Having designed and built a new sidecar for extended camping trips I decided to sell my car and buy a newer BMW 1200 GS Adventure to fit this to. We christened our new rig GG "Gerry Geronimo" and Tau, Sylvia and myself took him for his first adventure out into the nearby mountains, we all loved the new ride and now we can happily stay 'out there', for longer... in style.
In 1987 As a young man of 20 fresh out of my two years compulsory national service in the South Africa Marines, these were very confusing times for a young guy in a country ready for change and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. It was at this time that I first read these words by Sterling Hayden in his book 'Wanderer'. This changed my life... I asked my dad to drop me outside Cape Town on the side of the road with my bag, my surfboard and a map and I started hitch hiking around the country, my adventure had begun. These words are as valid and as valuable to the way I live my life now as they were then...
"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
"I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life? ”
Hidden away in a file on my computer I found many photo's I'd forgotten I'd taken over the years. The photo below taken in the Okavango Delta is quite special to me, shot back in the days when digital camera's weren't available yet I had an old Minolta camera with slide film loaded. In the evenings when the clients were packed away I would catch a couple of small fish, tie these to a floating piece of papyrus then paddle out in a canoe at dusk and 'call' the resident fish eagle from the tree's. It took me 3 months of trying for this photo as each Cape Town to Victoria Falls overland safari I was leading lasted 26 days, I would have to wait to get back to Cape Town again before I could get the film processed and I could see what I had. On the following trips I would keep trying different shutter speeds and apertures hoping that this time I would get it right. When I finally got the pic I wanted I was ecstatic!
Below are a few quotes that I personally hold dear... some of them are fun to read and thought provoking, others from authors like Richard Bach (Jonathon Livingston Seagull, A Bridge Across Forever & Illusions), Eckart Tolle (The Power of Now & A New Earth), Henry David Thoreau (Walden), Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), Joseph Campbell (The Hero with Thousand Faces), Robert Bly (Iron John), among many others.... have literally shaped my life.
Everyone needs a good mentor, these books and the personalities behind them became mine... all that was left for me to do was to go out into the world, take a few risks and make as many mistakes as I needed to learn their lessons. These are lessons I continue to learn today.
"I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive." - Joseph Campbell
"No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it."- Richard Bach
"If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be." -Joseph Campbell
"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion." -Henry David Thoreau
“What's the world's greatest lie?... It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.” -Paulo Coelho
"Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: If you´re alive... it isn't." -Richard Bach
"It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living." -Eckhart Tolle
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."-Henry David Thoreau
For a while now I have been seriously toying with the idea of designing and fitting an offroad/dualsport sidecar onto a newer BMW 1200 GS Adventure and eventually I've decided to do it. The most popular dualsport touring bike in the world, wherever we travelled I'm continually asked if one can fit one of these sidecars to this bike, I've decided I'm going to give it a try.
Over 10 000km of rough dirt road riding fully loaded with camping equipment, Sylvia, Tau and myself, Rafiki handled everything I put him through and not one problem....he certainly will be a hard act to follow.
The movie below is a short collection of video clips and photo we have gathered of our adventures together over the past year... I'm sure Rafiki will give his new owner as much joy and pleasure as he gave us.
Well I'd been meaning to do this for a while... I took the plunge and bought a new GoPro action camera. I get many people asking me what it feels like to ride a sidecar and also how Tau enjoys it so I thought this was really the best way to show this. It's a lot of fun filming while we're riding and the mind boggles with creative ideas for future rides.
The film below is our first project, Tau and I took an afternoon ride and put this together. Enjoy!
The day I arrived back from Victoria Falls and Chobe I met Sylvia at George airport, she handed over Tau... and jetted off to Austria to work in a lodge in the Alps for 4 months, a decision we both made together but both Tau and I sorely miss her, but she'll be back in the summer...
Riding solo up to the Kalahari and into the mountains here is a fantastic experience, I get to fly around corners and really open Rafiki up and push him to his limits... Fun as this is though, it is really not comparible to riding with Tau and Sylvia.
"Happiness is only real when shared" wrote McCandless in his last days in 'Into the Wild' and I think he was right, after all... this is why I built and learned to ride a sidecar, I wanted to share the joy of riding with those closest to me.
After 8000km trouble free riding I decided to take 'Rafiki' off the road today to do some maintenance... we decided to take a last 100km afternoon ride exploring the backroads of Sedgefield where we live. Such a beautiful place!
Bones and muscles a little achey this morning after yesterday's ride so decided to sleep in a bit. After a good home brewed coffee I left Loxton at about 10am and headed south once more for Beaufort West, I wasn't expecting much in terms of scenery but man was I wrong... and the dirt road was magnificent! Rafiki flew along at 90 - 100km/h the whole way.
After Beaufort West my stomach was starting to grumble so stopped off at a roadside farmstall, situated next to a hunting farm I was served the most delicious Kudu venison pie, it was so good in fact that I bought 8 more to take home for later. :-) On to Meiringspoort, I had been really looking forward to this ride as it had been pouring with rain when I last rode through on the way up, the scenery is breathtaking as the road winds, dips and weaves it's way over bridges and rivers amidst rocky overhangs, lush green vegetation and towering mountains... a fitting finale to a great ride home.
Hello and welcome to my Smiling in the Wind travel journal and blog. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have enjoyed meeting the people and visiting the places that make up its pages and content.
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