Seasoned travellers on a ‘secret mission’

2015-04-30 17:18
Seasoned travellers Paul and Maria Eberhard from Aston Bay, will soon embark on a journey to Zambia to collect footage for a special project. 

Seasoned travellers Paul and Maria Eberhard from Aston Bay, will soon embark on a journey to Zambia to collect footage for a special project. Photo: MONIQUE BASSON

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MONTY is in tip-top shape, passports are in order, all the necessary medical tests can be ticked off, the route has been mapped out . . . and the packing has started.

All that is left to do, is loading the bags and, of course, the not-to-be-forgotten coffee machine before they can close the door behind them and once again take the road to their next bucket list destination.

This time round, seasoned travellers Paul and Maria Eberhard’s faithful companion Monty - a 4 x 4 truck specially manufactured in Knysna and which includes living facilities - will be steered towards Zambezi in Zambia on a “secret mission”. This is the first time they will be visiting Zambezi.

Paul is still extremely secretive about this mission, and says the magic word is 4k, also known as Ultra High Definition.

The Eberhards will embark on their three month long journey from Aston Bay on April 15. Covering between 3 500km to 4 000km. From Aston Bay they will travel to Gaborone, visit the Victoria Falls at Kasane before crossing over to Zambia where they will pass through the Liuwa Plains before arriving at the border of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo - all while collecting footage.

Collecting footage and film editing are not new territories to Paul.

In 1999 he was awarded a bronze certificate at the Dolphin Awards in the Associate Division Category for his film Chapungu, a wildlife documentary. The very next year he received a merit certificate for a video he made of a luxury guest house and national monument in the Mountain Zebra National Park near Cradock, while in 2001 he took home a coveted silver certificate for his production Bird, a visual accompaniment to the song from South African music outfit Dead Can Dance.

Paul’s love for film and editing started in 1966 when he decided to hitch hike from Cape Town to Switzerland. Armed with a super 8mm film camera and ten rolls of film, he took to the road. On his arrival at Bira in Mozambique, he sold his camera to pay for a ferry ticket to India.

Some years later, he even featured in various films and television studies.

Apart from awards for his films, Paul - who is a graduate of the Swiss Hotel School in Lucerne - also boasts the title of the European Bar Tending Championship winner in 1978, after which he took the John White World Cup in 1979.

In 1986 he held the position of director of the Homeopathic School of Switzerland.

Paul and Maria moved to South Africa in 1992 and relocated to Jeffreys Bay in 1995 where they opened the first five star B andamp; B guest house called Stratos.

“There are still big things to come. At the age of 70 I must take on new challenges to prevent myself from rusting,” says Paul laughingly.

According to Paul, one route which he would love to discover, but which is a nightmare route and nearly impossible to travel, is the road leading from Lubumbshi to Kinshasha.

“Travellers wishing to join us on our next journey, are more than welcome to contact me. However, they must have their own vehicle (a bakkie or 4 x4), food, passports, medicine and be in good health. They must also know that it costs money,” says Paul.

Paul can be contacted at 082 652 1944

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