A while ago I told you about the guy that attended a presentation of mine in Johannesburg during November 2009. After the presentation he told me that he planned to ride around the world.
On March 1, 2010 I received a sms from him. “I am leaving”.
A year later, March 1, 2011, I received another sms. “Year 2 day 1!”
A few minutes ago I received the following email from Ronnie. I had goosebumps while reading this. I salute him for his courage. I salute him that he took time to stop and smell the roses. I salute him for his “Eat, Pray and Love” experience!
“After ten months in Asia, I am finally on my way through the fourth continent on my World Tour…!!
I have travelled almost 89 000 km by land, sea and air, visiting 80 countries to date, and have been on the road for 556 days now…!! A long haul in anybody’s language…!!
While I faced some tough riding conditions in Africa, battling heavy rain and muddy roads in the Equatorial Regions, and blisteringly hot days riding across the Sahara to Algeria, the last four rides I made across Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores and Timor have been probably the toughest consecutive rides I have made to date…!!
But made them, I did, although I brought over 50 000 kms without a fall to an abrupt end by tangling with a scooter in Flores…!! My last, (and first !!), fall took place in Ethiopia in May 2010, when I had covered only 17 000 km on the Big Fella…
I reckon 15 months and 50 000 km without a fall is good going, so I am not too upset by my recent fall…!! Just the fact that I had made it through India without serious mishap I consider to be a minor miracle in itself…!!
And while I am on the subject of India, the name as come to represent an acronym for “I‘ll Never Do India Again”…..!!
My ride through Asia contained all the elements of great riding, and was especially memorable for the six weeks I spent together with Trevor and Chenty Wilson, fellow RTW Riders with whom I have developed a strong and lasting friendship… Chenty’s advice was the catalyst for shift in my mindset, from what was largely a negative to that of a more positive outlook on life in general, and I will always be in her debt for that…
She set me on the path to finding happiness and a growing sense of purpose, and with that in mind I landed in Bali and had my very own “Eat, Pray, Love” experience…!! (I expect groans from the guys and “Ah, sweet…!!” from the more understanding of the sexes…!!)
Seriously, between getting me to sit up straighter, eat more vegetables and less meat, and ensure that I get regular exercise, Patricia has made me look at life a lot differently, and see myself in a new light too…!! And I daresay that I have had more fun and laughed more in the last three months than I have since I set out from South Africa 18 months ago…!!
The decision to leave and continue my journey has not been an easy one, but we have both agreed that I should complete the ride that I have started… Fate brought us together, and we are more than confident that our futures will remain entwined… And that’s all I have to say about that for now…!!
Right now, I have Australia on my mind, and the 19 000 km I have planned to ride there…!!
Should keep me out of mischief for a while, methinks…!!
All my very best,
Ubud, Bali (For the very last time, I promise…!!)”