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Offline Losper

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #240 on: January 04, 2019, 10:46:01 pm »
Day 9
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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #241 on: January 04, 2019, 10:47:02 pm »
.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 10:48:45 pm by Losper »
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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #242 on: January 04, 2019, 10:48:13 pm »
Look at the temperature: 49degrees
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 10:53:24 pm by Losper »
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Offline Kamanya

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #243 on: January 05, 2019, 01:34:01 am »
Day 9
Sting in the tail!

Today was the Postal Route from the Tankwa side. A challenging route especially for big bikes.
Honda Quests final full day was to be worthy of being called a Quest day. At just over 130km, one of the shorter days but it had everything on offer – thick sand, steep rocky climbs, river crossings, magnificent vistas and drama.

Setting off after a last swim from Die Mond, we made our way north to cross the upper Doring river. A few took an early bath crossing the slippery rocks.
Temperatures already high were still climbing as we made our way through the tough sandy stretches and up Karretjies Pass. One bike going up is not much of an issue, but the track was quite tough once the first 5 or so bikes were through. Once all were through safely, temperatures of 48 degrees were seen.

With this level of heat and exertion, actively managing dehydration and heat stress is critical. On the whole trip with the high temperatures, the contestants were drinking on average at least 6 liters a day, often more.

There were two biggish falls and many punctures (again, a defective tube issue and not the riders fault) but nothing the teams couldn’t shake off or deal with.
Just before Eselbank a refreshing dip into the waterfall of a tributary to the Keurbosfontein River was welcomed and needed.

With less than 15k's to go, I got my second puncture.

With the setting sun, we rode into Kromrivier campsite to be welcomed by Barend Fouche’ and Cassels Madingwane of Honda SA and the Specialised Team.


Tomorrow, the final day of Honda Quest 2018
I wonder where that road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. Appologies to Mr Frost

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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #244 on: January 05, 2019, 06:24:57 pm »
Is this it?


After so many days spent in the arid parts of the Western and Northern Cape, there was no better place to wake up in than next to the river at Die Mond. The air was cool off the water. The shade was plentiful, and the lawn was a lush green. After we had breakfast and finished our morning chores, it was time to pack it all up, and do it all over again. Everyone was simultaneously excited, and melancholy. It was to be the second too last day of the Quest, and we were expecting a tough one, but it was also seen as the last day filled with real riding challenges, as we all basically expected the last scheduled days ride into the official price giving to be a mere cruise.

Even though @Rickus and I helped pack everyone’s luggage into the Iveco on different occasions, we never had the opportunity to do it together as a team, so, we asked if we could do it that morning… yes … THAT morning, when the temperature reached 28 degrees Celsius at 8am… and with the Iveco parked in the sun…. and for good measure, we were already wearing our riding kit.


A spot of bother….


With the sweat still running freely down our faces we headed to our bikes to prep them for the daily mandatory Pre-Ride Inspection. I just started fiddling with my tank bag and adjusted the Rock Straps on my toolkit, when @Rickus raised that familiar eyebrow of his, the one that looks like a racing mopani worm arching his back to take a veldtie. He looked me in the eye, and enquired with as much diplomatic panic as he could muster throughout the entire Quest… “Het jy daai kolletjie onder jou skoeter gesien…?”

Kolletjie…?!?!  Waste kolletjie…??
…etter…

For the first time that morning, I remembered noticing the wet bash plate the previous night. That rock, at the beginning of the previous day. Bliksem. When I looked down, there was a small dark oily spot in the sand beneath my trusted #14.

My insides turned, at least 3 times. My exterior was calm and collected. My ancestors also turned… in their graves… as far back as 7 generations. “Gmpf…” I calmly chortled, while almost chortsing in my riding pants.

We were already in line for the PRI’s. There would be several serious repercussions if I couldn’t Macgyver this apocalyptic event moerse quickly.
1.   If you can’t finish Quest with your original bike, you can’t finish Quest.
2.   If I can’t finish Quest, my team can’t finish Quest
3.   That means that @Rickus can’t finish Quest!!

I cannot allow that to happen to my teammate. Fokkit. If I get side-lined, so be it, but I can’t do it to @Rickus . My mind was racing. Figuring out the approach, solution, and practical implications all at once.

The edited family-friendly version of my internal dialogue sounded a little like this … “Right… Don’t show Rickus that you are seriously worried. Don’t make a meal of it. Don’t even talk about it. Just make a plan! NOW! Before the instructors make a big thing about this. Take control. Appear chilled. Fix what you can, and DON’T SHOW RICKUS THAT YOU ARE SERIOUSLY WORRIED.”

I quickly removed the bash plate. It was oily as hell. The Rock punched deep into the Rumbux bash plate. So deep that there was a huge indentation all the way up against the bottom of the AT’s aluminium engine casing! Like a finger sticking into a balloon! How is that possible?!?! that Rumbux plate can stop a charging oil tanker! I’ve never seen anything like it before! Then again, I’ve never seen another bike and rider been catapulted by a rock like I was the day before, either… I wiped the casing and saw my problem… 2 hairline cracks at the bottom of the engine casing, each about an inch-and-a-half long.

Someone mentioned that oom Gary is coming to inspect the damage. @JesseH  went off to get his Pratley Steel. I cleaned the cracks, grabbed the bashplate and found a stump and a big rock. After a couple of almighty blows, the bashplate was almost straight again. I turned around to see Gerrit with wide eyes. “Bliksem”, he said. Looking at my adrenaline fuelled handywork. Oom Gary arrived, some others as well.

And Rickus… my teammate Rickus… was on the ground right next to me, under my bike, in the dust.

We Mcgyver’ed that engine casing right there with Jesseh’s Pratley Steel, put the bash plate back, and went through the Pre-Ride Inspection. @Hardy de Kock  showed concern about the situation. So much so that there was a quick CODESA between a couple of us just before we set off. Plan B and C was set, just in case the fix didn’t hold.

We haven’t even set of yet, and I was emotionally drained!
Then, we hit the heat, the rocks, and the punctures.


Welcome to Mars


We had a couple of punctures before we even advanced 30km’s. This was mainly due to the heat, causing a split on our front extra heavy-duty tubes. All at the same place. There was clearly a factory error in the batch that we used. Hellish heat, and no shade what so ever. Each time the convoy stopped for yet another puncture, we only had the shade that our bikes provided.

My oil sweating engine casing was constantly on my mind, so I checked the oil level every now and then.

The crossing over the Doring river was a welcome dip for all of us, even though it filled our boots with water – an error that I’d regret later. @Kamanya  held an impromptu field-repair skills training session when he (surely deliberately) managed to drown the so called “undrown able” DCT.

A quick tip: if you “plan” on drowning the AfricaTwin. Drown it on the left side, where the spark plug is easily accessible. If you drown it on the right cylinder, you’ll have to remove the entire fuel tank to get to that spark plug. @Dipstick  and some other contestants quickly helped, and we were off again.

I checked the oil level again.

Next up was the Tra-Tra river crossing. Not as deep, but with much more sandy banks than the Doring rivier.

I’ve never previously heard a lot about the Old Postal Route, that we were riding, but wow, it turned out to be a great challenge! The fact that we took almost 20 huge heavy bikes along this desolate and rocky trail, is rather amazing. The effect that these heavy bikes had on the brittle tracks, following in each other’s ever deepening ruts, was rather challenging for us riding at the back.

At the start of the Karretjies pass I could feel my feet boiling. The water in my black boots, the scorching sun, and the radiated heat off the engine managed to turn my riding boot into a kettle. I had to remove it a couple of times just to cool it off. (a week or so after the Quest, the skin peeled off my feet)


A couple of incidents.


After Karretjies pass the heat just got worse, and the churned up rocky track with irregular sandy patches became very difficult to ride. The convoy had some more punctures, and then a couple of falls. Not big ones, but just enough to put doubt in the mind. Is this the right line? Am I going too fast / too slow? Is this getting worse, or are we getting tired?

I checked my oil level, just in case.

Eventually JT had an off that brought the convoy to a halt. Not a big fall, but just enough to hurt his leg. I overheard Ockie the Medic telling the Instructors that it might be a cracked leg and although it’s still JT’s choice, he would rather put JT in the Cruiser, just as a precaution. I knew that there was no way @teebag  would bail out, and I was right. After a quick chat with his teammate, he got back on his bike and completed not only that day’s stage. But the entire Quest. Yster. Respect, @teebag . Respect.
 
The other big incident involved @Sandban(g)k  and @PhantomCupcake . Andre already wrote about his experience, so I’m not going to bore you with a long-winded second-hand version.

Suffice to say: when I came upon the entangled bikes in the dust and saw JoDan still rolling off into the distance, I jumped off my bike, just dropped it there in the sandy spoor and ran to help. Rickus must have been close behind me, because we crouched over them at the same time. It’s a miracle that they were not seriously injured. A hell of a prang!

(little did we know then, that this incident with Andre's skoeter and my cracked engine, lead to them being the only 2 bikes classified with serious damage after the Quest was finished)

 
And then it happened!


As we were heading out of the Old Postal Route, down the pass to the main gravel road, my teammate had a puncture. Ja, waaragtag. It happened. We thought we were immune.

At least now, we had the opportunity to dazzle a couple of instructors with our jaw dropping tyre changing skills. The convoy was sent ahead to Wuppertal and @Kamanya  stayed behind to guide us back to the pack after we swaai’d some spanners. I packed out my dark magic array of skelm tools - able to brake the tyres bead chop-chop, with all my stashed soapy lubricants and chrome vanadium gripped goodies. It almost started looking like an S&M stall at the Sexpo. Very impressive. 

But then…. Rickus very politely said, “staan bietjie terug…” and with almighty force, he broke the bead with his bare hands. Ja. Just with his hands. He then pulled the tyre clear off the rim. Out of respect, I gave another step back. Okkie the Medic gave me a look with pieringoë. @Kamanya had a smile dancing in the corners of his mouth. At least my tyre leavers were used to put the tyre back on. Those leavers now have a sacred space in my tool case.

After I checked my oil, we got going again. It was just me, Rickus and @Kamanya  riding together. Ag, Ok, I’ll admit it... This stretch of riding gave me the biggest smile of the entire trip. No convoy etiquette. Just pinning it, fast catch-up riding with 2 guys that know how to do it on these big bikes. Wow, what a blast!

As we crested the top of Kouberg pass, @Kamanya  screeched to a halt, and switched off his AT. Rikus and I stopped either side of him and followed suit. “Silent Race to Wuppertal’s cafe!” he yelled and started to push his bike down the pass. Game on! This was my first “silent race”, and I was loving it, hurling myself and my switched off bike down Kouberg pass. OK. The fact that the brakes don’t work that well when the bike is switched off, makes this a definite no-no. in fact, don’t do this, ever. It is reckless and irresponsible. Especially with the rondloper donkies on the road. Rickus deliberately passed one so close that he had fleas in his helmet when we stopped in a dust cloud in front of the Wuppetal kaffee.

What a lovely town. It was Sunday, so the shoe shop was closed. I planned to buy a pair of vellies there. Pitty that I couldn’t. Now that it burnt down, who knows if any of us will have the opportunity again. Very sad.

After copious amounts of water and sugary fizzy drinks, I checked my oil level, and we headed for a swim at the waterfall. With the exhilarating ride to Wuppertal still fresh in our minds, team 7 did Eselsbank pass at speed. After a quick dip in the cool river water the convoy took a more sedate ride through the picturesque Cederberge ending at our camping spot at Kromrivier.

There we were welcomed by Barend and Cassel, the big okes from HondaSA, coming to share in the last day of our adventure.

We had some informative presentations that evening, and a couple of lovely meaningful conversations with our fellow contestants and instructors. All and all one of the best riding days of my life.

The sweating oil leak on #14 never turned out to be an issue.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 07:51:53 am by Hollywood »
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Offline Dux

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #245 on: January 05, 2019, 06:44:21 pm »
Lekker riding terrain you guys had , awesome  :thumleft:
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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #246 on: January 05, 2019, 06:53:31 pm »
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Currently riding a slightly pimped black Africa Twin Manual, named Fezile
 
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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #247 on: January 05, 2019, 06:55:49 pm »
Lekker riding terrain you guys had , awesome  :thumleft:

Absolutely! It was breathtaking!
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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #248 on: January 05, 2019, 06:56:44 pm »
Good Morning Sunshine!!
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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #249 on: January 05, 2019, 07:01:03 pm »
Rikus broke the one shoulder strap of his hydration pack on day 3, helping me pick up my bike from a fall that bent everything on the right hand side. Since that day he had to stop and kneel next to his bike for some water... I still feel like a poepol about it. Here he's trying to get a drink and some relief from the seering morning heat.
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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #250 on: January 05, 2019, 07:02:57 pm »
Sliding and jumping up Karretjiespas
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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #251 on: January 05, 2019, 07:04:19 pm »
49degrees celsius, and still steaming along
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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #252 on: January 05, 2019, 07:05:29 pm »
Pitching our stretchers at our overnight spot @ Kromrivier.
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #253 on: January 05, 2019, 10:52:04 pm »
But then…. Rickus very politely said, “staan bietjie terug…” and with almighty force, he broke the bead with his bear hands.

We know Rickus have hands like a bear, but if he was not wearing gloves he was doing it with bare hands!! ;) :lol8:

Ek like jou skrywe Hollywood. :thumleft:

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Offline Rickus

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #254 on: January 07, 2019, 08:33:54 am »
But then…. Rickus very politely said, “staan bietjie terug…” and with almighty force, he broke the bead with his bear hands.

We know Rickus have hands like a bear, but if he was not wearing gloves he was doing it with bare hands!! ;) :lol8:

Ek like jou skrywe Hollywood. :thumleft:

Shjoe....Onthou @ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS hierdie maat van my @Hollywood like daarvan om n ding so bietjie te dramatiseer...(mens sal sweer hy is n akteur).....Het jy genoem wie het die slow-race los hande gewen @Hollywood ?



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Offline Kamanya

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #255 on: January 23, 2019, 09:26:56 am »
Day 10

Being a competition, Mojaki and Claude were deserved winners. However, every other team in their own way contributed to the collective success of getting through the 10 days safely and with a great sense of accomplishment.





One team in particular were deemed to be the recipients of the Team Spirit award. Team 7: Rickus Vermeulen & Pierre Breytenbach.



From the start not only were they great competitors, but blessed with an endless supply of anecdotes and amusing observations, they filled the role of cheerleaders and were often at the centre of things with a good word of support for all.

They showed the way in overcoming adversity with self-deprecating humour and raised the collective group moral when times were particularly tough.

An unlikely couple at first; an Actor from the big city of Pretoria and a Farmer from the south of Namibia, they ended the competition clearly loved by all and with a deep sense of camaraderie between them.
I wonder where that road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. Appologies to Mr Frost

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Offline Rickus

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #256 on: January 23, 2019, 09:46:51 am »
 :3some: Ja ek mis al die outjies en vroutjies wat saam op die "trip of a lifetime" was.....gelukkig sien van ons darem weer mekaar binnekort op @SpecializedAdventures se Kaokoveld trip in Mei 2019..... Dit gaan verseker n ongelooflikke BIKERY en K@kpraat belewenis wees.....ek gaan inelkgeval vir my n paar "partytricks" inpak om my ou maatjie @Hollywood op sy tone te hou   :pot: :imaposer:


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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #257 on: January 23, 2019, 01:39:49 pm »
Early morning penny-drop


On the last morning of Quest2018 the group sat down and had a quick chat about our experience of this once in a lifetime adventure. We all had learned various truths about ourselves, our fellow contestants and the world around us, and surely affirmed or disproved our life perceptions in one way or another.

@Hardy de Kock was also standing in the circle and made a remark that hit home hard…for me at least. “That bike is just a bike. It’s the adventure rider that makes the difference.” I came to yet another profound realization after hearing this. Yes, you might think that it goes without saying, but re-affirming it, re-applying that mindset, and re-living the implications of such an insight, just moved me a little deeper than one would expect on the surface.

No matter what your bike looks like, can do, or how old it is… you’re still the driving force. You are still the initial energy and mentality that determines your fate. It’s a decision you must take, every day, to be in control of your journey and destination. It runs deeper than you think. Decide to be optimistic, to not have a victim-mentality, to realize that all property is not the ends, but the means to be used as part of all the other tools in your “life toolbox”. Its about living, not seeming to be alive. Honesty. Character. Humanity.


To the finish line!


The last few hours of riding toward the finish at Kaleo Guest Farm were done in rather sedate, introspective fashion. Each one of us was using the helmet-time to reflect and ponder the future. We were not the same people going back home. We changed. For the better, I hoped. Would we see each other again after this Quest?
 
The biggest question that all of us started this journey with, was now the least important. Will I win the bike? Honestly, after the first day of Quest, when @Rickus and I decided that we ARE going to win, we didn’t speak about it again. It was just an unspoken certainty that we had... until we sat down for the media presentation and announcement. I turned to @Rickus , and for the second time during Quest2018 we spoke about winning... or not winning.

In a short hushed private moment, sitting among our fellow competitors, we both realized that it’s not what our Quest is all about. There and then, in that smaal moment, we made peace with the decision that HondaSA and the expedition team would make, whatever it may be. Our Quest turned out to be about more than a bike. We already have bikes. Quest rekindled and affirmed other things. Friendship, self fullfilment, our basic values.


And the winning team is……


@Rickus  and I quickly scanned the room. According to us, 3 teams were in the running, and we were spot-on in our assessment of the winners.

Tenacity, Humanity and an unrelenting sense of adventure sums up the winning team in the best way possible. Claude and Mojaki are deserved winners and a wonderfull addition to HondaSA’s family! Well done gentlemen…  brothers.


Back to reality


Leaving the pomp and ceremony, and already missing my teammate, I fell into a deep sleep in the taxi en-route to Cape Town International. I'm not sure if it was the emotional and physical exhaustion, or just the release of all that energy and anticipation throughout the day. In a way, it served as and end, a full stop, to our live changing adventure. From here on in, it would be back to reality.

It wasn’t easy. Post Quest Blues hit frequently, and without mercy.

My wife dropped a comment the other day. She said that she could see a change in me after the Quest and a couple of close friends also said they think I’m a little less hardegat. Who knows…

All I know is that I experienced a True Adventure, with true friends. Some of us have seen each other since, and that bond is still strong and clear. We will ride together in the future. No doubt about it.

I’m looking forward to enjoying the wonderful prize that team 7 won as the Spirit of the Quest award. In May 2019, @Rickus  and I are going to partake in another bucket-list adventure with Hardy and the Specialised Adventures team. We're heading to Damaraland and Kaokoland! Magic! Come and join us!

Thanx to Honda SA, Specialised Adventures and all the Quest 2018 particapants. You gave me the opportunity to grow, discover, share and live adventure. No words will ever be enough.

... for team Greybeard .... @Hollywood  ... over and out.

(@Rickus sien jou oor 'n paar maande in Koakoland !!!)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 09:29:10 am by Hollywood »
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Offline Hollywood

Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #258 on: January 23, 2019, 01:40:56 pm »
:3some: Ja ek mis al die outjies en vroutjies wat saam op die "trip of a lifetime" was.....gelukkig sien van ons darem weer mekaar binnekort op @SpecializedAdventures se Kaokoveld trip in Mei 2019..... Dit gaan verseker n ongelooflikke BIKERY en K@kpraat belewenis wees.....ek gaan inelkgeval vir my n paar "partytricks" inpak om my ou maatjie @Hollywood op sy tone te hou   :pot: :imaposer:

Kan nie wag nie!!!!
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Offline Sandban(g)k

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Re: Honda Quest True Adventure 2018
« Reply #259 on: January 24, 2019, 07:57:50 am »
En toe is dit so – lekker is net ‘n vinger lank.  Hierdie lekker was darem 10 vingers lank, maar ons was by die laaste vinger.  Die pinkie.

Die oggend was almal in goeie gees, maar ek dink dit was net om die laaste stukkie van hierdie belewenis in te neem voor ons moes terugkeer na die realiteit:  min tyd vir bike ry, debietorders, werk, politiek, misdaad en al die geraas wat ons ore elke dag doof maak vir die song van die voëls.

@Kobus Myburgh  het vir ons sy Quest verhaal van die vorige jaar kom vertel.  Ek is seker meeste van julle ken dit, so al wat ek gaan sê is dat hierdie ou een van my hero’s is.

Ons het ook besef dat die hele wêreld nou al dekades wonder of mens 14 persone in ‘n tweeman tent kan kry en dit ons plig geag om te antwoord op die roepstemme.

Dit is met trots en ‘n traan in my oog dat ek kan getuig dat ‘n tweemantent die volgende kan inkry en toegezip wees:

12 mans
1 dame
2 stretchers

EN  vir @Rickus  !  (Hy tel vir 2 mense)

Ek en André le Roes het gevoel dat ons nie ander kon as vir Mojaki te bekroon met springbokkleure om ‘n lekker mens te wees nie.  Ons het die springbokhorings wat André vir sy lesing oor die spirngbok gebruik het gevat en op Mojaki se motorfiets vasgemaak – wat later vir bietjie sports onder die mense by Honda gelei het as gevolg van die reuk daarvan... Maar Mojaki was trots om ‘n springbok te wees en het geweier dat hulle dit afhaal voor die amptelike oorhandiging!

Die trippie terug Kaleo toe was vinniger verby as wat enigiemand voor gehoop het.  Ons het wel halfpad gestop om ‘n video te maak om dankie te sê vir die vriende van Stephan vd Merwe wat ‘n klompie geld geborg het vir benodigdhede soos Rehidrat, Crampblock en Vit B 12 pille – weereens dankie aan julle!

Ek glo nogsteeds die mense in Kaapstad bly baie naby aan die hemel – die paaie en natuur was ongelooflik.  Ek sal moet terugkeer.

Die inry by Kaleo was ‘n ervaring en ‘n half.  Met die inryslag kon ek nie anders as om dele van die laaste maand se “fliek” weer in my geestesoog te sien nie.  Die opofferings wat gemaak is om op so kort kennins by bootcamp te kom.  Die gerypte tente.  Die staproete in ons boots.  Al die onderhoude en verassings tydens bootcamp.  Die oproep van Hardy om te sê ek gaan saam.  Die voorbereiding vir die Quest.  Die ondersteuning van familie om dit moontlik te maak.  Die vrese, opwinding van dit alles.  En die wete dat dit die einde is.  Of was dit?

Ek kon nie anders as om ‘n traan te pik met die afklimslag nie.  Soveel dinge het gebeur in 10 dae.  Soveel dinge kon gebeur, maar het met genade nie.  Almal was veilig.  Almal was gelukkig.  Almal was wenners.  10 dae terug was almal in kompetisie. Nou was almal ‘n span. 

Die prysuitdeling en formaliteite het almal laat voel of ons celebrities is.  Honda en Specialised Adventures verstaan nogal van ‘n ding organiseer.

Dankie klink soos ‘n cliche, maar dit sal nie genoeg verduidelik vir wat dit vr my beteken het nie.  Aan almal wat betrokke was – DANKIE!
 
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