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For the Love of Adventure Racing, the outdoors and all things beautiful! #itsallaboutlove


Expedition Africa: Rodrigues | Bella's Banter | 7 September 2019
Bella - 7 September 2019.jpg

Expedition Africa 2019 Rodrigues

Saturday, September 7

Well it’s a shade after 5am on Saturday morning, September 7, 2019. I’m sitting on the verandah above the main street.

The waves are lapping off the reef, the chickens are waking up and a few footsteps can be heard from the street below, a steady flow of bakkies, vans and scooters is starting.

A week ago we were gearing up for the Saturday flag parade and opening ceremony.

Today, the crew of Expedition Africa are heading off on some activities of our own this morning, and this afternoon and this evening is the grand finale celebration.

A huge amount of activity has gone on in between.

Team ThisAbility shadowed the finish line just after 9pm last night, made up of two South Africans and two people from the USA. The final team. Johnny Clegg filled the air waves, and the finish line was humming. Cheers, tears, the token vuvuzela, and one of the many Rodrigues wandering street dogs, were all there to cheer them in.

They’d been out there for 130 hours, and we all thoroughly enjoyed hearing their tales shortly afterwards of tortoises laying eggs, the trekking legs, and escapades on their boat.

All of yesterday the teams were reacting the finish line, at a rate that was thick and fast. I had the pleasure of catching a word with a good few of them; hearing their stories of tears, celebrations, frustrations, and joy. No matter how bad it got out there in the island wilderness for them, once that finish line was crossed, gratitude and humbleness prevailed.

I enjoyed my final race day sunset last night while interviewing Team Sketchy Pirates, the sun just dipping below the horizon as they told tales of broken paddles, reflexes to giant spiders and sleeping at a bus stop.

The live stream show last night was fun; fellow media missioning bestie Craig Giese and I joining third media missioning bestie Terence Vrugtman on the show for a chat about our week. We laughed about blooper moments, thanked key people who made this race come into life, and talked about our experience on the road, capturing the action.

A local volunteer and a chat on the programme just before us, and he summed up life on Rodrigues beautifully.

“We have time to live,” he said.

Five simple words, which weave together a page we could all take with us.

In Expedition Africa 2019 Rodrigues, teams raced, they went fast. But also, they had fun, took time to watch sunsets, gaze at stars, interact with the local people, ask fellow teams for help when needed, help other teams, and say thank you.

They took time to live, and we could see it in their eyes.

#with_belles_on




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