SOUTH Africa might seem a long way from the tiny, historic township of Clunes, but the two were brought together in a narrative sense over the weekend.
One of the weekend’s highlights was an author talk by journalist and motorcyclist Heather Ellis, who travelled on her own with nothing but a steel horse during the 1990s, experiencing “a thousand lifetimes” along the way.
Ellis spoke about her new book Ubuntu, which details her hair-raising experiences and moving encounters in the colourful African nation, with scores of readers packing into the Clunes Warehouse to hear the author.
Ubuntu, a South African concept meaning the bond of human inter-connectedness, was something Ellis experienced in spades while motorcycling the nation.
The Melbourne-based writer was diagnosed with HIV at the end of her trip.
“Everybody helped me all the time,” she said.
“African is a village… and I put my trust in the local African people.”
Ellis is writing a sequel to Ubuntu about her subsequent motorbike ride through Central Asia.