It’s happening! Tonight is my first night in a tent as I camp just outside of Clanwilliam, the nearest town to the Rim of Africa’s starting point, and tomorrow I start walking! I’ll be dropped off on the side of a highway in the Cederberg Mountains and then it will be 26 days of continuous walking to complete the already-established route of the Rim of Africa which extends to the town of Montagu.
Joining me every step of the way will be Ricardo Philander, the first Youth Ambassador for the Rim of Africa. Like me, he is 24 years old, but he has grown up in the Ocean View community in Cape Town, South Africa and is training to be a guide. He has been working for the Kommetjie Environmental Awareness Group for the last year to learn about environmental rehabilitation and this expedition will be a huge opportunity for him to build his backcountry skills.
After we walk these 26 days of established route, we will take a short break in November to recoup and prepare for the much more difficult, rugged, and un-walked passage-finding part of this journey. That walking will begin mid-November and end sometime in early December, and its the real prize of this expedition.
I hope to be able to blog as I walk, but due to the extreme remoteness of most of these mountain areas, cell phone internet access could be difficult. So we will see how it goes! I’ve reached a point where I have prepared as much as I can and now it is just time to walk – one foot in front of the other. Camping tonight has already welcomed me into the mountains, and as I sip my hot honey water, I can feel the stress melt away and my excitement for this opportunity grow. I am confident that after the nine months of hard work to pull this tougher, delivering this baby into the world will turn out so much better than I could ever imagine!
Cheers to starting a new adventure!