Monthly Archives: June 2012

Day 3: Checkpoint Blowout

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Boksburg: a suburb in Johannesburg (South Africa) that provides many a joke about the people who originate from there. Also known as box-burg for obvious reasons. (please note that not all people from Boksburg portray these qualilities – this is just a sweeping generalization for the sake of humour. Please view http://www.emailjokez.com/pictures/more/41734_Only-in-Boksburg.htm?tag_name=boks for further explanation.

So the proposed quite night on day 2 didn’t happen. I guess that’s what you get when you have 30 teams descend down onto a poor little backpackers in the middle of Windhoek. Team Slowvelders provided the entertainment. Tertius, the Boksburg local, is by far one of the funniest people I have ever met. They also just happened to be sponsored by Jaegermeister, so as expected we only braai’ed at about 11pm but the laughing made up for this fact.

We ended up in a dorm of foreigners (not part of the rally) where they partied harder than we did (did not think that was possible) and at 2AM Ange and I were the first to get to bed.

Up bright and early to get to our first checkpoint party of the rally, followed shortly by a little roadside pitstop with ‘Team Doctor and the do-littles’, ‘Goofy gophers’ and ‘The Ginger Ninjas’ (who knew a whole car of redheads would enter the rally) for a cold one and a boerie roll. Meeting loads of teams everyday.

WE FINALLY PUT UP OUR TENT. And we choose the coldest night of the year to rough it in Namibia. I have never felt so cold in all my life. I’m not sure what time I ninja bombed to bed, but I woke up with iced toes, a red nose and a pretty sore head at about 5AM. Try sleeping in a tent in a dodgy sleeping bag in zero degree (celsius) weather.

The checkpoint introduced us to some pretty interesting people. Team Wasted Potential are the most resourceful team we’ve met – even carrying a mini GHD to ensure their metro hair is always straight (ok team – I will judge you individually as asked – only some team members need straight hair). This team is also the only known team not needing to stop to change drivers. They claim that due to long and uneventful roads all that is necessary is a locked steering wheel and cruise control to change all passagener positions in the vehicle so not to waste time. We are currently investigating this, as they also introduced themselves under sudo names and have had us gullible girls fooled for hours.

Team silly buggers (3 very brave or somewhat mad men driving 3 big boy scooters) also managed to arrive at the check point. I wish I had pictures for you – but I unfortunately over shot the mark slightly and thus only met teams and forgot to take photos. Note to self – this will not happen again. However this team has a max speed of 80km per hour and need to stop every 1.5 hours so to let their engine cool off. I was very impressed that they managed the 2500km in 3 days.

I must just say that we have an incredibly talented group of people on this rally – 2 different teams showed their fire dancing talents and had the whole crowd mesmerized.

Unfortunately in my excitement of seeing the fire dancers and wanting my team mate to see it also, I excitedly ran back to our tent. For some bazar reason I needed both hands to tie up my jersey while running and figured my mouth was the next best glass holder. This epic fail led to me breaking the glass in my mouth, cutting my tongue and not managing to get Ange down to see the activities due to someone showing ice in my mouth to try stop the bleeding. All is well again in Team ‘Love and a 1/2, with only slight injuries after checkpoint 1.

Ange and I had a massive night and met loads of people – what a great first check point in Namibia!

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Day 2: borders, chaos and fun

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It was so hot in Botswana that half of our bottle of gin evaporated over night. And I think I might have malaria – my symptoms are a dry mouth, blood shot eyes, nausea and the worlds biggest headache. But besides the missing booze (which I suspect is in my stomach after an eventful night around a camp bonfire) it was awesome meeting a few more new faces.

Waffles (pronounced “whaufals”) the import from Poland had us in stitches by his pronunciation and mannerisms (think Borats accent of saying “I like sexy time” – said to the whole group and not just me don’t worry dad). It also appears the whole weather system entered into the rally as Waffles team mates are Skye and Storm (sister from Cape Town).

So bright and early Ange and I hit the road (well she hit the road – I put my sunnies on and tried as unobviously as possible to sneak in a sleep between my gag reflexes and hanging moments). Finally we were at the border and I felt right as Raine again.

Namibia is definitely not a take-shit kinda country. The Pol didn’t have a visa and was denied access. While trying to debate what the best thing to do was in the car park (smuggling was a suggestion – but happily not the taken route), a very stern Namibian official drove past, opened his bakkie door and proclaimed that NO ‘mini-meetings’ were allowed in the car park. I’m still trying to figure out what ‘mini-meetings’ are and whether just meetings are allowed in the car park?

Namibia has had a bit more wild life so far… With loads of vlakvark (aka Warthogs) and buck warning signs… Vlakvark we’ve seen a lot of – but I cannot seem to get my camera out quick enough – so figured a warning sign was good enough.
Running around and I’m proud to report that I haven’t seen a donkey yet.

Windhoek (a city very similar to East London) is like any other African city… We checked into the Cardboard Box backpackers and haven’t looked back yet. Two teams that definitely stand out in my memory as being such fun are @rallyingforrhinos and slowvelders… They have had us laughing until our tummies hurt.

Highlight of the day – spending a second night in a bed – ooops don’t tell Ange’s brother who sponsored our tent for this trip. We will be setting up a camp tomorrow though, promise.

Sooo I’m off to go mingle with the rest of the groups… And will tell you about it another day.

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Day 1 – And we’re off

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Bakkie (noun) –
(Engineering / Automotive Engineering) South African a small truck with an open body and low sides
[from Afrikaans bak container]

After registration, Ange and I had a little look at our Southern Africa map and decided that starting off our rally with 1200km on the first day was not a hot move. On the 11th hour we changed our route to cut through Botswana and were headed toward Kang – a mere 700km away.

I must say that I was super stoked we did that because our 719.5km trip took us about 12 hours – of these hours were spent behind an abnormal load truck which took up the whole road (no joke), stopping to take pics, a border malfunction where the Botswana side had to reboot their one computer, an amazing electric lighting storm and passing loads of donkeys, goats and unfenced farms. Oh did I mention the donkeys? I swear they are like Botswana’s national animal.

Kang is literally a one horse (well donkey actually) town. We stayed at the Kang Ultra stop – which turned out to be more than just a petrol station. As luck would have it, the tjok-a-block take what you can get (camp site, log cabin and b&b) had a double room cancel on them as we arrived. So Ange and I spent our first night ‘roughing it ‘ in Africa in a nice room which had a bath and toilet (total luxury ;p)

Highlight of the day was that our bakkie made the 8 o’clock SA news with Ange driving it across the start line (whoohooo) and a nice display of one of our logos.

Lowlight of the day was that the Botswana Pula’s my dad gave me were taken out of circulation at the end of last year – TIA. After chatting up 2 different bank managers, the verdict that I could get my notes exchanged but only by the Bank of Botswana in Gaborone (200km away), we were back on the road with P1500 of paper souvenirs.

At the start of the rally Ange was asked if she was going hunting… Her response was “yes, adventure hunting”. This is definitely going to be one of my biggest adventures yet.

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A new blog, a new country

Hello friends

This is my new blog simply due to the ease of posting from my iPad in Africa. I will update the other one shortly also.

Tomorrow Angie and I (Team ‘Love and a 1/2’) leave for our Put Foot Rally – a rally around Southern Africa – visiting Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.

So stayed tuned for news from our exciting trip… You can follow us on ‘Love and a 1/2’ on Facebook (by liking ‘Love and a 1/2’) or @RaineChevron and @withluvangelina on twitter.

Also I would like to thank Angie for all the amazing organising she and her family have done for this rally, without you cooks – I would be a sleeping bag and skottle on the road (and pretty much only that).

Also thank you Parker family (Tris you know you fall into this still) for the support and guidance (and Dad thanks for the Getaway magazine with the Zim article in ;P)

Also please go check out http://www.givengain.com/cause/3298/projects/10905/ (be sure to enter our crews name Love and a ½) and donate to a worthy cause… I will be posting some pics from Africa ASAP…

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