Today’s post is a bit different than past updates. I was planning to be at an incredible off-road training center for 3 days of learning this weekend. But several days ago I got the news that disaster struck, a hurricane destroyed the entire facility. Here is the news from Jan at Country Trax:
I recently made some significant changes to Bike. I wanted to give Bike a small overhaul for the ride through Africa. Most of the work was done with the help of Hex Microsystems and Bavarian Motorcycles in South Africa. They really did a great job. Here’s a rundown of the things I’ve added or changed.
It was mid-morning and I was sitting in a coffee shop in Cape Town. I was with Elsa Hoffman and her friend Eric Miller. The three of us were waiting for the weather to clear up so we could film an episode of Exploring Photography for AdoramaTV. Elsa had helped me with some previous episodes but thought it would be better if Eric came along to shoot this video. Little did I know this would lead me to Langa township.
This was my first encounter with Eric and so I thought I’d get to know him a bit while we waited for the clouds to part. I was stunned to learn that he was a photojournalist who had an impressive body of work; he’d spent decades documenting the end of Apartheid, he’d photographed Nobel Prize winners Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, he was in Rwanda during the last weeks of the genocide. This guy is serious business.
South Africa has been so amazing, I’ve been going, going, going non-stop. I’ve finally made it up the Garden Route and am in Durban. But first let me tell you about my last week in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.
This morning Bike arrived at the cargo terminal at Cape Town International Airport. I took a cab to the airport, eager to be reunited with my trusty steed. When I arrived I was greeted very warmly, it seems that the workers at the cargo terminal don’t see a big bike roll off a plane every day. I was told that I’d first need to clear everything with customs and then I could see Bike.
Yesterday I told you that Bike had been misplaced and I wasn’t sure when Bike would arrive in Africa. Some people misinterpreted my post and thought I was stressed out, angry, or worried. The truth is, I was none of those things. After I learned that Bike was missing I sent some emails, made a few phone calls, and then took a nice long nap. Then I decided to relax and enjoy the warm weather of Cape Town. As it turns out, Bike was never really missing.
Bike, My Trusty Sidekick, Is Missing
I think it would be putting it mildly when I say I was surprised to discover that Bike was not waiting for me at the cargo terminal as promised. Let me refresh your memory. When we last saw Bike I was saying goodbye at the cargo terminal in Buenos Aires. I was told by the Navicon representatives that everything was set and I’d see Bike again when I landed in South Africa. But now, it appears that Bike is missing.
I survived 28 hours in a plane, but finally made it to South Africa. I took what may be the longest possible route from Buenos Airs to Cape Town; first I flew to Doha, Qatar (18 hours) and then from Doha down to Cape Town (10 hours). I had a four hour layover in Doha to stretch my legs and get some coffee, so I was able to fight off the deep vein thrombosis.