We’ve stumbled on the set of a mid-20th century movie. You can almost see the tumbleweed drift across the road and hear the rattle of a coiled snake. There’s a sepia undertone to the brick-and-rust vintage diner. The red, green and yellow of the fuel pumps in front stand out in sharp relief. We’re at the Diesel & Crème vintage diner on Route 62, Barrydale, in South Africa’s Karoo heartland, but we might as well be anywhere in Jack Kerouac’s America.
Arthur is obviously mad about vintage cars and motorbikes. You can expect to see a few of his favourites parked outside. The last time we visited, apart from the Chevy the birthday ladies used as a prop, there was a black Pontiac and a Harley-Davidson with a licence plate ‘Spoilt-WP’. He confesses it’s not the only bike in the family, but insists this isn’t a place just for bikers: ‘Everyone’s welcome and everyone’s treated equally.’
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