Mar 16, 2012

On the Rum

Firstly this post has nothing to do with alcohol, that is unless you take the coughing medicine into account. So i'm sitting nice and cozy inside a house with the rain drizzling down in the south cape.

Mostly this post is a bit of a reflection of exactly how fortunate we are, and if you are reading this then (unfortunately) you fall into this category. In all likelihood you have an tertiary education, own a computer, car and mostly a positive bank statement. None of us had to rely on the kindness of a random soul to pick us up mext to the side of the road to avoid the long rainy walk back home.

 But before i go crashing off in that direction, the actual inspiration for the post came from a filling station along the way. Needless to say it wasn't at Zhell, am i even allowed to do that? Doesn't really seem like most people care, and given the fact that i also drive a car, albeit slowly, i'm probably causing as much trouble as the next person with my carbon footpront. And even though green and oil company can't be mentioned in the same sentence, if you come into my country with a hogwashed mission to pull another feeding scraps to a poor African country and messing up the environment you seriously can't expect my support.

In any case, i stopped at lets say station A along the N2 and had a moment or two to enjoy the scenery with some nice valleys flowing down the mountain. After a minute or two my brain tried to bring something to my attention. Slowly fading into reality i realised that the attendants were not exactly what you would call energetic. Or for that matter friendly. Busy yes, seeming to move between a lot of cars and back and forth to the shop, but this hubbub of attention never quite reached old patience (in the 10 minutes or so) who eventually wore thin and broke from her starting blocks like a racehorse on the way to greener pastures.

This spout of activity carried me almost 200m before the petrol gauge caught me attention once more. Oh yes that's why we pollute and stopped at station A. A wave of nostalgia hit me and right there and then i would have gladly traded in old patience for a trip roughly 200 years in time, when things moved slower and people had time for one another. Even so an empty petrol tank does not fill itself, and so sadly after a jubilant 100m of imagining patience as a thoroughbred stallion galloping through the fields, i pulled into station B.

Sometimes you just have a good feeling about something, or maybe it was the way the petroljoggie jumped up and down to indicate to patience that her feeding stall was waiting. With a (semi) dignified manner we pulled up, wary of any hint of reminiscence of the previous experience. A jovial greeting set things off to a good start and an extremely friendly and helpful minute later the deal was sealed. With patience tethered to the good old polluting stuff i went indoors to draw some cash. A female doppelganger of the petroljoggie appeared, although in this case no evil or bad omens lurked as the service was on par with what i experienced outside.
So long story short and my faith restored in those evil places we have to visit every now and then the time for reflection came over the next couple of 100km's or so.

Was there really such a great difference between the two sets of people at station A and B? I'm assuming both come from roughly the same area, so can the difference in attitude be explained by socio-economic circumstances, or rather by a sort of fiscal rule of the owners of the petrol stations? Why is it that some people just always appear to be having fun and enjoying life, while to others its become a drag? What is it to this bittersweet drug called life that makes us cling so steadfastly to certain beliefs and ideas (or ideals). Anyway, before i ramble off to another topic it's probably time for more of that cough medicine...

Mar 14, 2012


So finally after learning much more than I ever wanted to know about domain hosts, DNS servers and settings, A records CNAME, MT and TXT entries the website should now finally be up and (holding thumbs) running smoothly. After some initial struggles with the linking and mapping with the Google sites page, switched to Weebly. Although it does not allow such dynamic control over the website as with Google sites one does get the hang of it quite quickly, and for something that needs to be basic and operational it should be fine.

For those of you that lost me somewhere there, no worries, felt the same way somewhere in the last week. The website with more details and information about the next big adventure in my life, the Kili2Cape ride should explain all (in time).
This blog is linked to the website so to all the 'old' followers either should be fine for checking my progress along the way, only applicable when there is signal. Kili2Cape

In short the idea is to ride back down from Kilimanjaro to Cape Town, linking up with the Freedom Challenge along the way. For an extra challenge I decided to enter for the extreme triathlon, must have momentarily lost my mind there. The aim of the ride down is to create a trail similar to the Freedom Challenge, i.e. very little/no tar roads and plenty hikeabike sections to ride some awesome trails and singletrack. Along with this ride I'll be running a fundraising campaign for three charity organizations, follow this link for more information.

So the basics are getting sorted out, although still a kaziliion other things to do, but that should do it for today, as they say, keep the rubber side down!

Mar 6, 2012

The Preparation

Time always seems to be the hardest factor with any preparation. Last year following some vague ideas and comments the idea of a mountain bike ride from Kilimanjaro to Cape Town started taking some hazy semblance of a dream.

Now with less than a month to go this dream is fast becoming a reality.
Just to get the ball rolling: The plan is to do a unsupported ride from Kilimanjaro down to Cape Town (April to July), and hopefully arrive at Pietermaritzburg in time for the Freedom Challenge this year. Seeing that Kili is the highest point in Africa it should be a relatively straightforward downhill ride home.

Some later developments on the blog and further posts will give a better idea of the route, equipment struggles and what not, for now its time to get back to the admin side of things and find some more sponsors.