Saturday, May 15, 2010

North my son, north....... yay!!

Painful day!

Today was about paperwork and doctors!

We saw the doc today so that we could chat about the different medicines we would require, malaria, voltaren, antihistamine and other wonderful sounding things!!! Then off to the clinic for the dreaded injections, yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, tetanus, hepatitus A and B...... aweful!

Then off to the AA for a international drivers licence and lastly off to physio to sort out the leg, back and shoulder.

Lastly, but not least I got to go and buy a fishing rod with weird and wonderful looking hooks and sinkers......

Friday, May 14, 2010

Time flew by!!!!
During this time we bought the odd map of the different countries we intended exploring, Gavin decided that he and Jenny would travel all the way up to Spain from Johannesburg!! I opted out of the extended trip but was pretty committed to travel as far as Uganda with him and then back alone. Hey two months off work for me was a mission already, imagine extending that?

The plan was as follows, leave Johannesburg on the 1st June, travel through Botswana as quickly as posssible so that we could have more time for the distant countries. The only date set in stone was that we had to be in Uganda on the 1st July as we have permits to see the gorillas in Rwanda on the 3rd. I would meet Fiona in Uganda and she would then travel part of the way back with me as she has work commitments. I was pretty happy doing the "up" trip on my own. I am very comfortable being alone and we all need quiet time. Fiona was not the happy that I was doing the "up" trip alone but she could not take the same amount of time off that I was, so......

Excitement was abound when Gavin found himself a vehicle, the Landcruiser bakkie!!! I had also by this time sold the 80 series and bought a 100 series which was pretty well kitted out and only done 50 000 odd km's.

We now started to kit the vehicles out with all the toys that we would require, rooftop tents, water tanks, larger petrol tanks etc Lots of money but fun!!

You hear and read stories about people taking months to plan their trip into Africa... Oops we had better get cracking....... We invited my friend and neighbour, Peter Lamberti around to assist us with the route as he had spent alot of time in Africa. After a few whiskies we had a broad outline of the trip (direction at least).

Gavin's vehicle was completed and then he wanted to do a trip to Mozambique to test it out and spend his birthday there with friends. Disaster struck on the way to Mozambique when he was hit head-on by another vehicle!! Luckily Jenny and Gavin were not hurt but the vehicle was a rightoff.

Gavin and Jen decided that they would no longer be doing the trip which was a huge blow to me but after a few whiskies I was resolute in my decision to continue without them. This meant that I would be doing the "up" trip on my own. Fiona was pretty unhappy about this new turn of events but hey this is my dream!

After a a couple of weeks (too many chirps from so many friends) I asked my youngest daughter Jessica if she would like to accompany me on the adventure, shoo what excitement!! And so the planning continued!

We were not going to be doing the original route as Zambia had had their best rains ever and I was unsettled about the one vehicle possibly getting stuck.

Never the less Jess and I started to talk about what we wanted to see and do, what we wanted to take to eat!! Jess started looking at recipes that we could use. Lots of fun and bonding!!

Three weeks ago Gavin arrived at my house with another Landcruiser!! Yay, he was back with us. This fact that he was able to get himself another vehicle was awesome but now he had to start kitting the vehicle out all over again (lucky him, he gets to have fun twice). Both our vehicles were at Northern 4x4 for a bit of work to them, one more than the other!!!

With 25 days to go Gavin and I decided that we had better get our travel plan together. Our next shot at the route was again over a few whiskies with the another traveller of note (Vaughn), but now there was a bit more detail added, distances, places to stay, petrol stations and places to eat etc. Gavin poked fun at all the reading I had been doing about the route but hey here's hoping it pays off.

With many trip to the workshop (and Cesco's) our vehicles are nearing completion. Goodies purchased include a leather bound case that holds 5 whisky glasses and a bottle of single malt!

We are now 16 days away from the start of the trip and I am like a little child! Hopefully I get my vehicle back on Monday so that the final things can be done to it.

The Dream

For many years I have wanted to travel across Africa on a motorcycle but there was never enough time. We are always so "busy" with our lives we miss out on doing the things we are most passionate about. Last year I had an offroad motorcycle accident which resulted in me being inactive for a long time. There I was, a fairly active person, hobbling around on crutches with a pretty messed up knee and a broken collarbone (never mind the reputation!). In my mind I replayed the accident over and over again but frankly, there is no excuse for being fool hardy.

Whilst lying on my back recuperating I realised that life is actually far to fragile and short to delay the things one has a real desire to do. Having had to rely on Fiona to assist me with normal day to day things that we all take for granted, having friends and co-workers running me to and from the physio and work, the penny dropped, what if my injuries had been worse?

So whilst at this stage I am not able to do the trip on a motorbike I became pretty focussed of doing a trip into Africa for myself. Life is a great thing as we are surrounded by opportunities every single day, the key is to recognise them and make the most of them.

One day my good friend Gavin and I were sitting having a quiet drink and we got chatting about doing another trip into Africa, and so the thought process started....

I was a proud owner of a 80 Series Landcruiser and proceeded to make a list of modifications that I would have to do to the vehicle to make it "comfortable" for the trip!! One day I showed Gavin my list and he said great, all he has to do is buy a vehicle!! And so we had the makings of a trip!!