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.
It’s been a busy week here in Cape Town. This is one of those places where you come for a few days but stay for a few weeks. There’s just so much to see and do. And the people here are just fantastic. I’ve been out and about every single day, here’s a quick recap of the week.
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.
A few weeks ago I completed my ride over the Andes mountains and into Salta, Argentina. It took me forever to finish editing the hours and hours of footage and create the 40+ minutes of video that I posted to YouTube. I finished editing the last video at the airport on my way to South Africa and just realized I forgot to post it here on the blog. I guess it’s better late than never!
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.
My flight from Buenos Aires to Cape Town, South Africa leaves in just a few hours. After months of planning, weeks of working out the logistics and permits, I’m now just hours from being in the air. I can’t wait to see Africa! This will be first time to Africa, but hopefully not my last. I’ll be riding from South Africa to Kenya, passing through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda along the way.
The ride from Cusco to Puno was beautiful but uneventful, and I was thankful for that. I was still pretty sick and I needed an easy day of riding. After a good night’s rest in Puno I crossed the Andes, reaching an elevation of just over 15,000 feet. Along the way I discovered that my planned route was a dirt road that clung to the side of the mountains with a precipitous along one side. Fortunately I was able to follow the road signs and find a much better route.