Thoughts from the Zambezi
The long days begin. In just 8 days of riding from Lilongwe, Malawi to Livingston, Zambia the tour covered a total of 1,219kms, every inch of which can be felt at this point in the tour. For the first time, the idea of reaching Cape Town has gone from an abstract tag line said to every local we’ve met along the way to a real destination coming closer and closer by the day. With over 3,000kms still to ride however, this carrot is still far enough from the nose, to challenge even the most dedicated EFIer.
Living the life of a TDAer, many abnormal day-to-day events take place which no one blinks an eye at. We all expect tomorrow to be hard, we all expect to wake up exhausted, we all have our ongoing medical situations that we tend to each day, but when the most commonly spoken phrase is now “only one month to go!”, you know we live a deranged reality. Only one month? If you were told that you had one month off starting tomorrow, you’d be through the roof with excitement at the endless possibilities of what you could get up to and where you could go.
This week has been a reminder to all of us however, that it doesn’t matter if there are 2 or 2,000 kms left, anything can happen at any time. Cycling has its inherent risks, as any insurance company will be all too eager to inform you, and sometimes accidents happen. We had to say an early goodbye to full tour rider Jan, who is home safe and sound by now but is greatly missed by everyone back on tour.
The fine balance of suffering and living-the-dream is what gives this tour the soul searching satisfaction, which at the end of the day makes you feel alive. There is nothing in life that can make you feel more alive and more present then a challenge that gets at your very core, followed by moments of absolute peace and perfection. The tour enjoyed the latter of the 2 for the few days spent in Livingstone, Zambia. From micro-flights over Victoria Falls, to cruises up the Zambezi, life is good for at least a few days. As for tomorrow, we can count on at least one thing, bikes will be ridden, exhaustion will be had, and a cold beer at camp will be that much sweeter.