Sunday, 25 October 2009
Now trying to take it all in.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
We have now come to the end of the Wild Coast and all of its technical challenges. We are staying in the best situated room I have ever had on the 3rd floor corner of the Morgan Bay Hotel.
The room is the size of my downsatirs at homeand is surrounded by rolling water and sandy beaches.
The next two days are through forests and countryside and then the game reserves covering 550k!
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
47 riders completed "The Gorge"plus some other hard sections, Matt did the coastal route with the Orange team(Rainbow day).
Injuries for this day included two blown knees, three thumbs,and Matt's wrist after he ditched his bike down a big hole! (hopefully Matt you shared these injuries with some other riders, either that or you have an extra thumb?)
Matt sent this text from the Kabin where is is very kindly having an Amstel for me(cheers buddy I am on nights!)
A second text from Matt 2 minutes after this one informs us that he did his knee and toe on a big boulder, he still finished his section though, just going through for Dinner at the Hole in the Wall.
Sorry folks, I seem to have missed this text message from Matt.
One member was Shit faced on the plane, I'll tell you about it when I get back!
Just on our way to the hotel and its hot(1st Day) it's a 2 hour trip. Journey was good and I have got your dog picture(border collie at the airport)
It's bloody warm, only 1 member 75 riders I think on this one?
07:32 20/10/09 We are leaving Cremone this morning, yesterday did not go to plan. The guys on the hard morning route took 6 hours to do 18k! So the afternoon ride suffered and we hit the bar!
Today we ride 135k to Hole in the Wall.x
Friday, 16 October 2009
Matt has a seat in the middle of the plane but the mission to get the picture of the Border Collie cut out at Jo'Berg is still on.
When we arrived at Durban it was heavy and overcast, by the time we were on the tarmac all hell had broken loose, the lightning was I swear as thick as tree trunks and was hitting ground all around us at an alarming rate. I thought obviously we will be delayed until the storm has abated, there is now way we can take off in this, is there?
The plane started to taxi away from the terminal as it got darker and darker, it stopped tuned and in seconds the roar of the two Rolls Royce engines drowned out the sound of the thunder, "Oh shit I don't fancy this" I thought!
We cleared the runway and for a few moments I thought, "Ah thats not so bad, expected it to be rougher than that" Then we hit the cloud and flew right into the storm!!!!
The engines whined and seemed to rev up and down as the plane was battered by the turbulance, often dropped alarmingly leaving a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, like being on a trackless roller coaster. If I thought I had done some scary stuff over the last 12 days, this put things into perspective as I seriously started thinkin about my family having to cope without me, I am not religeous but at times like this you clutch at straws!
After about 10 minutes(or was it 10 hours?) we were looking down into the clouds and seeing the full extent of the storm from above where thankfully it was a lot calmer.
In just over an hour we landed in Jo'Berg, 50 minutes later were were again at the end of the runway in a big Airbus, The storm was here too!
I though, "Ah big plane so this won't be so bad" WRONG! Same scenario, If my wife Di had been with me we would have still been in the terminal building booking a hotel for a few days, and I would not have blamed her.
Anyway we made it but that is a part of the journey I won't forget in a hurry.
Thank you all again for your support with Enduroafrica, family friends, businesses and HLLA (Ambleside Club and Cricket team) It was a wonderful experience and the two days at the schools will leave lasting memories.
I have made an offer to the guys on the second leg, if they want to send messages to friends and family, pictures etc, they can text them to me and I will put them on this blog, so the blog will live on for a while longer so watch this space.
Thank you all,
Bob and Neil
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Well folks we are back and have had the experience of a lifetime, thanks to Global Enduro and Mike Glover's Red Cherry Adventures. I have to say that the team were brilliant, Big Mike Glover is a real character with a sense of "I am gonna help these kids"
It was a real heart lifting experience to visit the two schools and deliver tables, chairs, toys, posters, matresses so the small children can have a comfortable knap in the afternoon. Build a Jungle Gym, fit doors on classrooms, carpets, fit locks and concrete window sills to finish off abandoned projects.
As I think I have said before, these kids have nothing but are still happy, little boys wearing Barby T shirts, odd shoes and obvious hand me downs, however most of the kids are turned out immaculately in uniforms with crisp white shirts, even if they are bare footed.
Take a photo of them and show them on your camera to make their day, if only I had a mini printer so I could have printed them off a photo!
The last day was a hard one, descending a steep muddy gorge to a River crossing with a demonstration by Eddie, Gary and the legendary Darell Curtis who lead the Yellow team for our trip, is there nothing they can climb? Respect, and I mean big time.
Mike Glover will occasionally ride with you and you may hear the phrase "You have been Glovered" when he leads you from the planned route to try something a little more interesting!
The two Doc's Emile and Adrian were characters, you may hear about a TTFU tablet (it's invisible and delivered orally!) Plus the phrase "If you can't fix it by beating it with a hammer, then it's probably electrical" The Doc's are surgeons, Emile holds a record of treating 22 patients with stab wounds in their hearts in a space of 9 months(Capetown A&E), 19 survived. When Eddie picked up a 2" cactus thorn in his hand he was in good care, still hurt like a B'stard though!
A cracking night followed at the TO Strand Hotel, watch out for the swimming pool finale that has become a ritual.
I am sorry if I have made one or two of you apprehensive, you will utter the "F" word many times in many forms i.e."What the F" , "F in Hell", "F right off" etc, I wish I had a F ometer in my helmet to count the times I said it but I wouldn't miss a moment of it.
Mike Glover will issue a safety brief on the first night and team briefings nightly, including issuing Spirit and Dick of the day awards, listen to what he says, he knows best trust me.
Just to reiterate some helpful (I hope) hints:
- Don't ride in someone elses dust, it tastes like Shite and you will not see that rut that will spit you off, you must plan ahead and read the roads, never travel so fast that you can't stop withing the distance you can see to be clear.
- Expect a dog to run out and I can assure you it will, our count was 5 dogs and a tortoise.
- Expect a cow to be round that bend, there are bloody hundreds of the things all over the shop.
- Goats generally run away from the bike(not always as I found out) sheep are just suicidal!
- If you are not comfortable with the pace of your team, slow down and tell the leader/sweep, there is no shame in moving down a group. If you race everywhere you will miss the scenery.
- Don't day dream about that nice shower and a beer at the end of the day, the roads have a nasty habit of turning a corner and turing into a 1 in 20 just before another tight bend.
- Don't be fooled by the roads, cars use them too, I saw two riders do a right hander on a hill on the wrong side of the road, a black truck just missed them!
- Watch out for shiny clay roads.
- 30mm handlebar risers would be good investment, Alfred with gladly fit them for you, it will make standing up on the little CRF230's a lot easier and enhance your enjoyment of these brilliant little parafin donkey's.
- Spare goggles are a good idea.
- ENJOY IT, YOU HAVE EARNED IT!
If I can help in away way to make sure you are prepared for this fantastic ride, I will check the blog on a regular basis before you leave. It would be good also to receive some comments on here whilst you are out there.
See you at the Dirty Weekend in Wales next year.
Have a graet time, Bob&Neil
Sunday, 11 October 2009
The rest of the ride was on wet modelling clay, team 2 - its cold and wet in the hills, bring something to stop the cold!
As i write this we are being entertained at the Strand, knackered and walking like John Wayne.
Cant wait to be back with our families now!
Team 2 - good luck and i hope this blog has helped you some, enjoy it folks - its bloody hard work but you will remember the sights, sounds and smells for as long as you live!
Love Bob and Neil xxx
Saturday, 10 October 2009
The day was split into two parts, this morning was supposed to be easy and the real hard bit was after lunch, a river crossing had to be done by wading through waist height water whilst carrying the bikes. However our leader Darrel ,who has no fear and rides up the impossible, advised that the whole team should not attempt the afternoon ride, there is no support possible in that region even by air, if someone blows a clutch then the bike stays there - remember 'you bend, you mend' - dont fancy forking out for a new bike!!
A few dicky tummies around today, could be down to some of the shitty water we have been riding through.
Tip of the day for team 2 - if you have any 30mm bad risers, bring them with you, it will make the little CRF a lot easier to ride standing up.
I am now relaxing in the bar with Mike Poxon and a few of the boys.
Looking forward to seeing my family again.
Rathers is also missing Majella!
Last riding day tomorrow, bet you guys coming on the second trip are getting really excited now!
TTFN Bob and Neil
Friday, 9 October 2009
Today they made their way 171K to Cremorne at the Riverside Lodge. Roads were very bendy with lots of gravel and you cant afford to take your eyes off the road. A few people fell off bikes due to this. Was a very hairy ride due to the fact they were attacked by dogs, chickens, sheep, cows in the middle of the road, cars on the wrong side of the road and even kids throwing rocks at the bikes! One kid managed to hit a bike and it knocked all the kit of the front. Also there were quite a few punctures today.
Bikes!! - Don't expect road legal bikes - no indicators, mirrors, horns or brake lights! Make sure you read the small print on the bike hand over form - basically - "you bend, you mend" If you break your clutch etc you will be paying for it!
All in all a straight forward day, where they are staying tonight is very noisy being next to a river and pond, frogs whistling and other animals making all sorts of sounds.
Apologies to Mick - he was hoping to send some photos to you but hasn't been able to do so.
He hasn't seen any mosquito's yet, however he might do tonight! The River lodge hotel has limited accommodation with some people have to sleep in the conference room on mattresses.
They did a steep climb today and he said he ended up in a bush on the back wheel - which he does not recommend.
He also added that when they arrived at the lodge today it was chucking it down with rain!
He says everyone is OK and hopes that tomorrow the accommodation will be slightly better and he will have access to the Internet again to update you.
Sorry again if it is jumbled!
Thursday, 8 October 2009
He's apolagised that he cannot update the blog himself but he has not got access to the internet right now, so has phoned me and asked me to update for him. Sorry if its abit jumbled ill try my best to get down everything he has told me!
They biked across the famous Gorge today and found it very difficult, apparently its a thousand foot drop into the gorge and then a river crossing! He said also he doesnt fancy being in the shoes of group 2 - good luck boys!
They did about 147K today which was very hard and included alot of river crossings. He even got wet hands at one point the river was that deep.
Today the team suffered from 3 punctures, a broken clutch and 3 people went over the handlebars, but were all ok. One person went into the trees and a few people were troubled by the ruts. They have also lost another team member today to four broken ribs - this was due to a non-biking incident!!!
However they did make the journey in record time, the yellow team were the fastest to ever do it. They ended up at the Hole in the Wall hotel.
Along the journey they were greeted by lots of school children waving and visited a round house and saw how the villagers lived. I think they were moved by this experience as they all donated 20 rands of their own money each to the children. They were told afterwards that this is a phenomenal amount of money to them and they would be stunned.
Tomorrow they have a late start of 9am and is a 'cruising day' apparently.
He cannot post any photos as it is simply too expensive!
Apparently Neils cumbrian foot is ok but his durban bottom(?) is sore!
Sounds like they had another good day anyway! Sorry if this is abit jumbled..ive just written the notes up i have taken from the phone call.
Bob is hoping he can get back online tomorrow and update
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Yesterday we hit the Transkei and visietd one of the schools on the Touch Africa project, we delivered tables, chairs, toys and supplies,the children were fantastic and all imaculate considering their surroundings, it's nothing for them to walk 8k to school. We then set off for some really tough riding, and I mean tuff!
We lost a member of our team for 4 broken bones in his foot, quite a few injuries were received by the riders and we were all dead on our feet when we got to the hotel (Me and Rathers were ok)
This morning we set off for another school and got stuck in to putting up a "Jungle Gym", painting, putting doors and locks on, carpeting the floors, putting in concrete window sills, even cooked for the kids and refurbished tables.
Rathers also played his pipes for the kids which they loved, so did the mums and dads, saw some strange dancing!
Tips, take goggles with you to schools to keep dust out of eyes (when sweeping floors, sanding etc)
Watch out if you swim in the bay at Mezzappa bay, Great whites have been seen there!
Thats all for now, sorry its brief but the computer is very slow.
Bob & Neil x
Monday, 5 October 2009
Ride safe, enjoy the trip and for gods sake, don't get sucked into trying to be at the front all the time, space out(Thats the copper speaking and enough for now)
Do bring waterproofs, This morning it rained constantly, we were all soaked through and it is bloody cold believe me. Then the sun came out and again the roads turned to dust, believe me, sometimes you will pray for tarmac!
Be aware that if you get wet, then dusty, it will knacker your visor/goggles. Bring spares or some T Cut or Brasso to polish the fine scratches out,
Plenty of wildlife again today, watch out for the cow type thingies, they are mad! A monkey tried to comit Harry Karry today in front of one rider too.
Still we are all here safe again, just had a beer on the balcony and watched a school of dolphins in the bay, 30 minutes before we were swimming in the same place. Tomorrow we hit the Transkai, people are still fantastic, you will love them! only 80k tomorrow but it will take us 8 hours!
Dinner calls so must go, To Majella, I am looking after Neil, To a new friend's wife Michael Poxon he is safe well and sends his love. To My family Mwhah!
More tomorrow(Oh Morgan Bay Hotel have Internet access to peeps)
Loe you all, keep the comments coming please, DI, READ THE BLOG. Matt Felkin, your bike is still in one piece mate(so Far)
Bob and Neil XXX
Sunday, 4 October 2009
We travelled about 10K out of town and then we went off road for a 37K technical section to sort the men from the boys, this involved many river/stream crossings , sometimes riding down stream for a way in the water, watch it team 2 its rocky!
Then we had a cheeky little decent down a steep rocky gorge, this did sort the men from the boys, bikes going off the track left right and well not quite centre, we both did it quite easlily. This done we set off for about 70K accross some very dusty tracks/roads(Most of the roads are mud) For lunch we dropped in at a game reserve where we were treated to a ride in a land Rover to see the Rhinos, Zebras, Gazelles, Springboks, Wart hogs, all sorts! Sadly we did not have time to see the lions before we dined on some of the former residents of the reserve! Nice nosh though and a lovely local pudding a bit like sticky toffee Pud.
After lunch we were awarded our team colours, and guess what, Rathers and I are in the Gold team, which is the first team to set out each day being the quickest and most technically competent, Wooooohooooooooo!
Lots of dusty roads followed, we covered nearly 300K today and we are all filthy.
We saw quite a bit of wildlife, monkeys at the side of the road, a Guinea Fowl nearly took my head off, a Hare diced with death in front of me and two wild cow type things raced us down a track!
We are now at the hotel in Port Alfred and its nearly dinner time.
Tips for team 2 (Oct 13th trip) The plugs out here are 3 round pins like our old sockets years ago, bring plenty of adapters, they don't sell em out here.
Internet access so far has not been a problem, wifi hotspots are at this hotel and the one in Port Elizabeth.
Practice slow riding and technical stuff, rough terrain!
The people out here are very friendly, everyone waves and shouts as we ride by, the scenery is stunning already and we havent reached the Transkai yet, one minute you think you are in Wales, then in rural England, then Spain!
Thanks everyone for your comments on the Blog, We are both missing our family's, Majella Niel says he loves you lots, Di, Matt, Lucy, Nikki and Eve, love you Lots.
Off towards Morgans Bay, tomorrow.
PS, Majella, Neils Cumbrian foot is improving but Charlie the bear who is caging a ride on Neils handlebars is a bit grubby!
Saturday, 3 October 2009
We now have a 3 hour wait at Jo'Berg for our connecting flight to Port Elizabeth, Rathers wants a glass of breakfast,(What on earth could that be?)
The weather looks just like home but its muggy, One fo Di my wife here, when we landed in Jo'Berg I looked out of the window to be greeted by a 10 foot tall cut out of a Border Collie on top of one of the airport buildings, looked just like Eve our dog.
As I type Rathers has just informed me that the his clinical condition known as Cumbrian Foot has flared up! I will explain later, no doubt we will have a Durban knee to add to that when we come home.
Off to explore the airport now, very clean and modern, and BIG!
Later folks, thanks for looking,
Bob and Neil.x
Thursday, 1 October 2009
Malc had agreed to sponsor us by providing us with a couple of essential bits of kit, Camel Backs(well Northface to be precise) These will be used every day whilst riding, Thanks agin Malc and good luck with the marathon later this month. Malc and Ann help children by sponsoring a child/school in I think Sierra Leone, Malc's sponsor money will go towards this, Ann also has managed to pursuade a member of staff doing a bungee jump for her(I think by dubious means?)
Hopefully see you both when we get back.
I forgot to mention that the little get together on Tuesday went very well at the Ambleside club, we packed the bar and drew the grand raffle, as a Thank you to those that again turned up to support us, Majella went out and bought some bottles of drink and some chocolates, then gave everyone a free ticket for an inpromptu raffle.
Thanks everyone, this may be the last blog entry until we get to SA, hopefully I can get to blog whilst we are out there, so watch this space!
Yesterday I plucked up courage and attacked the packing, we knew that at 20Kg for hold luggage and 8Kg for hand luggage that things were going to be to say the least a bit tight. Our boots weigh in at just under 4Kg a pair, then body armour, leg armour, riding trousers, jacket etc, etc, etc.
On the first try the big red bag was over 23Kg, at £36 a Kg for the 3Kg that was another £118, Bu@@er that for a game of soldiers! out came the excess socks and pants, t shirts, walking boots. After 4 attempts I have managed to get down to below 18Kg, going to wear flip flops to travel and swap into Off Road boots to board the plane.
Rathers had much the same problem, 23Kg without packing his boots, I think now we are both sorted and can calm down a bit to spend a relaxing evening at home before we depart for SA tomorrow morning, Yeh right!
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Well 3 days to go now and I am hoping we have got just about everything ready. Our helmets (Neils is black) are sporting some of our sponsors logos'. If any of our sponsors are reading this blog you have 2 days to get some stickers to us, as you can see there is still some room on our helmets to advertise for you.
In about half an hour we will be off over the road to have our going away drink and draw the prizes for our Enduro Africa prize draw.
Hopefully see you there, money is still coming in with £50 through the door today, Rathers sold some more tickets to his shift last night and he also received £100 and another Chimnea from the Farm Goods shop on the A5 at the Redgate today.
Will update the thermometer after tonight with a more or less final total for our efforts.
See you later peeps,
Sunday, 27 September 2009
Mike is a wealth of knowledge on SA, having lived there for two years and still makes regular trips out there in the course of his business. After a while Graham turned up with his family and we sat down for a good chat about luggage allowances, kit, riding skills, expectations and fears.
I wish I had been able to make the dirty weekend in Wales, it not only sounded like a good night, good food and entertainment, but a lot of past experiences were shared by Enduro Africa vetrans.
Thanks both, it was good to meet you before we go, I have now finished work and will be in a frenzy for the next few days, I think you both finish at the office on Weds, happy packing and look forward to seeing you at the airport.
Now then, tomorrow night at the Ambleside club, sometime after 7:30pm we will be drawing our prize tickets out of a hat, if you can make it, please come along for a drink and see us off. Thats Tuesday 29th of September. Hopefully see some or even all of you there, if not the next time you see us will be when we return, hopefully not too battered and bruised!
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
I took my turn in the queue and was duly handed the application form to complete by one lady, once completed the lady on the next till called me accross. During general chit chat, the lady enquired where I was going to be driving, I filled her in with some details and she said, "so you ride a bike anyway?", "Yes" I replied, "What do you ride?"(you know when a question is put that way that you are talking to someone who might know something about bikes) "A police bike" I replied. "Were you on the bikesafe stand at Gaydon a few weeks back at on the Triumph run?"," Yes I was I replied" "I knew I recognised you, my husband was on the ROSPA stand next to you, I was standing around with the dog"
A general chat then ensued on bikes, What a small world full of coincidence!
Anyway I think I have all the documentation I need now, spent £16 on pain killers, foot powder, lip balm(Cherry, nice) nappy rash powder, well you never know do you?, new socks and pants(just in case I end up in hospital, gotta keep appearances up don't we, I think I remember me mam telling me to wear clean skiddies , just in case) Still don't know what's wrong with wearing skiddies for 4 days, turn em back to front, then repeat the process after turning them inside out?
I must start to pack, if only to weigh up how much I will be over the 20KG allowance.
Monday, 21 September 2009
DB was sat astride his XT660, helmet and gloves on with his bike parked nose in to a low retaining wall, just as he kicked up the side stand and fired the beasty up, Sgt Jeff Love was walking by. Quick as a flash Jeff ducked down behind DB's bike and took up a bracing position, just under the top box and rack, as DB started to back the bike out jeff pushed back, time and time again DB tried to push the bike backwards out of its parking lot, each time met with equal force from behind, he rocked it backwards forwards, blipped the throttle(Don't know why - frustration) but could not get it to move. After about a dozen goes he glanced my way to see me curling up in a ball on the floor and wailing with laughter! DB couldn't see Jeff in his mirrors until he stood up, Bl@@dy hell it was funny, I was still laughing when we arrived at Sonic 10 minutes later.
We collected our helmet Camera, and two radios with kidney pouches from Liam Thornton and were talked through the techie bits by Wayne. Cheers guys, and thank you again to the MD Mr David Bryan for arranging the kit to be made available to us(Same kit as used in Long Way Down so should be some good footage)
After that we made our way out to an undisclosed location that has some excellent tracks, ruts, slopes, woods etc. My thinking was to get DB back in the saddle on a bigger bike than we will be riding out there in SA, increase our confidence in that if we can get these brutes up the inclines we should be able to throw the little CR230's around.
DB, sorry mate I should have warned you about that big mound and not just expected you to follow me over it and down the other side, you did it though and went back the other way, good fun eh?
A second location provided us with a good long rough climb, to simulate the gorge in SA, plus some horrible ruts, the onew we could see were bad enough but the ones where the new grass had hidden them were to be my down fall, one minute I was there, the next I was chewing daisies! Oh how we laughed, flooded the bike enough to have to remove the plug and dry it out.
All in all a good day out and again credit to the Yamaha XT660R, they went everwhere we wanted them to go.
Tomorrow I think we are both shopping for bum cream and stuff the the trip, 11 days to go and I have to work for 5 of them!
More to follow,
Bob and Neil
Friday, 18 September 2009
One of the highlights will be visiting one of the Schools on the Touch Africa project and giving it a lick of paint. I know that will be a paint job that will remain with me for the rest of my life.
We have had our final instructions for the airport and luggage allowances will be tight, 20kg for the hold and 8kg for hand luggage. It would appear that most of us will be wearing our off road boots at the airport as they weigh a ton, then once on the plane we will take them off and put some flip flops or trainers on. I don't think it will be too difficult to spot our fellow riders in the departure lounge!
I would invite anyone who is still reading this blog to make any comments over the next two weeks, wish us luck, tell us to watch out for mozzies, or anything you wish.
Thanks again for your support, we could not have done this without you.
Come back soon as the Post's will no doubt become more frantic and hopefully funnier.
This weekend I will be on a road bike on "Bikesafe" helping civillian riders improve their skills, a far cry from what is about to come.
One a final note, I have been trying to get the other 100 or so people completing the Enduro challenge on 2nd of Oct to speak to one and other on the Enduro Facebook site, with some success, I think about half a dozen have since come forward and introduced themselves over the last few days.
Enough for now,
Dog wants a beer!
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Sunday, 13 September 2009
After returning and scoffing a cracking Roast dinner cooked by my lovely wife(don't all throw up at once) my phone went and it was Ian. "Bob, they have had a whipround after the match, can you come over and pick up this money?"
Off I trotted with the pooch, who I later caught having a crafty Guinness!
The whipround totted up to over £123.00! the loose change went in the air ambo box on the bar.
Whilst chatting and thanking the team captains one said, I know you, do you use my resturante, The India Red? Oh yes I certainly do. I thought I knew you I said. It then became clear that the match was between the India Red and the Malt Shovel PH.
I have not been in the Malt Shovel but I know it is very popular and I will make the effort. I have been to the India Red (formally Woody's Free House) in Abbey Steet next to the CO OP carpark and can say what a transformation, for a long time T/C PH's to a very classy Indian Resturante with fresh food cooked by the best of chefs. If you haven't been yet you don't know what you are missing. Very friendly staff, fine food and an ambience which would lead to to believe you are a million miles away from Nuneaton.
A very big thank you to you both and your teams for the money you have donated to our charities.
We gave ourselves just over 4 months to raise the £9,990 with most people having between 12-18 months to raise tha same funds, at the outset I said to Neil(who shall be refered to from now on as "DB" it's a long story) "we will need to hit the ground running onn this one" That we did and the support we have recieved is enough to restore anyones faith in human nature. Bearing in mind we started this not long after Children in Need 2009, you still gave readily to support those less furtunate than ourselves.
We had a couple of months where we were both a little down due to a problem at work which saw DB lose his driving authorisation for a while. I will state that DB in my and 99.9% of our colleagues eyes had done nothing at all wrong, he was an advanced driver doing his job, something he was trained to do, and do very well. I will not go into any more detail, the matter is done and dusted, DB has been exonerated at the highest level.
Without doubt this did affect our fund raising, we expected to end up closer to 15K rather than 10K, it looks like we will crack 11K before we go.
Enough of that! we have less than 3 weeks to go now before we board the big white bird and head off for what I am sure will be an adventure of a lifetime, an experience that we are told by many will change our lives.
We have been watching the 2008 highlights on Men and Motors and are both fully aware that this will not be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. We are having a supper meeting tonight to sort out the final preparations, I feel the next 19 days will be a blur.
I went to Sonic last week and met with Liam Thornton who is putting together the Coms/head cams for us and confirmed that we can collect them on 21st Sept.
I have not heard from Long Way Down since Rob the producer passed us on to one of his charity organising staff, I have re emailed him and hope by tomorrow when he returns to his office that we can continue negotiations re a link to our site and the possibility of using some of our footage to encourage others to follow in our steps(we are just doing what Charlie and Ewan did) to raise money for children in SA.
In the days that lead up to our departure, I hope to update this blog daily. One date to remember is Sept 29th when we will be pulling the winning tickets out of a hat for our prize draw in the bar at Ambleside Sports Club. We would love you to join us for a send off so please try and come for an hour or so, I'm sure DB will bring his pipes along again.
If anyone would like to make a last minute contribution via our PayPal button, please do so, every penny is for charity, the more we make the better for the children. For those of you that have already done so, I thank you again.
Please keep on reading, I hope to keep you posted on this site from SA.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Sorry we have been away for a while (well from the net) It's less than 2 months to go and we are on the last push to raise as much money as we can for Enduroafrica. Soon we will be having to start on the malaria tablets - Yuk!
We have still to get and practice with the Cams and Comms from Sonic and are still in negotiations with Big Earth to tray and raise our profile for the last 6 weeks or so. I am spending as much time as I can on an off road bike but due to circumstances beyond our control Rathers is going to have to get some last minute training in, I am hoping that using the XT660R's at work will sharpen my skills as they are not so forgiving as the smaller bikes, so when the time comes the CR230's will feel like a pushbike to ride(I wish)
Went to see Gary the MD of Car User today at 12 Alliance Close, Attleborough fields ind estate and he has donated a cheque for £100, I have not checked on the figures for a while but I reckon we should be over 10.5K.
We still have £200 en route from the sale of the Salmon fishing certificates.
I will try to keep the updates coming more often from now on, sorry again for the lack of news over the last 6 months.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Thanks Brett, we will let you know how we get on,
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Saturday, 11 July 2009
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Jacksons is situated on the industrial estate in Arley, its like an Aladins cave, you name it and they have got it, Very friendly long established family business. What a cracking bunch.
Thanks, Bob & Neil
Monday, 22 June 2009
Thanks to to the committee who allowed us to come along with a couple of bikes and our big TV to show everyone just what we were letting ourselves in for.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Well its like this, Majellas brother Shai works in a motorcycle dealership in the Emerald Isle. Last week, there he was minding his own business polishing all the shiney bits on the bikes in the store when in walks Mr Daniel Day Lewis(now minus the mohican hair cut) and wants to test ride a few motrcycles. The rides take place and Shai whilst Mr DD Lewis is still in the store phones sis as she is a bit of a movie buff, just to say you won't believe who we have in the shop. Majella quick as a flash sees an opportunity to raise some funds and says"Get him to sign something for the auction" Shai tells Mr DD Lewis all about Enduroafrica who willingly signs a T shirt. Thanks Mr Lewis for doing your bit to help us raise money for our 4 great charities. I will put a photo of the shirt on the site as soon as I can.
Quiz night is on July 10th, 6 per team, £12 a table. Money in advance will ensure you have a table reserved.Oh if you would like to help us by donating, please drop us a couple of quid via Paypal, all the money is for charity so come on cough up.
Saturday, 6 June 2009
I am probably really going to regret this. At the bottom of each blog is a little envelope, if you click on it a box opens up and allows you to type in your comments, please feel free to add your thoughts to our blog, hopefully they will be supportive and constructive(Remember some younger people may read your comments before I get to moderate them so please nothing too rude)
Just trying to get some interaction going, would be good to hear from some other Enduroafrica participants too.
Back to the sun now, another hour and its San Miguel time again, Oh life is tough.
Hasta La Sunbed,
Friday, 5 June 2009
However there is news to tell. Last week I had occasion to go to Sonic Communications to collect some bits and bobs for work, whilst I was there I was lucky enough for find the MD Mr David Bryan was present. The very nice receptionist very kindly asked him if he could spare us a minute, 5 minutes later we were in his office having a coffee.
Sonic Communications are an international company and for those that followed Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor on Long Way Down, Long Way Round and Race to Dakkar will know that Sonic Provided the head cams and comms for the pair.
After a chat about our trip I am over the moon to say that David readily agreed to loan us the same Head cams and Comms for our trip(Well perhaps not the same ones)
We will now be able to record events as they unfold, I hope they won't be too dramatic though, plus we can shout encouragement and no doubt abuse at each other as we ride through the Wild Coast, FANTASTIC.
It Gets better, I mentioned to David that I had emailed Long Way Down to see if we could scrounge any bit of unwanted kit that could be signed by either Charlie or Ewan that we could auction off to raise money for our charities but as yet had no reply.
David picked up the phone and had brief conversation with Liz before handing me the phone, "Who is it?" I whispered, "Assistant producer from Long Way Down" came David's reply.
After a chat with Liz and blaming Charlie and Ewan for getting us into this mess in the first place, Liz said that they would love to help us out and that the Producer himself would call me back in half an hour. He Did just that.
At the moment I won't say what the Producer has in mind, I leave you in suspense for the time being, but if it all comes off it will be really exciting and be a massive, MASSIVE boost to our morale and no doubt Enduroafrica itself.
As soon as I know, I'll put you out of your misery, for now I feel a cold one coming on so I will wish you all Hasta La Vista.
Friday, 29 May 2009
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Monday, 18 May 2009
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Saturday, 9 May 2009
Friday, 8 May 2009
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Well the big day came and went(big day for some of us as we had not played football for some time!) I think I played centre back or something like that and had the task of marking CH Insp Ade Knight(Gripper) Rathers played a bit to my right and more to the front(told you I was a football numpty), the game itself was a very close run thing, by half time it was still 0 - 0.