May 25, 2012

The end of the road

Currently in Zinkwasi. If you are ever passing through do the effort to stop over at Avalon B&B. Amazing hosts, sponsoring my stay over. Always a lot of fun meeting like minded people, reckon could spend a lot of time here just swapping stories.

So instead of the dreaded tar today turned out to be some amazing riding through beautiful forests, swampy forest trails with boardwalks (pretty sure wasn't allowed to ride there but super fun), and lot of sugar cane. Almost killed myself today, could have turned out lot worse so i'm extremely grateful. Missed a cable on super steep downhill, luckily was braking for a ditch and sitting back so shoulder took most of punch. Shudder. Zebra and giraffe.

If i knew the area better would be able to do the same tomorrow, although closer to Durban that might become a problem. Will see how tomorrow goes.

Will do a post on distance and time and all of that once in Durban. Got until the 16th to get fit for a 75km trail run, which if you know me you would know i'm def not a runner. So it might turn out to be an interesting challenge.

In any case, time for this mzungu to hit the bed, sun has been down for a long time.

May 23, 2012

Untitled

SA! Finally!

Somehow thinking back on the last two months of riding nothing seems to stand out. It all just flows and blurs together in one amazing adventure. That is until you actually take time to sit with people and some stories just want to be told, sometimes it feels a bit like a puppet show. And then you realise that this adventure was&is a life changing experience. Like finding a grass seed embedded in your testicle two weeks later...that is seriously one ride i'll never forget. Sorry to the more sensitive listeners. 

In any case. Got a new filling. New bike. And new riding partners. Although the new ones aren't too great on the telepathy yet. All the previous 'friends' at least laughed at my mental jokes. And moving on. 

Nothing quite like South African hospitality. And food. Although for some reason after almost two months of eating every and anything slower than me (ok except the kiddies), my body just doesn't want to cope with great food anymore. Maybe it is a sign...

So feeling sorry for myself and not too keen on 100km of tar riding i decided to take the easy way out, at 80km/h in a car. If anyone has some serious complaints about this please inform me in writing, Mzungu, Durban. It should find me. 
The really great news is that i'm taming a new beast, a Specialized carve pro 29er. Unfortunately my panniers has become so specialised themselves that it can basically only go on the tank. So doing a bit more supported than i would have wanted, but since it is only about 300km i'm not going to break myself over it. Still carrying the backpack, so basically just preparing for the Freedom Challenge. Again complaints in ink to previous addres.  

Started today in Esikhotheni private game reserve, amazing stop over. Thanks so much Dave for organising the riding through the reserve. Unfortunately no ellies, but Kudu, Njala and impala. Beautiful riding. 

After about 20km bakkie pulled up and asked about trip and invited us to drop in at hotel in Mkuze (the driver not the bakkie). 
Popped in at the Mkuze hotel, the Ghost mountain inn, and met Ross. What an amazing stop, got some food and drinks on the house. As an added bonus they're busy building some mtb trails. Can anyone spell Jacuzzi, Spa and mountain bike;). Another special place that will see me again. 

The riding was quite scenic today with some easy rolling hills and a little bit of rough stuff. Was interesting to hear how other people experienced it (my parents are taking turns cycling along to durban). Complaints about the corrugation left me puzzled. Corrugation? Nothing compared to mozam standards, which bodes well for the willowmore prins albert section, untill i get my coffee, looking forward to it Johan!;)

Into hluhluwi another bakkie pulled up. I love bakkies. Met Gavin from the river lodge. Will def have to come back for some of these trails and singletracks they keep on building over here. The next mtb mecca?

Still feeling bit tired so time to end post. Not going to say too much about the bike and handling yet, although it feels like it wants to run away on the hills (dropping 10kgs probably does that). Also feels like i'm relearning to ride a bike. Need smaller wheels and more weight;). Does seem to handle rocks and bumps much better. (although the weight issue again). Also does much worse in sand than the tank (the weight issue again) ;). 

In spite of all my misgivings and previously being (vehemently) against 29ers i can see myself getting the hang of this beast. And (heaven forbid) actually really enjoy the riding and handling;)

Ok so that doesn't really could as a bike review, so i promise i'll do a better job in duban after some more time on it, and a full comparison to my old trusty steed after the freedom. Probably the best way to compare them in any case. 2300km of the best riding you're likely to do (continously) through SA. 

So to sum it up. I love SA and the people here. 
SA! Finally!

Somehow thinking back on the last two months of riding nothing seems to stand out. It all just flows and blurs together in one amazing adventure. That is until you actually take time to sit with people and some stories just want to be told, sometimes it feels a bit like a puppet show. And then you realise that this adventure was&is a life changing experience. Like finding a grass seed embedded in your testicle two weeks later...that is seriously one ride i'll never forget. Sorry to all the

May 21, 2012

Losing the plot

This might seem a bit arb to those with a sense of direction, but i'm currently sitting in Nelspruit. Met up with my parents in Swaziland who brought the new bike, Specialized Carve, seems solid. In a good way. Even though i'm a bit of an anti 29er, when setting up the bike this afternoon was sort of wishing had it a thousand ks ago at the start of the heavy(ier) sand and corrugation. Maiden flight tomorrow!

Stayed over at Mkhaya game reserve in Swazi last night. Amazing time. Going to dentist tmrw, pratley puttey was excellent for fixing bike frame, saddle, bag, random small stuffs, waterproofing wounds etc but couldn't quite get myself to use it to replace the filling. (Although in my mind tye whole procedure has already been worked out, and when my body is dug up a thousand years from now they'll remark on how strong our molars were). Or how tough the food must have been.

In any case. Heading back to swazi tomorrow and then out to SA. No way going back to where was picked up, would have to stick on tar roads till border so might skip a section but thats fine by me. Smokkel route that was part of plan through Lebombo mountains is bit out of question with the parentals in a very inconspicious black Landy behind me.

Even though the new bike has eyelets for a pannier, the one i've been using has been so modified that it is pretty much custom built to the bike. So going to chicken out and las the other bag in the car the last 400km to durban. Would have happened with freedom in any case so doesn't seem like cheating too much. Although first prize would have been to cycle out till Durban with the old (sadly broken) rusty steed. Freewheelbody and bearings was so bad last 20km everything was slipping, almost resorted to cableties, fixing casette to spokes. With some very smooth pedalling luckily this was avoided. Although the 13km pass was interesting, especially after a 1000km of flat riding.

Time for bed, and almost riding again!

May 19, 2012

Farewell Mozam

Hiding out again with my neon orange tent (what happened to nice camo army tents?). Couldn't make turnoff so lot of traffic, camping next to big tar road. Due to bike chickened out of planned route and did 60km tar today, after 80 super bumpy corrugated sand and what not roads. Thought it would be easier on bike and myself, although having some doubts now.

The corrugation didn't only break me, took some time today to try and fix the fixie (i would much rather have preferred a singlespeed than losing the freewheelbody). Found two cracks on the frame, with one almost classifying itself as a break.
Pratley puttey, cable ties and a hose clamp later..will see how it holds up tomorrow. Unfortunately nothing i can do about the freewheelbody except man up a bit. Legs feeling it though.

Which probably makes this as good a time as any to make the anouncement....
Drum roll... Got a specialized sponsorship for a bike!! Whoop! Still need to work out the details and everything, but even though it might rob me of some spectacular fixie training i'm stoked. Thanks Harry!

Only downside is that it is a 29er which i've been vehemently against...oops. Will see.

Less than 200km from SA border, so last stretch in sight!

May 18, 2012

The friends

Currently sitting in Chokwe, still about 200 odd km to go to Swaziland. Hoping and praying for no more corrugation, chances are i'm about a cm shorter than 700km ago.

Roads were pretty boring except sections next to national parks, little animals though. Had entertaining morning with Forster, the mine sniffing rat. Hats off to these people qnd the work they do, www.apopo.org.

Time to get some grub, restock some food and head off again!

May 15, 2012

Radio silence

Dondo-Mavue 420km 3 days.

Took taxi back to Dondo and my bike, hoping and praying for the best. Loving the marimbo song. Eventually got everything sorted and headed off to the hospital. The people at the youth mission was absolutely amazing, much better than the stay over at Beira.

Unfortunately it was some sort of parade of hospital, no people to do test. As i was about to leave one nurse luckily came back and could do test. An anxious wait and negative. Sigh of relief, although have to go for another one after week.

In any case went to say goodbye to my gaudrian angels Roberto and Laura, thank you guys so much for everything! Bad news, roberto now has malaria, hope you feel 100s by now!

Headed off very slowly, idea was to just make junction after tar (35km) and see how far get on gravel. Still not 100s but much better. The next two days consisted of zero climbing so progress was pretty good even though tired. Bike busy falling apart beneath me though, perfect terrain for riding a fixie although it is hell on the legs! Can't wait for a steep downhill;). Luckily by times it is sorting itself out so yesterday the freewheelbody was much appreciated. Jockey wheel came apart with bearings flying everywhere, thank goodness for all the spares im carrying, where is my extra bb...lets just keep on hoping, touch wood.

Riding is spectacular, amazing areas passing through, little signal (which makes it even better) so sorry for no updates. Should cross save river today and then we will see how accurate the maps description of sandy two spoor is...

Roads pretty sandy but extremely thankful that the locals ride a singlespeed rigid(well almost all of them) so normally there is a very fine line to ride. Hard though, dodging traffic staying on line, missing sand or gunning through it, fun times. Seeing a lot more evidence of the war, really amazes me how open and friendly these people still are, and towards me, not so sure the reverse would have been true in SA if war was other way round. Imagine an USA in vietnam... In any case Warm and friendly to point of rivalling tanzania..

Was stopped yesterday by 'kom hier dan kan ons bietjie afrikaans praat'. Almost fell off my bike, really in middle of nothing and nowhere. Had good laugh and conversation with Peter from Welkom.

Time to get ready for the rest of the sandy monster to the river and hoping it improves...

May 10, 2012

Satelite

Still wating in Dondo. At least the fever attacks are over. Figured out which strain of malaria i have, falsicrum something, which could have turned out a lot worse but didnt so moving on.

In a way this time off is much harder than the cycling, at least i know (well kinda) what to expect on the bike and there is something you can do to overcome the obstacles, terrain or whatever problems might arise. This is different. I'm taking pills but seriously struggling to adapt to sitting/lying around the whole day without doing anything. Even taking some middagslapies, although in my condition i reckon it is excusable.

Not that i really had the energy for anything the last few days. Listened to music most of the day, probably more than on the whole trip so far. Caught up with some writing. Bugging people back home. Basicly anything to distract myself. The rise against fans will enjoy this.
You cant feel the heat until you hold your hand over the flame, you won't know your worth now son until you take a hit...

Pretty sure this counts as a hit on the journey. Talked to ruben about it as well, this journey is about moments, and realising that and sometimes just sitting back and taking those moments in. Making memories of the heart. Meeting people. Missing people. Experiences on and off the track.

Hitting the curve ball is what life is all about. Sometimes the moments that knocks us down forces us to re-evaluate and adjust our lives.

So time to stop feeling sorry for myself and time to get better;). Poor guy in room next to me also caught malaria, same strain and strength, but one day behind me. Know what he is in for today, not fun. Unfortunately he is the only person able to speak english, so everyone turns to him when they want to know/ask me something. The people here at the missionary station have really been carrying me on their hands. Everytime that i have to take my meds they knock and make sure i do. Breakfast, lunch and dinner same story, pardon senhor food. Although had to turn a few of those down, they wouldn't have stayed down for long.

In any case for a change in scenary moved to Beira, where i'm paying more than double for less than half the service, already missing the people at the youth mission, but at least a new place to explore (the few km i can manage). Not something i can help but feeling extremely guilty over the price i'm paying for the accommodation (round R160 p night). Trying to forget about it, but the two nights here works out to something close to the food costs from here to South Africa. Shocking. Still trying to look past it, giving myself a break, but extremely difficult. Reckon its something that ie impossible to explain unless you've tagged along the past month or experienced something similar. It is not like the budhet was that tight, but most places there are only so many (few) things you can actually buy to eat. In any case.

On a lighter note i feel a bit like a mfipo (Lodiwikus!). Staring and (almost) pointing and shouting azungu at all the white people driving past. Quite an adjustment to see so many in one place, south africa is going to be an entertaining adaptation to lifestyle. Maybe just move into a shack somewhere...

May 8, 2012

Meltdown

Caia-Dondo 240km

Stayed over at Caia hotel, thanks mike for letting me camp out! Had the most amazing views of the moon when cycled back to the hotel (other place couldnt help/understand me). Stunning, heard later closest moon has been in a while.

Headed out onthe tar road, really have no idea how people cycle through africa on tar roads and survive, let alone enjoy the ride. Although i'm sure its something you can get used to, like chinese footbinding and such.

Finally turned left (30km), and headed south towards beira. On the one map it states 4*4 only during rain. Good thing i've missed the rain and on a 2*2. Started hitting the first real sand of the trip, at times going was extremely impossible and walking much more fun. Luckily most of the road was rideable though, getting quite proficient at handling the tank through the sand.
Road soon deteriorated and is quite similar to the stretch from Willowmore to Prins Albert, only longer. There is a thin good line at times, otherwise the choice is between heavy corrugation and sand. After a few hours of struggling through this terrain ran low on water. And spirits. Finally found some locals and some water, even though they were a bit scared to come closer.

Headed off again, even after a month of rough terrain i realised you can never get your backside to adapt to this sort of punishment. Painful riding for most of the day. At Inhaminga found an escort, Samuel who works for the goverment. My house, food. Government, pointing to himself. Pretty much sums up the conversation, although my portugese isn't much better. Hello thank you goodbye.

With so much time on the bike a lot of thoughts grinds and mills through one's mind and sometimes some hard truths hit home. Was feeding off a lot of negative energy today and finally got to me, had a good break down session at the side of the road. The poor guy who waited patiently for me to stop crying tried to figure out what was wrong. Eventually we both had a good laugh and off i went again. Started being eaten by tsetse's again so realised not too far from Gorongossa NP. At the supper stop this was confirmed with the people cautioning me against going on. Lions crossing after 10km. Good so i only cycled 5,6km before stopping to pitch my camp. Was hoping to hear some lions but no such luck. Saw some massive paw prints the next day though.

With everything in the tent after my waterbottle shower sat back on my sleeping bag and faded out. Weird, was a hard day but have had much worse, bit unsure why i was so tired. Woke an hour later and finished getting dressed and ready for bed. Two hours later had another great view of the moon as i ran outside. Was losing fluids and food in all sorts of manners. Back to bed, immodium and sleep. Probably the water had some dodgy bottles today but was warm so had little choice. Same thing two hours later. As i was puking my lungs out realised that this is probably more than bad food or water. Still no fever so decided to delay taking malaria meds. Round three or so developed fever, cold sweats and all the rest. Time to take the meds. Still i was hoping for the best.

Next day had about 20km to do to next big village. Luckily the road improved a bit. Was extremely weak, good thing trained for this with last years freedom experience. Finally hit the town. Had some fanta, which was cold and stayed down and generally was just amazing.

Was't feeling too bad just extremely weak so decided to catch a lift out to Dondo which has a good clinic and friends of a friend. Felt bit bummed about skipping the next 80km but also realised there is little to no chance of me cycling it in a day in this condition. i probably have the worst luck when it comes to hitch hiking, well havent been in accident yet but have had some interesting/dodgy rides. This turned out to be no different.

Since little traffic on that road, due to its condition took first available truck out. Loaded to top and above with empty bottles (very unstable base) i squized in along with my bike and 4 others. Got going. Bumpy as hell. Truck would try and keep momentum for sand and hit holes and ditches at speed. At times all i could do was hold on and close my eyes for the going up, coming down, hard. And i thought cycling the road was bad. Completely understand why some of the locals have no travelling spirit. Wasn't sure who had it worse, me trying to hold onto the bike packback and myself, the baby desperately clutching a teat, the mother trying to holf onto the other child or the guys at the back who was in the unfortunate position of being the last line of defence for several charcoal bags and my bike. Pole pole. Ride took about four hours. When i finally saw the tar road my body was well and truly broken. Might turn into a smurf after this.

Malaria se gat daai trokrit was n duisend keer erger. Although all the admin and issues from SA was just as bad, family figured out i was sick. Had to phone several people who was desperately searching for me. Finally got all that unnessasary admin sorted out and could proceed to go to the clinic. Please mom just relax, i've already done over 3000km of unimaginable terrain and experiences and i'm pretty sure i can look after myself by now.

Cycled into Dondo and contacted the now new friends. Loaded bike and off to the clinic for the test. Drove to their home. Phoned to get result. Bad news, tested positive. Good thing its not my aids test. Malaria strength two. Still trying to figure out which strain, my portugese eish.

So going to spend a few days resting and recovering in Dondo before hitting the final thousand and a bit to the border. Time for a middagslapie (Lodiwikus!)

May 5, 2012

Milanje-Caia 290km

Left Milange with some real food and very welcome resting, thanks Kobus and Nana, made me feel like a guest in a hotel at times. Getting soft again, time for some more camping and manning up;). Although if i knew what lay ahead some very different thoughts would have crossed my mind.

Had some more majestic views of mt mulanji as i headed out east (again) although this time a bit further away from the mountain. The road was in pretty decent shape and combined with the fact that i would be dropping around 700m today into the lowlands of mozambique, some vaguely maloco ideas of pushing miles entered the dome.
Luckily the road intervened. As well as the Mozambique admin. Got stopped for my bicycle license, and after convincing the official that it is registered in SA he wanted a bribe and then begged for money. Funny the difference between the two countries, here none of the children was begging and i'm loving kids again. Got stopped for the first time at the most random control post for my passport. Had to dig a bit.

Still pretty much smooth sailing and for the first time on the trip i was staying in the big blade for significant lenghts of time. Actually managed a 20ave for 3 hours. Was a bit surprised and unsure what to do with myself so consulted the gps and started takin some shortcuts.

At lunch with 120km down crossed a bridge and looked for the big turn off to some arb village. Eventually the local gps method worked much better. Should send some photos/info to garmin, in all likelihood a car has not been on this road since the war. The one side was pretty clear and def still in use by the locals. Althought the way they edged past me, trying not to go off the track made me a bit more than slightly worried about landmines...

Eventually lost the track completely, but only after the grass had ripped me to shreds (well close). At times i thought i might lose an eye even through my shades. The worst part about the grass i only found out the next day when i started sweating again, eina. Did some serious stetteyns bundu up and down, and after about an hour found a guy chopping it down who helped me find some form of track again. By now landmines was not even considered, no person could even remotely be crazy enough to mine this area, even just moving through it was a serious hassle. And mozam is almost mine free. The guy explained something about four bridges after which i would be able to ride fast. He might have referred to the road which i found the following day. One, two, three and lost myself again for the next two hours.

The trouble was that at times i could see the very old road, or sign of it, always heading south, but the locals and the more semi rideable track was varying between south, SE, SW, W, E and even N at times. Even though it was only 40km to the road never made it. With a beautiful moon rising and me heading off North again decided to cut my losses. Tried digging in the river for water to no avail. Found and lost a friendly dog. Finally found Thimo's house, the one i rode straight into also contained probably the only english speaking person in a 30km radius. Perfect.

If i do get malaria it will be from that night. While waiting for Thimo and pitching the tent i was probably bitten more than 100times. And thats a conservative estimate. Still made it into the tents after declining food, was hungry but too scared of being sucked dry. At least if i do get malaria i know exactly where i got it.

Left my bag on the bike and waaay to many mozzies out so had the brainless idea of making it without a sleeping bag. Interestingly cold night. Kept putting on clothes untill i woas wearing everyting i had. Still cold though. Thought of carl and put my legs inside the backpack which helped a bit.

To my surprise i woke up in the same place. Those moZzies was something else. Got an escort to the big road (only 4 very frustrating km away). Did about 15previous day just going up and down random paths leading nowhere, always endong up about 5km straightline on gps from the village. In any case extremely grateful for my host who had some good drink2beers.

ROAD!!! Salvation. And then after 10km felt robbed of something. A shortcut most definitely is the longest way of travelling between A and B but also by for the most fun way of doing it. Yesterday was not a day i would soon forget, for the suffering and frustration yes, but much mcuh more so for the amazing riding and sections of singletrack that very few azungus have had the previlage of riding.

Getting tired, so shortly today. My bundu trailblazing got me to a point where left detour to big road and tar later. Right back to original planned ride to The longest railroad bridge in africa (although crossing bit of issue money wise). Or another tempting shortcut straight through to Caia. Obviously i'm a slow learner so opted for the shortcut again. The riding quickly became insanely epic again although luckily not as overgrown as the day before. Singletrack mania. Had a very sketchy section along the river on some rocky outcrops, climbing experience came in handy. Amazing ride down shire, zambezia and zambezi river. All in all over 100km of singletrack riding in two days. Not too bad.

Lesson learned forgotten and all that. Lets hope it doesnt rain soon cause there is no way of hetting all the grass and seeds out of my hair anytime soon, the ultimate in going green?

May 3, 2012

The Price of civilization

A rest day in Milange. Taking a day off takes time. Something that i have a lot of nowadays. Although a day off the bike seems to take forever to pass. Quickly looked at some comments on the blog, signal doesnt really allow it, but thanks a lot everyone, nice knowing people are paying some attention to the ramblings of the maloco mzungu. Gerda thanks for keeping Hammie alive and well;)

In any case. A rest day takes time.
Gee sowel as vra. Gee tyd om wasgoed te was, fiets reg te maak, sak reg te maak, myself voor te berei sowel as heeltemaal te veel tyd om na te dink. Vra ook baie, word meer getref deur goed wat mens op fiets dalk nog bietjie verder in jou brein kan wegsit en later oor dink. Laat mens ook afvra waarom presies ek hier is en hoekom en doen wat ek doen. Alhoewel elke tweede persoon wil dit ook weet. Weer terug in Mozambiek. Malawi sal ek beskryf as die land wat ek die minste graag weer wil sien, maar wat vir van die beste oomblikke sover gesorg het.

Die stap in die Mulanje berge was n besonderse hoogtepunt (no pun intended) op die trippie. 'Rolling hills and soaring peaks'. Soos ruben gese het, dit is iets was op my bucketlist was. En dalk nu op repeat is. Soortgelyk met die fietsry is daar baie tyd om te dink met die stap. Dalk omdat dit minder inspanning is, of dalk omdat mens se brein nou nie vasgestrap word deur n helmet nie, was my gedagtes heel meer filosofies van aard as die meer gereelde, trap trap hou net aan met trap;). Wel tot n mate ten minste.

Baie gewonder oor wat presies nou die voordele en nadele van ons moderne samelewing was. Klara wat nounet terug is uit Korea het die afrikaanse geselskap net so baie soos ek geniet. Op daai noot, dankie ruben, klara en die madams vir n ongelooflike meelewing van die berge. Alhoewel dit was bietjie vreemd en intimiderend om 5 witmense op dieselfde plek te sien. Het agtergekom baie van die gesprekke gaan ver by my verby, daar is nie soveel tyd om oor trivial goed energie te mors op die fiets nie. Nie altyd so eenvoudig nie, maar iets gebeur of dit doen nie, min rede om energie te mors op n 'wat as' gedagte trein. Nogsteeds was n ongelooflike ervaring om bietjie op mulanji rond te loop en net alles te beleef. Terug punt toe.

Ek wens ek kon iets skryf wat betekenisvol n verskil in iemand se lewe maak. Iets wat iemand die waarde van die klein goedtjies kan laat insien. Iets wat sal maak dat die mense wat het, weer sal omgee vir mekaar, n sin van gemeenskap kan skep gemeenskap het soos wat ek die afgelope maand ervaar het. Iets wat mense rerig sal laat stop en nadink oor al ons voorregte, gawes en mors van tyd en energie. To force someone to take stock of their lives...'tomorrow will be the best day of his life'.
Ongelukkig is die werklikheid dat ek nie die talent het om so iets reg te kry nie. Waarskynlik het mense ook nie meer tyd of lus om so iets te lees nie. En dit is wat my aan die dink gesit het oor wat ons opgee vir ons 'moderne' samelewing. In plaas daarvan om nou vir n jaar af te rammel oor ervarings en belewenisse en ernstig te raak...

Klara, wat nu van die meer moderne kant van die wereld af terugkom het verleer hoe om afrikaans te praat. By tye engels ook. Ek het vergeet hoe om 'goeie' gesprekke te voer met mense, goeie ding ek is maar n stiller mens. Na die mees ongelooflikste uitsigte op die berg en oomblikke van net stilword en die skepping ervaar ry ek by die berg af in beskawing in, en die eerste ding wat ek hoor is 'give me my money'. Ek het geleer dat in n moderne samelewing mens visse skil. Ook hoe hard ons geraak het, eintlik vir elke trappie wat ons klim op die saf en gemaklike/moderne lewe gee ons ten minste een of twee af op die nie omgee en hard raak vir ander mense se probleme. En ons het sag geword. Elke keer as ek die vrouens(en kinders) sien wat hout of water uit die berge aan aandra word mens hard daaraan herinner, baie van daai bondels hout kan ek nie eers optel nie. En die ouens wat tot 4ander mense op n fiets erens heen vervoer. Nie dat hulle dit vir plesier doen soos ek nie, maar dit is nogal n indrukwekkende gewig om te sleep.

Aan die ander kant is ek ook heel gelukkig om n meer 'modern savage' te wees. Toe ek vandag n ketel kan aansit en water kook binne n paar minute was dit n wonderlike back to reality oomblik gewees. Maar alles wat mense so verskriklik belangrik en nodig ag in ons moderne samelewing, voel my is dikwels die goed wat veroorsaak dat ons verby mekaar leef en vergeet van mekaar.

Nie dat dit moontlik is om orals n verskil te maak nie. As ek n rand moes gee vir elke persoon wat al gebedel het by my net in malawi sou dit meer as my totale trip se kostes wees. En ek moes werk om myself te sponsor om hier te kom (baie dankie vir die mense wat my wel uitgehelp het, anders sou my kosbudget nou net mooi klaar wees). Dalk is die ideaal maar om die ou wysheid van die vorige geslagte te volg. Weet enige van ons nog werklik wat n gebalanseerde leefstyl behels? Is daar nog so iets? Is dit moontlik om te leer, oorleef, om te gee en uit te reik in dieselfde mates?
So voor ek myself heeltemaal verloor in my filosofiese rusdag gedagtes is dit tyd om weer tee te maak...