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Expedition Africa - Blog


For the Love and development of Adventure Racing. Expedition Africa established in 2006 and has organised over 150 adventure races in Africa and Internationally. This blog is about our story over the years and our personal views.

Expedition Africa: Rodrigues | Bella's Banter | 3 September 2019
Jacques Marais.jpg

Expedition Africa 2019, Rodrigues.

Tuesday September 3

If possible, I like to start the day with a quick run. A good chance to see the back blocks of Rodrigues in the quiet hours.

The colour of this place appears in so many ways. In visual forms it’s the bus stops, the buses, the cemeteries, the accessories people carry on their bicycles. In cultural forms it’s the waves from locals riding their scooters, or the Indian place of worship I run past, of which the door is open so anyone is welcome to join them for a session of singing and celebrating.

In animal forms, it’s animal road etiquette. Because here in Rodrigues, it’s not so much a case of ‘why did the chicken cross the road.’ It’s more a case of ‘why did the cow/sheep/goat/dog cross the road.’ Dogs cruise the streets here like slightly bored teenagers. They chill on the footpath, in the early morning you see them take off in groups of three or four looking for something to do. In the middle of the night, as I’m walking down the village road with the waves lapping to my right, one will run up and say hello. Given half the chance it will jump into your backpack.

Chickens and dogs, they’re everywhere here on this island. And the coolest thing is that none pose an issue, and no one seems to mind.

Capturing some activity at TA6 this morning, chickens pecked around the feet of incoming and outgoing teams as they grabbed a refueling snack and a change of clothes in between their paddling, trekking and biking.

Jacques Marais, one of our lekker photographers, had a good laugh this evening claiming a chicken ‘photobombed’ him today. We all cracked up, none of us were surprised. So you can join in the fun, here is the photo.

It was a sight to behold later today, joining some teams at the Francois Leguat Giant Tortoise and Game Reserve. I’m not sure how many adventure races involve teams running amongst features of Mother Earth some hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years old. And the loving messages French team Raido Brothers sent home via a video snippet with us as they arrived at the Reserve, was oh so lovely.

So it was a pretty cool day, and fellow Live Media crew member Craig Giese and myself were just about to head back to HQ to start the next part of the day, when, in true adventure racing styles, plans all of a sudden changed.

Pedal to the metal, we were off to T9, the top three teams were neck to neck and heading for the shore. Team Merrell (SA) was first in, followed closely by Team Greener Adventure Cykelkraft, (Sweden) and in third place and applying hard pressure, was Team Blizzard, (Russia). Like a robber’s dog, there was minimal time in transition as they gathered their hiking and climbing gear and headed off into the late evening sky, a night of trekking, via ferata and abseiling.

It’s always a thrill to see the top teams racing flat out and head to head. But what was just as wonderful was chatting to family members of Team Greener Adventure Cykelkraft at T9, who had come to Rodrigues to be there in the thick of the action. Because everyone loves an adventure.


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