Thursday 27th September 2018

Homeward Bound

Published: Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

So, this is it, my Enduro Africa adventure is complete.

It's Wednesday, it's my 55th birthday and I'm being treated to a pre-departure glass of Champagne in the business lounge of Durban airport (thanks Chris!) before flying off to Jo'burg and onwards to the UK.

I've had such a fantastic time, I've seen so many wonderful things and I've certainly become a better off-road rider over the course of this amazing trip.

I'm bruised, tired and sore but ultimately I'm feeling very satisfied for making it to the end without serious injury and for the valuable contribution my family, friends and supporters have made to HIV prevention and education in South Africa through four great charities.

Along the route, I've met some great people – fellow riders, organisers and colourful locals, and I've seen parts of this vast, dramatic country that most visitors don't get anywhere near to.

My heartfelt thanks go to all my fellow 'Green Team' members whose advice, assistance and constant good humour helped me through the toughest parts of the ride, along with our esteemed team leaders (Ian and Conrad) who patiently coaxed us all across rivers, through gorges, up hills and down unfeasibly steep ravines. The sense of comradeship was immense and everyone played a valuable part in helping each other through some pretty tricky situations and particularly 'extreme' off-road riding. And, yes, I'm even grateful to the Orange Team for the occasional additional help and assistance we got from them when the going got really tough!

In 20 hours time I shall be back home in London, settling back into a totally different world complete with its job pressures, flashy cars, whizzy technology and conspicuous affluence, and this trip will, no doubt, soon fade into a distant memory. However, I am determined to remember the pure simplicity of life in the Transkei, the wonderful warmth of its lovely people, the incredible sense of achievement we gleaned from doing something positive for those less privileged than us and that awesome feeling of euphoria having completed such a physically challenging adventure.

Thanks to all who made this trip possible, particularly those friends, family, and businesses who kindly donated funds or sent notes of encouragement throughout this fabulous 'once-in-a-lifetime' journey.


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