Why go on an adventure? Some final inspiration (from a famous expedition)

Here’s are some words we received from a primary sponsor – Craig Hansen at PLK Buggies in New Zealand. We thought they were so good we printed them out for bedtime reading in our hammocks! Perhaps a useful reminder of why people decide to leave the comfort of home in the first place and why we’re doing this trip…

“A short note to wish you well and see you off, as it were.

One final piece of advice. Remember the old adage: “The best laid plans of mice and men…”.

So it is not if things go wrong, but when things go wrong. It is at these times that our true mettle shows, and what we make of the mess that follows sets us apart from the crowd and often determines success or failure.

The most important thing I can say is…

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One day to go…

“This is the stuff we are made of, this is what men do well, what we are equipped to do, what most men alive today never discover, this is what populated every corner of this planet, what began the civilisation that followed.” 

As we assembled everything to check the gear and then packed it down to make sure it fitted in the car before leaving for the airport tomorrow, it was an inspiration to receive an email from Craig Hansen containing the sentence above. Craig and Jenny at PLK buggies in New Zealand are basically the third and fourth members of our team and it was good to get a reminder of why we’re setting off on this crazy adventure in the first place.

Assembling the buggies and packing all the gear made us realise how much planning has gone into this, and how lucky we’ve been to get all the help we’ve had. Containing all our gear and perfectly fitted, the buggy bags look

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It’s a bit like swimming the channel 8 days after the first time in a pool…

Things have been mad hectic here. From running around hardware shops to buy spring washers to stop the buggy wheels falling off, to setting up our SPOT GPS (like our facebook page to track us), training with no wind, losing and then finding bolts again (thanks for the spares Oxford Bearings!), pumping our tyres with Ultraseal anti-puncture sealant and seating the bead (thanks Graham at GM Tyres!)… the list goes on.

But, things are definitely starting to come together. Which is lucky because we’re leaving in 4 days!

www.sbkites.co.uk

Onto the subject of this post…I caught Harry up and had my first lesson with Kevin and his daughter Ashleigh at SB Kites in Poole last Sunday.

This may seem mad, to only start kite buggying 8 days before we leave for an epic trip. It’s almost like trying to swim the channel, only 8 days after ever jumping in a pool. Certainly it seemed rather daunting to me, especially with the wind blowing offshore at force 4 and gusting to force 5 or 6.  However Kevin allayed these fears, teaching me first how the kite works, and then where the safety mechanisms are, and what they do. Then he hooked himself up, and showed me a couple of maneuvers he wanted me to practice. Kite high up in the window (zenith apparently!), then to the right (2 o’clock), then the left (10 o’clock). Controlling the kite between these two points.

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Heading off in under three weeks

Both our wallets are now a lot lighter, having now booked the flights from London to Natal complete with excess baggage (thanks to Sophie at STA Travel!). We’re heading out on 25th July.

Insurance is booked, arms are feeling numb from training (and vaccinations!), and a lot of very generous people have already donated to Centrepoint, a charity for homeless young people, on our just giving page here.

Buggies are on their way from New Zealand (thanks to Craig Hansen and Computer Solutions!), kites are en route from Vietnam (thanks Ozone!), buggy bags are currently being stitched in Wales (thanks BuggyBags!), the best tyre sealant available is already here (thanks Ultraseal!), and we are the proud owners of four very fashionable caps to keep the sun off in the day and light our way at night from 2C, makers of the Solar Light Cap.

I guess that all means we better go for it now…

We’re planning the whole route on google earth and we really appreciate all the advice and offers for support we have had so far, without which this trip would be even more of a challenge than it already is.

If you know the area between Natal and Jericoacoara, we’d love to hear any local knowledge you have. Post your email in the comments below!

First kite buggy lesson – with one or two crashes!

Buggy lesson with SB kites in Poole

Buggy lesson with SB kites in Poole

I’m sitting typing this with two ripped holes in my shorts, a graze on my elbow, and a wide grin.

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Training

So kite buggying is just about sitting back in your seat and cruising along eh? Not quite. You’re in a heavy buggy with a month’s worth of gear strapped to it, and all the power to get you moving has to be channelled through your arms and legs to drive the buggy along.

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