No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
~ John Donne
The greatest achievement of this trip will be realised not when I return home safely after an unforgettable adventure - though I sincerely hope that I have both an unforgettable adventure and that I return home safely - but when I set off from the Cape of Good Hope, for this will be the culmination of a (nearly) lifelong dream, aided and abetted by more people than I am able to mention individually by name.
I will nevertheless, like any good fool, rush in! Any omissions, glaring or otherwise, are solely my responsibility and I hereby extend my most sincere apology to all affected persons .
First and foremost, this trip is happening only by The Grace of God!
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the two most important women in my life, namely my mother Elizabeth and my wife Celesta. Thank you Mom, for nurturing, teaching and encouraging me to learn and therefore, to dream! Thank you Celesta, for your unwavering, completely unselfish, support and commitment to my dream! You are the strongest, bravest, most generous person I know. I cannot express, in words, just how much you mean to me, so I hope that I can honour your contribution to my life by making a success of this venture and returning safely.
This is a motorcycle tour, so I (obviously) needed to acquire both a suitable motorcycle and the skills required to operate it safely. The first need was, and continues to be, met by Donford Motorrad, Stellenbosch, where I acquired each of the two motorrads I have owned to date, in 2011 and 2013, respectively. I have received nothing short of exceptional service from the entire Donford staff, but none more so than from the team led by the inimitable Eugene Croecamp. Eugene, Gerrit, Chris, Dominic, Ricardo, Shane & others - you guys live the service in customer service, thank you!
I could not join a better community, nay family, than the BMW Motorrad Club, Cape to address the second need. This is where I am most at risk of forgetting to mention people. I have learnt so much from everyone - officials and fellow members - through club meetings, day / weekend rides, tours, training, social and unofficial events. I went on my first Beginners Off-road Ride with Andy Connell and Peter O' Hanlon. This was followed by various off-road rides with Warren Ellwood, Neels Wilken, Arno Rossouw, Charles Oertel, Tony Schlee, Rob Selig, and, and and. These rides bred enough confidence to tackle Geoff Russell's world-famous tours, including the very popular, Annual West Coast Seafood Extravaganza hosted by the one and only Jurg, at the very unique venue known as Jurg se Kaya.
In between club rides and events, I attended my first "formal" off-road course with Rony Desodt of Rough and Ready fame. This was followed up with the Intermediate Off-road Training courses of both Rough and Ready and Country Trax. The latter in the Western Cape with Johan Olivier & Leon Croucamp, as well as at Witsand in the Northern Cape with Stefan Boshoff.