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Old 12-09-2012, 05:39 AM   #7
Dakar rookie OP
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Botswana
Oddometer: 15

In less than three weeks, we will be boarding South African Airways to Buenos Aires, Argentina which is an 11 hour daylight flight, then, transferring to Peru which is another 5 hour flight. We land at 23h00 on Friday 28th December, but it will be 06h00 our time (I think, on the Saturday??). According to my calculations there is a 7 hour difference in Peru, and a 5 hour difference in Chile and Argentina, BEHIND AFRICA TIME.

Firstly, many thanks to SeedCo who have sponsored David his ticket there and back. This is a big saving for David. With the erratic Euro/Dollar at the moment, both our team and the South African competitors have suddenly come up short due to the exchange rate and we are all frantically trying to get more sponsors on board.

Theo Pieterse an artist from the Siavonga area has so kindly donated two beautiful pictures of leopards to auction off in order to raise more funds for Dakar. The information on the auction and photographs of the paintings can be found on Facebook under Art Auction Supporting David Reeve’s Journey to Dakar. Please go on this page and like and also look into bidding on the pictures. We have had 424 “likes” on our FB page, and I think both David, Charles and myself are getting personal messages from people asking about the race and from all over the world. Romanians seem to have a keen interest; either that or they are stalking one of us with a view to human trafficking! Simba Milling also very kindly sponsored us with some much needed funds, and this is greatly appreciated. Again we cannot thank you all enough for your support.

Our “Boss”, Charles Bender has been rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous lately in Monaco where he attended the FIM Gala awards dinner. Photos of him hanging out with Marc Coma, Gio Sala et al have been spied, and he was also spotted lurking about at the famous Marina gawking at the yachts and ships etc. However, he was pleased to get out of the expensive city and back to his shorts and crocs in Africa.

Charles managed to spend a few hours in Holland (constructively I like to think), meeting up with Jan, Jacqueline and Onno. Jan is the mechanic for Ingo and David, and Onno runs the Orange Service Team and provides the big Mercedes truck which transports spares etc around. The bikes, cars, service trucks were all loaded on to a massive ship at Le Havre, France on 22 November, and as I write, our hopefully halfway across the ocean to Peru. We had a bit of a scare when our bike tyres nearly did not make it from the depot to Holland, but with frantic phone calls and a panic mechanic, who drove the 1400 kms across Europe to rescue the situation, we have come right.

Unlike Charles who went hobnobbing with motorsport royalty, I went off to the Roof of Africa where loads of advice and encouragement from Alfie Cox, Darryl Curtis, Riaan Van Niekerk were most appreciated, as was the offer from the SA Toyota drivers to “come and say hi” when we are all together in South America. It is an amazing brotherhood the Dakar. Whilst having kittens over assorted issues, I went onto a bike forum, where immediately offers of help and contact details were offered along with cries of good luck and we will be following you.

David has been keeping up with his training regime, including dragging tyres around the farm, cycling and riding a motorcycle as often as possible. David’s boys are home for the holidays and no doubt will be assisting him with his training. The lot of a farmer is not a happy one; I know David is anxiously awaiting the rains so he can get on with various jobs before he leaves. Usually he has planted crops before end of November, but so far the rains have failed at Dorvic. This just adds to the stress of things he needs to do before leaving Zambia, and the worry of having to dump it all on Emma. A farmer’s wife has to really be the jack of all trades, Mum, farmer, accountant, wife, nurse and vet to name but a few trades.

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