Dargle to Dargle
Jethro Bronner suits the colour “bluette”, standing alongside his classic car, posing a little self-consciously for the photograph. His Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTV6 1964 looks incredibly good in what was one of the more popular car colours back in the 50”s. This pair is going to make a most striking partnership as they conquer the 15 000 miles between Dargle, Kzn Midlands and Dargle, Ireland.
Only an “out of the box” 21 year old would consider a journey, on his own, from his home turf, the misty beautiful Dargle hills, all the way to equally misty and beautiful Dargle Ireland. Initially intending to journey from Cape Town to Oslo, “from the southernmost point where I have friends, to the northernmost point”, the adventure became more of a story, expressing Bronner’s attachment to his place of birth, and its roots.
“The Fannins, of Irish descent, settled in the area in the 1800’s,” explains Jethro, “and I come from this valley that has such a strong identity, and strong history. My house I grew up in, and which my family still live in was built by the Fannin family.”
Jethro was born in the Dargle in 1992, and according to him, “the locals my age who live here are very proud to come from the Dargle Valley. They feel a strong sense of identity with this place. My choice of route now makes complete sense, and plays into the history of this place in which I live.”
Young Bronner confesses to having always been “a petrolhead”. When most of his compatriots at pre-primary were drawing human figures with sticks and triangles in the right places, Jethro was sketching motor cars, in great detail. The entire family has a passionate interest in classic cars, “particularly my Dad” says Jethro. “he has owned a few Alfa Romeos in his life. My brother Joel drives a Lancia Fulvia 1969. Dad is driving an Alfa Romeo Spider 1976, and my mother Carl owns a 1963 Jaguar MKII.”
On his 18th birthday Jethro and his father drove to Cape Town to collect an Alfa GTV6, which they drove back together. On his return he did his driving test in a little Nissan Micra. “The polar opposite of the GTV6”, smiles Jethro, “difficult adjustment, but I did pass first time!”
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT 1964 rebuild is almost complete (long-range fuel tank fitted, set of spotlights, an electric fan on the radiator, charging point for laptop or GPS) according to Bronner, so the departure date is imminent. The roughly 15 000mile route is the long and winding one as the adventurer will be choosing the lesser used routes, and at this stage he imagines an 8 to 9 month drive will get him to Dargle in Ireland. From Dargle, Kzn it’s Botswana…Zimbabwe…Zambia…Tanzania…Rwanda…Uganda…Kenya…Ethiopia and Sudan…Egypt…Jordan…Israel…Turkey…Greece…Macedonia…Albania…Montenegro…Croatia…Slovenia…Italy… Austria, Czech Rep. Poland, Lithuania, Latvia. Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, France, England, Scotland, Isle of Man, and finally Ireland. Blog: dargletodargle.com