they have puttered around the world at about 70 km/h, touching and inspiring people on the way with their remarkable story of courage, faith and love.

They have decided to make South Africa their first stop in Africa, and a Howick family was kind enough to take them in. Candelaria said they were invited to different homes where they shared their story. During their travels in their antique car they have been hosted by more than 2 000 families.

They flew from India to Johannesburg and then took a bus to Durban to collect their car, which was shipped from India.

“Travelling has always been our dream. We would read books about it and discuss it. It was a dream that wouldn’t go away,” said Candelaria.

She lit up as she told the story of how they met. “I met Herman when I was eight and he was 10 years old. We became friends.”

They started dating six years later and married after 10 years.

Their plan was to travel across the American continent to Alaska after two years of marriage, a six-month journey by road. But it was only six years later that they finally embarked on their dream journey. “We kept making excuses. We never felt ready.”

While other married peoples were planning to have children, Herman and Candelaria had a different longing. “We felt empty. Something was missing,” said Candelaria.

Their families and friends thought they were crazy.

The road trip to Alaska took them over two years and they faced challenges along the way, including having to build a boat to travel through the Amazon. They ran out of money and had to improvise. “I painted and Herman framed the paintings. We sold them and got money.”

The couple wrote a book Spark Your Dream to document and share their journey with the world.

Over 80 000 copies have been sold worldwide.

They have been blessed with four children who were born in different countries, Pampa (9) born in the United States, Tehue (7) in Argentina, Paloma (4) in Canada and Wallaby (3) in Australia.

Although they don’t go to school like other children, Herman believes that they are getting the best “world schooling”.

The last time the Zapps saw their families was in 2010.

“We speak through Skype. It really helps because we can see them,” she said.

Staying with families in the countries they visit makes being away from home more bearable.

In Howick they were introduced to local food, including potjiekos, boerewors and pap.

They described South Africa a a “spectacular place” and said the people were amazing.

The family will be making their way to Pretoria, Kruger National Park and Cape Town. Then Namibia is next on their drive through Africa which will end in Egypt.

The site www.sparkyourdream.net tells more of their adventures.

• Siyathemba.Ben@media24.com

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