Burning Man Bush Camp
Bicycles that continue to come up with ever-new mechanical issues daily. Full body exhaustion that takes its toll on riders. Minds that can see Cape Town all too closely on the horizon. This is what gives The Elephant Highway section of the TDA that elastic feeling of completion. While one end is pulling you closer and closer to the end, the other end is reminding you what lies ahead of you – today, tomorrow, the next day and every other day until that final pedal is turned.
With the very real end in sight comes a conflict in actions, motivations and feelings as to how excited or not one is to be reaching’ The End’. Regardless of the challenges at hand, or current priorities and to-do’s, no one can help but feel the present moments slipping away to never return again. The realities and experiences on this tour are comparable to none and hold memories more raw and real than anything many of us have ever experienced.
The freedom of building one’s home in a landscape that stretches to the horizon in all directions day after day. Seeing every horizon come and go, every sunset, every sunrise, every drop of rain and every ray of sun. Cycling across Africa is to truly live in every inch of the continent, one moment at a time. As we move south, the tour stays in ever more convenient and comfortable camping spots, with water and electricity at just about every camp from here to Cape Town. This may seem a given camping anywhere else in the world but here on this tour, this is true luxury. With that in mind, the tour honoured our final bush camp – not to celebrate their end, but rather to remember the beauty that they were.
Burning man was born. From the invested efforts of a few of the staff members, the supplies were collected over days of lunch stops until the time came to create. Over the space of an afternoon, the Man was built with face, hands, hair and the stance of true hero. Burning Man was introduced at that night’s rider meeting, welcoming all to write a note for the fire. As the sun set notes were added to the Man – feelings to let go, hopes for the future and wishes for the rest of the tour. “No time ’till Cape Town, “No time for bad times” and the fire was lit.
Many a night has been spent over the last week starring for hours at the last few burning embers of a fire or up at the vast sky full of stars, taking in every last moment of Africa. The tour starts now into its final section to Cape Town – just over 1,700kms to go. Kicked off with 8 days of dirt through Namibia, this tour is far from over.