Thanks so much for having supported me throughout this 2 year journey. It is just the beginning. Check out my Talk for TEDx ALUbayyid. I'll doing many speaking tours around Canada and around the world.
We live in a world today that desperately needs collaboration from all parts of the globe no matter what tribe, race, gender or religion you're from. To see Africa grow we see humanity grow, that goes for every other continent and nations. Now is the time to put aside our differences and focus on solutions for a more sustainable future, cleaner environment and more tolerant behaviours that we can all thrive from, not just a select (lucky) few but every one of us have much to benefit from this as well as contribute.
It starts with you making the first brave step.
At the border my Visa was expired by one day, so the conclusion for them (particularly a woman working there who can't speak English) decided to confiscate my passport without explanation. You can imagine how livid one might become at this moment. I nearly lost it, all the harassment, all the authorities without brains telling me what to do wrong, I just couldn't handle it anymore. However strong my efforts nothing changed. A few hours later a man came to my rescue who knows a little English and he explained to me that my passport is to be mailed back to Addis Ababa to immigration there. I thought why the hell couldn't they have made an easy phone call or done it like every other country in the world where you pay a late fee at the border. This made life incredibly difficult. I had to take a bus back to Addis to retrieve my passport and pay a late fee.
Today was the day I was suppose to catch a ride with Lilli Molitor to the border of Namanga region, which splits Tanzania and Kenya apart. This is the area I ended my last walk. Our plan was to walk from the border to Nairobi via the A104 road but before we would leave our bags behind at my buddy Neil’s house. I met Neil the year before in Vilanculos, Mozambique during my journey. Once we met up with Neil he was prepping to climb Mt. Kenya with his friend Lucy, they had just an hour before they had to depart. They both asked if we’d be keen to join, after some back and forth talks with Lilli we decided to climb the mountain with them. That was probably the most last minute mountain climbing decision ever made. However the days ahead of us would tell us it was well worth it.
It’s been hectic, pushing 30 to 50km per day to make up lost time in Nkhata Bay. Impossible to sleep anywhere without children, sometimes of the hundreds bombarding. You want to stay sane and smiling but the tiredness gets to you.
In each village (or random beach) I have to meet with the chief (the guy in the white shirt) and he decides whether I stay or not. Some of these people along this massive lake have never seen a foreigner, so for me to speak English with a black face is completely alien to them.
Today I had some problems with the kayak, where it nearly went sinking 2km out in the lake. That was the scariest moment, forget the 3 – 4 metre high waves, they’re fun. But having your boat sink while adrift can really get your nerves going. I managed to swim ashore (along some rocks) which had me scraped up head to toe, however I survived and managed to save the kayak as well. Lesson well learned.
After spending many days alone on the road and in the woods I started to feel like a true nomad, my home was wherever I laid my tent or hung my hammock. I would walk until it became night, just before dawn was the safest time to set camp. I’ve managed to pitch my tent in 5 to 7 minutes now depending on weather conditions and wind. Distance and time no longer mattered, I was only concerned with landmarks like rivers and lakes, that’s where I would settle and shower.
My first sign of civilization was a small town called Humansdorp. It seemed like a well developed town mostly populated with blacks, Indians and coloured people. It was a slightly rough city however it was my midpoint and thus I needed to stock up and rest. The people were kind in the shops, there was a point where I forgot Rafiki (my stick) in a grocery store for about an hour. When I came back for it they have kept it safe for me, that was a great feeling. It seemed everyone in the store knew it was my stick. I ate outside of the police station as that seemed like the only available spot with a path of green grass. After gauging down over a thousand calories I began the second leg of my walk to JB (Jeffrey’s Bay).
The second leg of my walk was roughly 3 hours, short compared to my previous walk that day. I was getting excited though. I heard a lot of good news about JB but I had originally planned to skip it and go straight to PE (Port Elizabeth) and sleep along the national highway. Am I glad I didn’t choose the first option.
I am now in Bredasdorp a town of roughly 10,000 people. I’ve stayed here in this cozy and friendly town for the last 2 days going on 3 now. The reason for my delayed departure has to do with the fact that I haven’t been able to access my funds from my bank after my wallet was stolen back in Muizenberg. I’ve ordered a new card and figured out Paypal and Visa Direct transfer so all is good now. This was a blessing in disguise. You may be wondering why it has taken me so long to get this sorted. Well big towns are very far in between in South Africa especially going further north. Bredasdorp is one of the largest towns for within a 10 day radius (walking) until I reach Port Elizabeth thus everything needs to be done here before the next leg of my journey.
A modern explorer recently finished a voyage of walking across Africa entirely by foot and kayak.