Steph Jeavons: Biking On African Soil
I woke in my bunk and could not for the life of me figure out where I was in the first 30 seconds. The gentle rocking and serious lack of head room didn’t even give it away. I was dazed and confused! This was not an uncommon state of mind for me to wake up in these days!
I wiped the porthole and looked out. I’M IN ANTARCTICA! Of course! I had just spent the last five days sailing past Cape Horn and across the Drake. How could I have forgotten, even in the earliest seconds of my waking day! There was no mistaking the scenery outside. It was magnificent. Awe inspiring!
As my consciousness slowly caught up with the rest of me, the reality of my situation came crashing through my drowsiness. I smiled. Not only was I here in Antarctica – but today was the day Rhonda the Honda and I would land on its shores and I would ride her - on ANTARCTICA!
That day in February, like this whole journey, was about achieving what initially seemed an unrealistic goal. I had set myself the target of riding a motorcycle on 7 continents before I left my home in Wales, but had left with no idea how I would make it happen. I always said starting the journey was the hardest part, but now as I begin the ride across the final continent of Africa and point the wheels towards home, it crosses my mind that stopping might be harder!
It took three months for my bike to join me in South Africa, travelling by sea from Canada to Durban. Thankfully I met some wonderful people who made my wait enjoyable and within my tight budget! Honda South Africa even lent me a bike so I could check out some of the amazing scenery this country, and Swaziland have to offer. My preference is dirt over tar and there is plenty of it here to explore. The red and dusty roads are the perfect playground and I was welcomed like an old friend everywhere I went. The wildlife and the colours of the land give it a truly unique feel that remind me that - even after three and a half years on the road - I still have a lot more to see. It was the perfect start to my African adventure.
Before I knew it, my bike had arrived and it was time to hit the road and cross the border into Namibia before my visa ended. Waking in my tent just outside Springbok, I jumped out of bed, made coffee and shared an energy bar with the exotically yellow birds who had come to pray on my good mood! I sat watching the sun move across the adjacent hill, slowly working its way towards me. My departure time was all down to how quickly its rays could reach me and dry the dew from my tent. I smiled and savoured the moment, completely submissive of the control nature had over my day. I was back on the road!
Written by Steph Jeavons.
You can follow Steph Jeavons’ 7 continent ride on her trusty motorbike, Rhonda the Honda on her blog.
There’s also a GPS tracker which lets you map her travels live.