There seem to be one or two people who do not understand that this is not a race, and I am by no means tied to time lines. The only time line I have is when I started and….?
I am not in a rush to get anywhere or to get back too anywhere. Hence my selling everything except that which I can carry on my bike. That weight contained in four panniers and a rackpack, wobbles at this stage between 30 and 32 kg.
To date the only mis-adventure was buggering up my arm in Matatiele. I was not keen on being stuck in the cold, rain and possible snow of the southern berg. Unable to move with all my gear, and short of jumping on a donkey-cart, I hired a car. This was a pity as the R56 was a good road and would have been a great ride – but there will be many more pleasant rides and days ahead.
I knew there were many old colleagues in Jeffrey’s Bay and St. Francis, old in more ways than one with so way people are popping off these days, and wanted to see them again before their final pop.
So from the beginning I had planned on spending winter in the area to meet up with them, do some writing and to maybe get some photos of the winter surf conditions. June and July are some of the best wave conditions at Jeffrey’s.
Come late 2013, I will start off down the coast and head for Cape Town – slowly – where I will spend summer.
In Cape Town I will be meeting up with my lovely wife, Jacqui, and spending some time with her. The next time we will see each other will be in Tanzania, where we have friends who own a private lodge on an island in Lake Tanganyika, and we will spend a couple of weeks together there. I then head north on Wobbler and Jacqui heads back to England, by plane.
In Cape Town I will begin gathering the travel information, inoculations and documents need for the trip through Africa.
At the moment, as I explore and enjoy Jeffrey’s Bay and surrounds, I am considering border-crossings options of the different countries through email and discussions with other cyclists. These cyclists have, are, or will be traveling the same route as I plan to cover. Over the past eight months, whilst living in Underberg, I have been hosting cyclists who have just ridden down through Africa. All invaluable information gathering.
So the country route, without any decided borders, looks something like this:
And I stress again – that I am not on any time limit or route constriction. If I feel like changing my mind, and if visas permit me to do such a change, I will. I have crawled out of the restrictions of the social box and am relatively free to move when and how I wish.
So – I will leave Cape Town and travel up the west coast to Namibia.
Continuing through Namibia, I will access Zambia through Botswana or the Caprivi strip. I would love to do the Caprivi Strip even if I have to climb on a truck. Across Zambia into Malawi.
Up Malawi into southern Tanzania. Travel to lake Tanganyika and spend time with Jacqui, Chris and Louis Horsfall at their lodge on Lake Tanganyika.
Then either across Lake Victoria or travel through Rwanda into Uganda.
From Uganda into either Southern Sudan and then Sudan. Or, if possible, I would like to do the trip northwards into Egypt traveling by boat on the Nile. If not then I will do the Ethiopia route into Egypt via Ethiopia. Not my favourite option. Some have had good trips, but many have been plagued by stone throwing kids.
From Egypt – depending on how I feel – I might turn left and do the Libya, Tunis, Algeria, Morocco route across into Spain. Or I will turn right at Cairo and head up around the Mediterranean into Eastern Europe. Across Europe to Spain.
Options depend on political circumstances in the various countries at the time, access and how I feel. Nothing is written in stone.
Right now – April is lovely in Jeffrey’s – I am cycling, my arm is improving, and I have my health – also June and July is around the corner with the winter-surf. And, my local bistro, the Sunflower, offers oysters as bar snacks – free!
Right at this minute I am off to have a green tea at ‘Kitchen Windows’ and maybe get some photos. ‘Kitchen Windows’ is a restaurant which overlooks ‘Kitchen Windows’ surf spot.