I met Rob Lindegger when he paid a visit to the Stanford Rotary Swop Shop a couple of weeks ago. Fascinated by the cycle journey across Africa that he has embarked on I asked if he would allow the readers of the Scenic South to enjoy his journey with him – vicariously. This is the first installment from Rob. Enjoy!
Get Out and Get on with Your Life
In 2008, after thirty odd years in the hospitality industry, I decided I had had enough of bowing to the whims of other people and to do what I had always wanted. That is to write and to travel, hopefully combining the two.
The writing went reasonably well, but I started getting bored. In 2011, step two started taking shape. It was time I looked at ‘following my Dream’. Getting a bit of adventure into my life.
Previously I had planned a solo cycle around the world to raise funds for Rotary International. Unfortunately this did not materialize.
I dug into the archives of my computer and looked at the world cycle plans. The planned time-span for that trip was ten years. But at that time I was sixty-four years. Now I reckoned that a shortened version would be preferable – a cycle through Africa was the obvious choice.
I purchased a ‘Kona Africa Project Two’ steel-framed bike for R5,500. Being a simple guy, I did not want the engineering difficulty of all those modern gears and suspension. I had read about a couple of guys who, in the 1940’s, had cycled from Cape Town to London. If they could do it without gears, I could do it on a three-speed geared bike.
The bike was built for the rough conditions of Africa. Spares are available throughout Africa and mechanically the bike is simplicity itself.
My plan is to ride from Underberg to London; a distance of about 25,000 kilometers. My route would take me to Cape Agulhas along the coast to Cape Town, up the coast to Namibia, through the Caprivi Strip into Zambia. I plan to travel up Lake Tanganyika on the ferry, MV Liemba to Burundi. On to Ruanda and Uganda – back across Lake Victoria to Tanzania onto Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt. I will then decide on turning left along the Mediterranean shores of Africa to Morocco and across to Europe. Or, from Egypt turning right and through the Mediterranean European countries.
There are a number of reasons for the trip. The main one being to ‘Follow my Dream’. But just as importantly is to create an awareness of the good that Rotary International does in Africa and to raise funds for Pevensey Place, a home for adults with Cerebral Palsy.
En-route I give inspirational talks about my journey and what I have learnt from my travels.
To date I have been on the road for two years and travelled 2,000 kilometers. I am glad I have broken from the mould. I see life as it is. I meet real people, not the baddies we constantly hear about in newspapers and on television. I can honestly say that the number of bad people I have met, can be counted on one finger. I have met many naysayers, but I politely stay away from them … I have proven them wrong and will continue to do so because I believe.
Interviewers ask me “What advice would I give to other people?”
My answer is this – Get rid of your television sets. Forget the diets and do more exercise – not in gyms but outdoors – cut out the booze, drink more water. Make time for yourself … quiet time. Look at yourself and your lifestyle within the greater context of things. Take up a form of active meditation – Tia chi or similar. Slow down, learn to relax. It is possible to do these things and the best time to do it is now. ‘Carpe Diem – Seize the Day’ and Follow YOUR Dream.
If you would like me to do s short presentation contact me through my web-page. www.wobblingthroughafrica.com.
I will be in the Cape Peninsular region from 2nd April.