Leaving at Dawn, into the Dragons

A rush of adventures… a microlight flight, essentially flying in a kite…


Rafting on the Zambezi, but first climbing down into the gorge, and of course back up at the end – all of which, despite having turtled the raft in the rapids was a lot more dangerous than the rafting imo. Who wants to turn an ankle the day before a trip we’ve all been prepping and training for months…

But I have my friend Kabila, the kayak safety man who hovers nearby as we ride the roller coaster that is Zambezi. Throughout the climbs he helps me… So good to be in a country that respects and helps all the Mamas!

At Shearwater in Zim I had arranged a cab transfer through the border on the bridge and over to TDA’s Waterfront Vic Falls Hotel. My note about the bike box unfortunately wasn’t communicated to Dumi my driver, who turned up with a little sedan. “I’ll be at the bar..” Before I could finish my drink he had it all loaded into a van, transferring to another van at the border post mid-span.

Pulling up at Waterfront.. Tallis! Striding by just as my door opened. We fell into a big bear hug, four years owing.

My room is literally waterfront, peaceful and welcoming

The bar is buzzing with pent up anticipation. Despite all the distractions of Vic Falls, riders are chomping at the bit to hit the road. There are missed flights due to British Airways pulling the plug in South Africa, lost bags and bikes, our mechanic spending a night in Nairobi airport, a mugging for a phone in Joburg airport, but we move forward. This is the pre-tour brief – crew and riders from all over the world. Of course it all comes together, with just enough drama to keep things interesting.

There are bikes to build and bags carefully packed to fly, to now tear apart and reorganize for the road.

As riders exchange travel stories in the bar, Tallis and I enjoy red wine over my gift of Paul Theroux’s “Dark Star Safari”

It’s raining as we all make our way to our rooms and tents. Nonetheless, tomorrow we ride!

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