Months of planning and preparation are complete, we’ve (literally) counted the pennies, sold our bikes, sold the car, given up the flat and said our goodbyes. Finally, we’re off.
After an emotional goodbye to the lovely Vicky who housed us in our first few days of unemployment, our journey to Heathrow was made extra special by our excellent, oh-so-philosophical cab driver, Jonny. Jonny kept up a steady stream of one way chatter the whole way to the airport, informing us that he knew we’d be ‘just fine’ on our adventure because we reminded him of him and his own wife.
Apparently he knew us well enough after just two minutes to confirm that we had a ‘special’ connection. Cheers, Jonny.
Some of his other pearls of wisdom included:
‘There’s a solution to every problem, but sometimes it’s just not the right moment for you to fix it. Stay patient, and you’ll find the answer eventually.’
‘Just keep thinking positive thoughts and everything will be alright in the end’
‘Nothing bad can happen to you as long as you stay true to yourself’
The last one wasn’t quite so lovely once he went on to say ‘even those women who are trafficked, if they just said no in the first place, they wouldn’t have been in trouble anyway’. Hmm…
It took him about a hundred times as many words to make these points, using many (many) examples and anecdotes from his own life. But you get the gist.
After Jonny bid us goodbye, we breezed through check in and started happily heading towards departures, only to be called back moments later, taken behind the scenes of airport security and asked to take apart our carefully packaged bikes to be swabbed. Jamie spent another 30 minutes in a creepy airport room with no windows (don’t ask, don’t tell) and then we were, finally, on our way.
Twenty-six long hours later we touched down in Cape Town. Time for the adventure to begin!