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dinLIST

CALENDAR Here are some fantastic activities and events to look out for over the next three months:

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W

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3

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10 11 12 13

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

NOVEMBER 2012 S 4

M 5

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11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

DECEMBER 2012 S

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Adventure

 Sandboarding // Atlantis (CT)  River Boat Cruise // Colchester (EC)  Caving // Congo Caves (Oudtshoorn)  Horse Riding // Dullstroom (Mpumalanga)  Microlighting // Ballito (KZN)  Off-road Motorcycling // De Wildt (JHB)  Paragliding // Lions Head (WC)  Hiking // Knysna (Garden Route)  Wind Surfing // Langebaan (WC)  Game Drives // Legends Resort (Limpopo)  River Tours // Stable Cottage (EC)

Sport

 Multi Sport // BSG Energade Triathlon Series - Roodeplaat Dam (North Gauteng): 2 Oct  MTB // Ride the Rhino - Langebaan (WC): 5-7 Oct  4x4 // Maxxis National 4x4 Challenge Championship - Rustenburg (North West): 6 Oct  Road Cycling // Amashova Durban Classic - Pietermaritzburg (KZN): 14 Oct  Road Running // Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon - Augrabies (NC): 25 Oct - 4 Nov  MTB // Nissan Trail Seeker Series #5 - Van Gaalen (JHB): 3 Nov  Road Running // Soweto Marathon - Soweto (JHB): 4 Nov  Off-road Motorcycling // Roof of Africa - Lesotho: 14-17 Nov  Road Cycling // 94.7 Cycle Challenge - Sunninghill (JHB): 20 Nov  Trail Run // First Ascent Trail Run - Muizenberg (WC): 8 Dec

Lifestyle

 Entertainment // Spring Break - Sun City (North West): 1-3 Oct  Music Festival // Aardklop National Arts Festival - Potchefstroom (North West): 2-6 Oct  Festival // Dragon Boat Festival Regatta - Muizenberg (WC): 13 Oct  Expo // Photo & Film Expo - Coca-Cola Dome (JHB): 18-20 Oct  Music Festival // Huisgenoot Namaqua Fees - Cape Town Central (CT): 25-27 Oct  Expo // Good Health & Wellness Expo - Durban (KZN): 27 Oct  Expo // Jewellery & Accessories Expo - Durban (KZN): 17 Nov  Festival // Cherry Festival - Ficksburg (FS): 17-19 Nov  Festival // Woman in You - Rietvlei (JHB): 24 Nov  Food & Wine // Cape Town Festival of Beer - Green Point (WC): 23-25 Nov  Charity Event // Durbanville Gift Fair - Durbanville (WC): 29 Nov - 2 Dec

6 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


inTRO

FOUNDER’S LETTER

The year is fast coming to an end and I can't believe that this issue will be the second last of 2012. Although I am in no hurry

to see this year out, 2013 promises to bring many more exciting new events and adventures, as well as a number of new initiatives that will enhance the magazine and your overall reading pleasure. But first let's look at what this issue has in store for you. If you are into snowboarding, there's a really 'cool' article on the Quicksnow Snowboarding Championships in Lesotho on page 102. If golf is more your scene, then turn to page 112 for my course review of the prestigious Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate in Johannesburg. We have introduced two new features in this issue of the magazine. The first is 'related articles', which you will find at the end of most of the articles. You can use these references to find similar articles easily and hassle-free. Secondly, we now have an inVOLVED icon, and any article in the magazine that is related to community, environmental or animal awareness will feature this icon. These are often great initiatives to consider for yourself or your company to get involved in. We hope you find these new additions helpful. DO IT NOW Magazine exhibited at the AMiD Expo, the Boating Lifestyle Show / Outdoor Lifestyle Show / Motorcycle Lifestyle Show, which was held at Nasrec. Thank you to everyone who came along and supported us, and it was awesome to meet so many of our readers. We were privileged to have 2013 Dakar Team members Darryl Curtis and Riaan van Niekerk, with their Broadlink and KTM beasts, at our stand. They certainly rallied up a huge crowd as they handed out autographed posters and signed DO IT NOW Magazines. And when Darryl revved his beast, I'm sure you could hear it in Fourways! What a machine! The celebrities did not stop there though. I'm sure everyone who visited the DO IT NOW Action Arena will also agree that the trial and SuperMoto motorbike demonstrations put on by Mr. Brian Capper were smoking H.O.T! If you haven't seen this man in action before, then be sure not to miss out when you have a chance to

see him. I would also like to thank everyone who joined us for our group photos, which you can see on our Facebook page. Congratulations to Stephan du Plessis for entering our 'Grab One to Win Big' competition - he was the lucky winner of the R5000 lucky draw. In our 'Strike a Pose and Win' Competition, it was Zelda van der Westhuizen, Hannes van der Merwe and Paul Jacobs’ pictures with the life-size cut-outs of Darryl Curtis and Riaan van Niekerk, who stole the limelight. They had the most Facebook ‘likes’ and won themselves signed Dakar memorabilia and a one-year digital subscription to DO IT NOW Magazine. Enjoy your prizes! So what does the rest of this year hold in store? Well, there are some fantastic events planned for October and November to look out for, including our first ever DO IT NOW Wake Rodeo. This high-profile event will include some of the best riders in South Africa, and is set to take at an exotic location. There will be limited spaces available, but if you are keen to join us then watch our website for all the details. Another exciting activity that we are looking forward to is joining the Adventure Club at Divetech, in Mozambique, for a bit of snorkelling, diving, swimming in the warm Indian Ocean and good times. For real-time updates from both events, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Till next time - remember; Don't Hesitate, Don't Procrastinate, DO IT NOW! Cheers Francois

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On the Cover - Susan Sloan (Salomon Multisport Athltete) Photo by - Ocker Odendaal

REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Alan Hobson

Claire King

Kobus Bresler

Deon Breytenbach

Francois Steyn

Jacques Marais

Michael Scholz

Neil Ross

Peter Fairbanks

Richard Flamengo

Ugene Nel

Morne Swanepoel

Hannele Steyn

Xen & Adri Ludick

Steven Yates

DO IT NOW Team FOUNDER Francois Flamengo

MANAGING DIRECTOR Elri Flamengo | elri@doitnow.co.za ART DIRECTOR Peet Nieuwenhuizen | peet@doitnow.co.za MARKETING & SALES DIRECTOR Morné Labuschagne | sales@doitnow.co.za | +27 71 292 9953 TEXT EDITOR & COMPETITIONS Tracy Knox | tracy@doitnow.co.za | competitions@doitnow.co.za DISTRIBUTION, SUBSCRIPTIONS & BRAND AWARENESS Cheryl Whelan | distribution@doitnow.co.za | subscribe@doitnow.co.za EVENTS & ACTIVATION Chris Jooste | events@doitnow.co.za WEB ADMINISTRATOR Marieke Viljoen | listings@doitnow.co.za | media@doitnow.co.za GENERAL ENQUIRIES info@doitnow.co.za FINANCE - invoices@doitnow.co.za PUBLISHER DO IT NOW CC SUBSCRIPTION subscribe@doitnow.co.za | www.mysubs.co.za DISTRIBUTION (Subscription) The Tree House - 011 315 3559 DISTRIBUTION (Retail) On the Dot - 011 401 5872 PRINTING Paarl Media - 021 870 3627

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HEAD OFFICE DO IT NOW CC Fancourt Office Park, Building 1 c/o Northumberland & Felstead Road, Northriding, Fourways, Johannesburg Tel: +27 11 100 1012 Fax: 086 612 8674 Website: www.doitnow.co.za

DO IT NOW (ISSN 2074-6113) is published bi-monthly. While every effort is made by the DIN Team to ensure that the content of the DO IT NOW Magazine is accurate at the time of going to press, DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any errors that may appear, or for any consequence of utilising the information contained herein. Statements by contributors are not always representative of DO IT NOW Adventures (Pty) Ltd opinion. Copyright 2009 DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or stored on a retrieval system without the prior permission of DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd. DO IT NOW MAGAZINE (Pty) Ltd supports and encourages responsible practices with regards to all Adventure, Sport and Lifestyle activities. We also believe in the conservation and protection of our environment.

8 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Advertising Opportunities

For more information on advertising opportunities in the magazine and on the website, please request the DO IT NOW Rate Card, Specs & Schedule Sheet by emailing sales@doitnow.co.za or telephonically by calling him on 071 292 9953.


SUBSCRIBE & WIN Subscribe during the months of October and November 2012 and stand to WIN

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VOL 4 • 5 • 2012

00019

19 9 772074 611000

Vol. 4 • 5 • 2012 #19 PRICE RSA R35.00 (Incl VAT)

SPUR ADVENTURE SPRINT SERIES see page 86

inSIDE COMPETITION P. 130 FIND US FACEBOOK & TWITTER VISIT US WWW.DOITNOW.CO.ZA

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inDEX

Vol. 4 • 5 • 2012 #19 | www.doitnow.co.za

Base

//  dinLIST CALENDAR: p. 6 An exciting three-month calendar featuring Adventure-Sport-Lifestyle activities. //  inTRO: p. 7 Letter from DO IT NOW Magazine's founder. //  Team & Contributors: p. 8 DO IT NOW Magazine’s team, as well as regular and guest contributors. //  Subscriptions: p. 9 Subscription form and New Subscriber competition. //  inFOCUS Reader Competition p. 130 Stand a chance to WIN R500 by entering the reader photo competition. //  inCLOSING: p. 146 A sneak preview of upcoming features and articles.

Sections

ADVENTURE: Exciting, adrenalin-pumping stories about trips and daring adventures in South Africa and beyond. SPORT: Features various sports, how to get involved, what they are all about, upcoming events, feedback from races and helpful tips on nutrition, exercise and much more. LIFESTYLE: Articles not only cover lifestyle topics such as golfing, activities in nature, fun travels and experiences in incredible places, but also provide great information on photography, social responsibility involvement and awareness, insurance, reviews and entertainment.

Categories inTRANSIT: Exciting and entertaining travel stories from Africa and beyond. inACTION: Various sporting activities and events. inTRAIL: Running activities, races and adventures. inH2O: Water sports activities, races and adventures. inALTITUDE: Aerial / high altitude adventures and sports. inGEAR: Adventures and events featuring vehicles with gears such as bikes, motorbikes and motor vehicles. in THE HOLE: Golfing articles, interviews and reviews. inNATURE: Outdoor experiences and activities such as fishing, hiking and birding. inCREDIBLE PLACES: Articles about incredible and breathtaking places. inFOCUS: Photography section with a competition and event-specific photography tips. inVOLVED: Incredible stories of involvement in the community, environment, marine, wildlife and other areas of life. inDULGE: A delicious and easy-to-make recipe to try out. inSURE: Valuable information about insurance and related topics. inREVIEW: Exciting and informative product and vehicle reviews, as well as subscriber discounts. inTERTAINMENT: Movie, music and gaming reviews.

10 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

50

22


Adventure

p. 12-59

// inALTITUDE 16-21

// inTRAIL 22-25

// inGEAR

26-29 30-33 34-37 38-43

// inH2O

44-47 50-53 55-59

Climbing to the Top of Europe - Mount Elbrus, Russia All Along the Watchtowers Minsking through Vietnam Escaping to the Rural Trails Two Scotts on the Trot: the storm before the flight Of Sand, Sea, Solitude, Horsepower and Adrenaline Pozo Izquierdo, a Windsurfing Mecca Kayaking - Destination Inhaca and Portuguese Islands Diving Bilene - the lesser-known Mozambican diving destination

Sport

p. 60-105

// inALTITUDE

64-67

// inTRAIL

68-71 72-77 78-81 82-85 86-89

// inGEAR 90-91 92-95

Kites - The World on a String Muizenberg Mountain Run - A Quantum Classic! Great Ethiopian Run Basic Navigation Skills - laying the foundation, Part 2 De Hel Van Kasterlee Spur Adventure Sprint Series How Good is Milk for you? Fit to Drive

// inH2O

96-99 Waveski Surfing - please remain seated 100-101 Getting your Groove Back for Summer 102-105 Quicksnow - SA Championships

Lifestyle

p. 106-145

// in THE HOLE

110-111 Golf Brawdcasting from the US of A 112-113 Must-Play Courses - Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate

// inNATURE

38

114-115 Vegetarian Trout in the Karoo 116-119 Old Faithful Travels to Sesfontein - Namibia, Part 2

// inCREDIBLE PLACES

120-123 Cologne - The Magic of a White Christmas

// inFOCUS

124-130 SHOOT! A MTB Stage Race - Multi-day Shooting 131 inFOCUS Competition

// inVOLVED

132-134 94.7 Cycle Challenge - ride for a purpose

// inDULGE 135

Recipe: Courgette and Ricotta Pasta

// inSURE

136-137 Beware the Buyer

82

// inREVIEW

138-141 In the Spotlight: Nissan Murano, Chevrolet Lumina SSV Ute, Toyota Avanza vs Nissan Livina 142-143 Products reviews

// inTERTAINMENT

144-145 Music, Movie and Game Reviews

www.doitnow.co.za • 11


12 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


// inALTITUDE: Climbing to the Top of Europe - Mount Elbrus, Russia // inTRAIL: All Along the Watchtowers // inGEAR: Minsking through Vietnam * Escaping to the Rural Trails * Two Scotts on the Trot: the storm before the flight * Of Sand, Sea, Solitude, Horsepower and Adrenaline // inH2O: Pozo Izquierdo, a Windsurfing Mecca * Kayaking - Destination Inhaca and Portuguese Islands * Diving Bilene - the lesser-known Mozambican diving destination

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inALTITUDE:

Words by Candy Hooke Photos by various photographers

Climbing to Pashtukov Rocks

16 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


Clim bi ng

to th e to p pe ro Eu of Mou nt Elbrus, Russ ia Despite some serious health setbacks, including being wheelchair bound for a while, nothing was going to stop me from being in the mountains again, and going for my new goal. On 22 June 2012 my team and I left for Russia on the adventure of a lifetime. We were going to climb Mount Elbrus, a dormant volcano close to the border of Russia and Georgia. At 5,642 m (18,510 feet) it’s the highest mountain in Europe and makes up one of the coveted seven summits. Logistically it’s quite tough to reach the Baksan Valley, where Elbrus is located, and after being in airports for 12 hours, flying for 16 hours and driving for a further 8 hours we finally arrived.

Mountain s have fascinate d me for as long as I can remember, instilling in me a passion and need to be amongst them. It is also through this passion that I first came across The Seven Summits; the famed seven highest mountain s on seven continents. After doing some research I realised that if I put my mind to it, I could actually conquer some of these mountain s - me, a five-foot mother of two!

Our first acclimatisation hike was to climb Mount Cheget. There is a large military presence in this area, due to it being on the border of Georgia, and we couldn’t take the chairlifts up until the soldiers with their large machine guns went ahead. In 2011 the south side of Elbrus had to be closed for climbing, as the rebels had planted bombs and caused major unrest in the area surrounding the mountain. So we were somewhat anxious to get this hike over and done with.

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 17


We left for base camp early the next day, as we had heard that the chairlifts were not working on the last section, and this would mean a very severe uphill hike with extra-large duffel bags. Our guide, Yuriy, called ahead and asked a snowcat driver if he would be able to drive us up to The Barrels, our base camp at 3,800 m, but the snow was melting fast so this might not be an option by the time we arrived. Packed and ready with around 200 kg of gear between the six of us, we set off in the waiting snowcat and what followed was the second scariest experience of the trip for me. As we started ascending, the snowcat lost traction and slid down a cliff to almost land on a pile of rocks. We all had to bail out and cling on to the rocks for our dear lives. Fortunately no one was hurt, but I was taking no chances and decided to walk the rest of the way up; this beast was not ruining my climb! Reaching base camp I discovered that the ‘barrels’ are old oil barrels that have been converted into comfortable rooms, with six wooden 'bunks' per barrel. Our mess hall was an old converted container, in which our cook, Vladimir, produced hearty Russian meals and stored our water that came fresh from the mountain.

Life on the mountain at high altitude is not easy, and I was the only girl in our team. There's no time or space for shyness here, and eventually something as gross as seeing someone carry their five-litre pee bottle to the long drops becomes normal. Months of training and preparation had us all in good shape for the long and hard daily acclimatisation hikes and final summit push - that alone would be a 15-hour slog on our feet. We climbed higher and higher each day, returning to base camp at night to get our bodies fully acclimatised. The rule of thumb is to climb high and sleep low, to decrease our chances of acute mountain sickness, which is life threatening.

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:

1. The beast on Mount Elbrus 2. The Barrels base camp at 3,800 m 3. First acclimatisation hike to ruins of the famous Priut (hut) at 4,300 m 4. Sunrise above the clouds on Mount Elbrus.

18 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Weather patterns are totally unpredictable. One minute we would be climbing in glorious sunshine with views for miles, and then within three minutes the clouds would cover everything and you could hardly see your teammate in front of you! Temperatures range from around 5 to minus 15 degrees, with a strong snow storm thrown in for good measure. We were climbing in the summer season, and the massive amounts of snow falling resulted in us having to wade through snow as deep as my waist in places.


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Our first summit attempt ended after only 30 minutes, with a complete whiteout and the snowcat sliding off the path toward the rocks on the glacier below. After a group discussion it was decided that we descend on foot and attempt the summit again at midnight. Mount Elbrus is known for her frightening storms, and weather alone has led to numerous deaths on her flanks. After an early dinner at 6 p.m. we all settled to get some shut eye. At about 8 p.m. I fell asleep, only to wake again at 9.30 p.m. I wrote a blog entry by headlamp and started getting dressed around 11.30 p.m. As I stepped outside, the sight took my breath away. There was the most amazing full moon over Mount Elbrus, the skies were clear and there wasn't a breath of wind. With crampons on, we got back on the snowcat, feeling both excited and nervous. The ride only took about 30 minutes, but felt it like an eternity before we reached the bottom of the Pashtukov Rocks at around 4,900 m to 5,000 m and disembarked. It was freezing and really windy as we set off in single file in the darkness, the only sound was the crunching of ice underneath our crampons. It did not take long for our fingers to start to freeze, and we had to stop a few times and swing our arms to get the blood flowing again. After about three hours of hard and slow switchback climbing in the dark, we could finally see the line above the clouds signalling sunrise, and Yuriy pointed out the planet Venus to us. During a brief rest, we saw the shadow of Mount Elbrus' twin peaks darken the clouds below; wow, this is what dreams are made of, sitting above the clouds at sunrise! The snow slope was so steep and deceptive that just when you thought you were over the final ridge, another one revealed itself, and this is when mental strength had to kick in and will your body forward.

20 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to three of our team members later that morning, as altitude and sheer exhaustion had taken its toll. The affects of altitude are very scary to witness, and I remember continuously doing sums in my head to test myself on the route as we climbed higher. Safety is my number one concern on any trip I undertake, and I will do everything possible to avoid falling prey to 'summit fever', which many climbers do and in many instances with awful consequences. The traverse section of climbing, before you reach the saddle that lies between the two peaks of Mount Elbrus, is very exposed and the pathway only the width of one boot. I had to keep reminding myself not to look left and concentrate on not tripping over my crampons, or stabbing myself in the leg. We were now racing against time as we could see major clouds developing down below. There were a few other climbers on the path by now and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a man collapse in the path, clearly sick with AMS. Our guide tried to coax him to descend, but he would have none of it and a few hours later I saw him trying to climb the final slope, falling and swaying like a cobra! Once we reached the saddle we were tired but in good spirits. The area was a lot smaller and steeper than I had imagined, and the final summit slope was monstrous! After nine-and-a-half hours it was going to take all our mental strength and will power to get us up this final obstacle and to the top of Europe. We had a quick drink and a few bites of an energy bar before Yuriy roped us all together and we set off once more. The air is so thin here that we literally took one step and breathed, another step and rested. The vertical drop to the right was enough to keep me on full alert and I never took my eyes off the snow in front of me.


DINfo box i Training tips for a mountain expeditio n: • As we can’t all go hiking during the week, the best alternative is to load your backpack with books and hit the StairMaster at your gym. Gradually increase the weight, by adding more books, as you get stronger.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

1. Team Elbrus 2012 - alive and kicking! 2. Candy and Joe on top of Mount Cheget, Russia 3. The highest peak of Mount Elbrus

After about an hour Yuriy stopped and said he was very concerned about the brewing storm, and within 10 minutes it was snowing heavily. Eventually Joe, who was behind me, shouted that he couldn’t see anything anymore, and then things became serious; the mountain will always be here, but we only have one life! We got trapped in a major electrical storm 100 vertical metres from the summit, and all of a sudden we were stranded in a complete whiteout! Our lives were more important than standing on the summit and we still had to face descending through this storm for another four to five hours, roped up to our guide on the dangerous exposed traverse. So with zero visibility and our legs cramping from tiredness, we had to dig deep once more to force our bodies forward and down. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done, but I did it. Unfortunately we were unable to attempt another summit because you need to book a time on the mountain - The Barrels are booked way in advance, especially in summer - and our flights back to South Africa couldn't be changed. This is what mountain climbing is all about, and you are never guaranteed a summit.

We will go back one day, perhaps within a year if funds are raised! I’m trying to be the first South African- born female to complete the Seven Summits, as currently there is no one who has done it! •

• You'll need thighs of steel for the steep inclines, so build and strengthen your legs by going up and down the Westcliff stairs in Johannesburg, or any other steep stairs you can find in your area. Do this with your backpack and boots on! • Buy ankle weights and strap them to your legs before each workout.

Packing tips: • Make Ziploc bags your new best friend! Pack everything and anything into these, and take extras. You'll love your dry gear when others have wet thermals! • Keep prescription medication on you and share the quantities if you are travelling with someone. But have a backup supply should something get stolen or be misplaced.

Russian travel tips: • Book your own international flight and save thousands! I shopped online extensively and Qatar was unbeatable! If you don't go direct, be prepared for longer layover times, but the savings are worth it. • Always have colour copies of your documents and stash them in different bags, socks, etc. • Take a photo on your cellphone when you receive your ‘white paper’ from customs as proof! If you lose this precious white piece of paper you will end up in a Russian interrogation room somewhere and miss your flight. • Buy a Russian sim card (like MTC or similar) whilst you are there, as you get unlimited internet usage for just R65 and calls are charged at half the price of Vodacom/MTN rates. For more tips and essential information, check out my blog: www.mountelbrus.blogspot.com, or follow me on twitter @candyhooke

è Related articles:

• Summiting Africa's Icy Crown (p. 40, Issue #18) • Playing with Fire (p. 44, Issue #18) • Climbing Kili (p. 44, Issue #17)

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 21


inTRAIL:

Words by Matthew Holt Photos by Matthew Holt & Mandy Ramsden

Black Carts

22 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


All Along the Watchtowers We slogged up towards Green Slack beacon, stumbling across the rutted turf. It was a cold, blustery morning and clouds raced across the sky like sailing ships. On our right, the dolerite cliffs of the Great Whin

Sill plunged 100 m into the metallic blue lake, which rippled uninvitingly. On our left, some bedraggled sheep huddled in the heather and watched us with bemusement. We had 46 km ahead of us that day and the thin stone wall marched imperiously along the cliff tops into the distance. A few years back, a friend had run along the Great Wall of China, covering 4,200 km in 100 days. Being the impressionable sort, I decided to run one too, plumping for Hadrian’s Wall across northern England. This had the merit of being 12 centuries older and just happened to be shorter too. Built in the early second century, this 135 km wall marked the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire and, by definition, the edge of the civilised world. To the south were straight roads, heated baths, and fondues; to the north, illiterate savages with painted faces and tattoos. Well, that’s how the Romans saw it. To the indigenous folk on the other side of the wall things looked somewhat different, with the Romans representing oppression, slavery and crucifixion. Emperor Hadrian arrived in Newcastle by boat in July 122 AD: 177 years after Julius Caesar’s first fleeting raid on Britain and 79 years after the Romans had permanently occupied this soggy isle. Since then, the southern English had largely taken to the Roman way of life, but the northern tribes wanted none of it, rebelling whenever they saw a chance. Conducting a tour of his vast realm, Hadrian decided to put the brakes on further expansion, but in a grandiose manner, by building a huge stone wall across Britain. Mandy and I flew to Newcastle, via Heathrow, catching the metro into the city centre. We weren’t the first to traverse Hadrian’s Wall. In 1801, William Hutton, aged 78, did so from his home in Birmingham, covering the 960 km round trip in 35 days and in the same pair of socks. Nor were we likely to be the quickest, having budgeted four days to complete the trail, whereas a pair of Scottish ultra-runners had romped it in 17 hours.

We started from the eastern end, 8 km beyond Newcastle, at the Roman fort of Segedunum. Historical ambience was somewhat lacking, with the museum’s 35 m high observation tower making it look more like air traffic control. Still, we were able to peer down across the fort’s splayed foundations to the steely River Tyne and deserted Swan Hunter shipyard. Initially, the trail followed the northern bank of the Tyne into the city’s revamped quayside, where we ran beside modern galleries and proud iron bridges from Newcastle’s industrial heyday. The architecture was eclectic and interesting, if not very Roman, with the actual wall buried beneath the city centre and just a small plaque near the station marking its former course. Having left the city and suburbs behind, we toiled up a steep hill to Heddon-on-the-Wall, to be rewarded with our first authentic piece of Roman wall. Some two hundred metres long, two metres thick and halfa-metre high, it emerged abruptly in a field, like a submarine surfacing. In its prime, Hadrian’s Wall stood four metres high and, in addition to the stone rampart, the fortifications included 16 major forts, 80 blockhouses, 158 observation turrets and a three metre deep ditch on either side. These were all built within five years by three legions of soldiers about 7,000 men. After Heddon, the wall disappeared again for 20 km, with the trail following the scar of either ditch. We next encountered it again at Planetrees, where the thickness of the upper rampart had been reduced as soon as Emperor Hadrian stopped supervising construction. Times may change, but workmen don’t. In total, about 17 km of the wall remains, with the rest having been cannibalised over the centuries to build monasteries, castles and farmhouses. The finest section was the 13 km stretch from Sewingshields Crags to Walltown Quarry, where the wall rode along the edge of the Great Whin Sill, rising and falling like a rollercoaster. Forts and turrets perched on the cliff looked out on the gorse fells and dark forests to the north, and it was easy to imagine Roman sentries warily scanning the land for barbarians. 

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 23


At the end of the second day, we made a painful 5 km detour to the Roman fort at Vindolanda, hailed as the greatest historical site in Britain. Wandering among the ankle-high foundations, it wasn’t immediately obvious why, but the answer was in the museum. In the 1970s, archaeologists unearthed letters written by the occupying Romans, with over 1,000 having now been recovered. They’re remarkably contemporary, including leave requests, menus, shopping lists, party invitations and one from a mother reminding her son to wear extra socks in winter. The last section of standing wall was at Willowford, just before a steep climb to Birdoswald fort. Then, after Walton, the terrain flattened and rugged sheep pastures turned to vegetable fields and allotments. The saving grace was the River Eden whose calm meanders led us into Carlisle. Beyond Carlisle there was no sign of the wall or anything Roman, although at Burghby-Sands there was a memorial to King Edward I, a.k.a. ‘the hammer of the Scots’, who died here in 1307 en route to give his neighbours another biffing. There’s a constant theme to the history in these parts. After crossing the flood plain to Drumburgh, the trail needlessly dodged around some potato fields until it petered out at a small wooden gazebo overlooking the brown mud flats of the Solway Firth. After the glories of the wall along the Great Whin Sill, the end was disappointing, if not demeaning. Much the same could be said of Emperor Hadrian’s reign. Shortly after leaving Britain, he met a handsome young Greek called Antinous. With his politically-contrived marriage, childless and loveless, Hadrian’s admiration was more than just aesthetic and when Antinous mysteriously drowned in the River Nile in 130 AD, Hadrian was broken-hearted. He spent the last eight years of his reign designing temples in memory of his beloved Antinous and executing potential conspirators, until he died of dropsy, to general relief. Ironically, his hand-picked successor immediately reverted to a more popular policy of conquest and even had a new wall built in Britain, 150 km further north, but it didn’t last with the frontier soon reverting to Hadrian’s Wall. As the Roman Empire waxed and waned on a generally downward path, Britain became an increasingly remote outpost and in 410 was told to fend for itself. Shortly after that, the barbarians invaded and the dark ages descended. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 1.  Almost there, four miles to go 2.  Approaching Housesteads Fort 3. Sewingshields Crags

Having completed our run, we limped into Bowness-onSolway to celebrate in the village pub. Disappointingly, there was no food to be had, since the water supply had been cut by thieves stealing the copper piping. And the beer garden was out of bounds, having been commandeered by a giant hairy pig, the size of a wild boar, which had once been a pet but gone feral.

Waiting for the bus back to Carlisle, I couldn’t help thinking things must have been better under the Romans. •

DINfo box

i

1. When to do it: The 135 km Hadrian’s Wall Path runs from Wallsend (8 km east of Newcastle) to Bowness-on-Solway (24 km west of Carlisle). Although you can do it all year round, the summer months (May to September) are best and you’re also encouraged to avoid October to April, to give the trail a break. Most people take six to seven days to complete it. 2. Getting there and back: You can walk it in either direction, though transport logistics make it easier to start at Wallsend. Several airlines fly from London to Newcastle (including British Airways) and there’s a metro out to Wallsend. An irregular bus service links Bowness to Carlisle, from where trains run frequently to London (www.virgintrains.co.uk). 3. Accommodation: There are plenty of places to stay in Newcastle and Carlisle, but in-between options close to the trail are limited. The Swallow George Hotel (at Chollerford) and Twice Brewed Inn (at Once Brewed) are strategically located and consequently popular. If you’re going in peak season (June to September) or over a weekend, you should book in advance. 4. Slackpacking: If you’ve arranged accommodation in advance, you can hire a baggage-carrying company to ferry your overnight bags between your stops. Hadrian’s Haul charge GBP 5 per bag, per drop. (www.hadrianshaul.com). 5. Information: There’s a comprehensive website: www.nationaltrail.co.uk/hadrianswall.


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www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 25


inGEAR:

Words & Photos by Christoff Aucamp & Gerhard Schröder

Minsking h g u o r h t

Vietnam The sudden pounding on our compar tment door left us bewildered as the train's iron wheels could still be k. heard thundering in the dar “Dinh Lao Cai roi,” yelled the ived conductor again. We had arr grew in Lao Cai! Our excitement ed. and the confusion subsid rs, After a long-awaited two yea g rin tou Gerhard and my plan of s Vietnam on motorbikes wa . lity about to become a rea

Christoff driving down a mountain pass in the Xi Man province.

26 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


Wear protective clothing and observe the traffic regulations! Photos: J. Pichler, H. Mitterbauer

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The previous day Gerhard and I arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital. Gerhard had flown in from South Africa, while I flew in from Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon), where I've been living since 2006. It was a grand treat to have my best mate from school visiting me in this part of the world. We had scheduled this trip over the Tet holidays, which fell over the last two weeks of January. At this stage we had only organised two Russian Minsks (motorbikes) - not even a map. After catching up, all we needed to do now was get to Sa Pa and Ha Long Bay, and back to Hanoi within eight days, to catch our flights home. With time being of the essence, we took the overnight train to Lao Cai, saving us a two-day drive, and there was the extra benefit of waking up in the countryside.

above, so we were lucky enough to find some kind-hearted people who helped us. We had our first pho, an iconic dish of Vietnam, consisting of rice noodles with fresh meat and broth; the perfect remedy after a chilly morning’s drive. Finding thermal insulation was a priority, and we bought some of the best knock-offs we could find. The rest of the day was spent exploring the surrounding areas, visiting the more popular sites and places in town, and watching the local Hmong people in their traditional clothing making their way up and down the steep streets from the valley below. We found a backpackers, and for $10 a room it had a balcony and incredible views. Brilliant!

Standing on the platform in Lao Cai at 5 a.m., we waited for our bikes to be offloaded. Despite being a major tourist centre, it was like a ghost town due to the Tet holidays. Everything had shut down for the two weeks and even the locals seemed to vanish into thin air. Adding to the mystifying mood of the place, we encountered water buffalo strolling through the empty streets unattended.

Motoring along on the busy highway to Hanoi the scenery rapidly changed to dense jungle and small narrow roads. As most Vietnamese villages are so small, some with no more than 50 people, they don’t appear on the map. This made it rather challenging trying to find our way around. After being on the road for the entire day we turned off and took a loop that led into the mountains in the north, hoping to complete it by lunch the following day. It turned out that all the villages on this route didn't offer accommodation, and apart from the odd herder we hardly saw anyone. As the light started to fade we became more desperate and started asking everyone we saw where we could find a place to sleep. It seemed they were more fascinated by us than trying to help us. Eventually we found a group of kids playing soccer who told us there was a hotel in the town we'd just passed. The owners graciously opened their doors to us and at $10 a room, we were stoked to have a roof over our heads. We spent the night feasting on local fare ,generously supplied by two friendly ladies we had met across the street. While enjoying this peculiar cultural experience, some of the locals also came to join the fun.

The drive up the ever-winding and picturesque mountain pass to Sa Pa was amazing. Gerhard referred to it as 'little Switzerland', as it's a beautiful little town nestled in the mountains high up on the South East Asian mainland. It gets surprisingly cold in these parts, so our plan was to buy whatever else we would need here. In Sa Pa, we quickly realised that Tet really is a family-orientated holiday, and business comes to a complete stand still, unlike Ho Chi Minh City where you would still find some stores open. Fortunately in Vietnam most people who own a small restaurant or store also reside on the levels

The next morning we woke up to a cold and foggy Sa Pa and were on our away before 7 a.m. The dense fog resulted in us getting off to a slow start, and being stopped by the police for not having our papers delayed us even further. Fines are paid in cash and dealt with on the spot, which saves you time and money.

The next morning we woke up early and accepted a breakfast invitation from the locals, a courageous decision because it consisted of under-developed chicken eggs, pig intestines, rice wine and who knows what else. Not knowing when we’d find our next meal, we stomached what we could and got out of there.

28 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Time to figure out where on the map we were. A typical street vendor in Vietnam where you can 2.  buy great coffee. 3. On our way to Sa Pa and loving every second. 4. Gerhard and Christoff picking up the Minsks.

Throughout the day we got caught up in rain and fog, and to make matters worse the weather turned very cold. Continuing on the loop we came to an unexpected split in the road. After consulting with a passing truck driver, we realised that we were just 5 km from the Chinese Border. We made our way to Vinh Quang, where once again we couldn’t find a place to stay. Our luck turned and we found the only open hotel in Vinh Quang with the help of a German-speaking Vietnamese. We enjoyed another bizarre but entertaining evening, and as Gerhard and I could speak some German, we were able to get some food and gather lots of useful information regarding direction. From Vinh Quang we aimed for Ba Be National Park, a well-known destination famous for its pristine, natural environment. Leaving the mountains behind us we enjoyed milder temperatures and straighter roads. You can’t imagine how welcoming this was after two days of slogging it out on the mountain passes, in fog and bone-chilling rain. Travelling much faster now, we managed to gain more ground than on previous days, and thoughts of reaching Ba Be well ahead of schedule spurred us on. Again we had some difficulty when the road split, not knowing which way to go. As not everyone here is familiar with a map, we had to rely on my pronunciation, which failed miserably. So we ended up taking a road that led us further into the mountains. Two-hours later, the road came to an end and we were faced with a massive climb up a steep gravel road. We decided to push on and with grinning faces we put our Minsks’ off-road capabilities to the test. Before long the landscape changed from a construction area to one of wilderness, with only single track footpaths. Hazardous drops in some areas called for total concentration, and we were grateful that it wasn’t raining. I recall Gerhard saying: “Camp, the Angel of Luck is shining upon us today.” With the sun fading, we realised that we might have to sleep there or ride in the dark. Thankfully the footpath became a dirt road again, and just when we thought we’d made it, we reached a river and another dead end. We saw a few boats, but they were deserted. People started gathering after a while and then we heard the sound of a diesel engine coming from down river. Finally a boat came into view, its skipper still drunk from his own rice wine. After mentioning Ba Be, his gestures made it clear that it was not possible. He was, however, willing to give us a ride up river for $20. This was the pinnacle of our journey.

We passed the most amazing rock formations that towered above the river like giant sentinels, the sky ablaze with colours of red, orange and pink. And if this treat from nature wasn’t enough, we saw an entrance to a cave that was probably 50 m tall and continued for about 300 m. Overjoyed with what we had just experienced, we offloaded the bikes at the other end and carried on. Almost immediately it became apparent that we were close to civilization, and 15 minutes later we found a tarmac road and then a backpackers. That night we recharged our batteries, ate like kings and wallowed in our delight. The last leg to Ha Long Bay was through busy industrial areas, and after some near misses from trucks flying past us we eventually reached our destination. Ha Long Bay is magnificent, so we went exploring. We took a boat trip to one of the 1,600 plus islands just off the coast the next day, which is something I would definitely recommend doing. Lunch was bought alive and kicking from the local fishermen and prepared by the chef onboard. The fishermen live on little floating villages, and some that were born here have never set foot on the mainland.

After two fantastic days of sightseeing, we packed the bikes and made the long trip back to Hanoi, dodging trucks, busses and cars to catch our flights back home. The Tet holidays were over, and sadly so too was our adventure. •

èRelated articles:

• Mozambique on a Scooter (Issue #4, p. 16) • Cape to Cairo on Two Wheels: Part 2 (Issue #3, p. 20) • Cape to Cairo on Two Wheels: Part 1 (Issue #2, p. 22)

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 29


inGEAR:

Words by Patrick Alexander Photos by Joshua Strydom

Escaping

to the Rural

Trails Last year, two fellow students and I embarked upon an exciting, and somewhat nerve-racking, three-month research trip into the furthest reaches of rural northern KwaZulu-Natal the Mathenjwa Tribal Authority (MTA).

This research incorporated interviewing rural farmers and organising community meetings concerning their livelihoods. Our study area bordered Swaziland to the west and Mozambique to the north. The Usutu River, which separates the two countries, carves it way through the Lebombo Mountains and, as a result, the Usutu Gorge is a prominent aesthetic feature of the area. The remaining area is characterised by a plateau on top of the mountain range to the western side and steep rolling hills that stretch downwards to the coastal plain in the east,

30 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

creating a vertical difference of over 600 m. Across this landscape, rural communities exist upon a rich milieu of small farms interspersed within wilderness areas that provide drinking water, grazing lands and woodlands to mention a few. This is a biodiversity hotspot and one that I was looking forward to learning more about.


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After surveying literature and Google Earth images of this terrain, I realised that there was no chance that I would cope here without my most favourite shredding tool in the world - an old Marin mountain bike. Little did I know how resilient it would be prove to be on the most insane terrain that any adventurous mountain biker could ask for. Each of us was anxious to apply our methodologies within the rural community context, an unknown area to all of us. I decided that in the first week or two I would concentrate on my methods and familiarise myself with the area and its people, leaving my trusty steed in my rondavel, located in the Ndumo Game Reserve. One of the first things I noticed when doing field research was the myriad of single trails that criss-crossed the area. It turns out that the locals prefer to walk the shortest routes between two places, regardless of the terrain, and so a web of well maintained, but super technical single trails had been created. It didn't take long for the adventure bug to set in! And the first chance I got I decided to bite the bullet and head for THE hills on my bike. Armed with my puncture and adrenaline (in the case of a snake bite) kits, and after receiving a crash course on rhino avoidance from the section ranger, I cycled out of the Ndumo Game Reserve's gate. From here, I cruised along for 10 km on a gravel road that crossed the coastal plain and then turned towards the mighty Lebombo Mountains and the community footpaths that made this range seem like a mountain biker’s paradise just waiting to be explored.

32 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

The local people appeared quite perplexed as I pedalled past them, and I am sure they have never encountered an 'umlungu' (white person) cycling through their remote landscape. Some even got a huge fright when I surprised them coming around a corner or down a fast hill. Perhaps they thought I was a white nyanga (witch doctor)? I would often humour the locals by asking, “Ngidugele ngifuna eCape Town” (I am lost; I am looking for Cape Town). The concept of a white person lost in northern KZN, on a bicycle, whilst looking for Cape Town, seemed ridiculous enough to make them laugh, and news of the funny umlunghu looking for Cape Town had even travelled around the community. Getting lost was not uncommon, but luckily there was always a friendly face to be found nearby. I had learnt some navigational isiZulu, as I expected these scenarios, so when most people tried to direct me to the nearest gravel road, I was able to tell them that I preferred to use the community paths, as they provided a decent MTB single trail challenge. They would then warn me against using these paths, but their advice was based on the capabilities of the local bicycles and not the wonders of a decent mountain bike bearing disc brakes, front fork and other luxuries. One of my favourite pastimes was to drive up to the plateau at the top of the Lebombo Mountains, do a day's work and then cycle back down via a trail. The starting point was more than 600 m higher in altitude than my destination - the Ndumo


Game Reserve. It had taken me a while to discover this trail down the rolling hills, as it combined some smaller roads that are unnavigable by car, and consisted of super technical footpaths and some tricky line choices. I often raced against my colleagues, who were in the research vehicle, and while they were bound to the gravel road, I could navigate the shorter technical footpaths. Sometimes I would have to stop because of a puncture, but this was often a blessing as I would use the opportunity to sit on a rock, breathe in some fresh air and bask in the magical surrounding views. One occasion that left a lasting impression happened when I started off on one of the best descents on this route. I saw some people on the track ahead of me and started shouting, “Vulaindlela,” (open the path), but I hadn't seen the dog that was with them. I remembered this dog from a previous, unpleasant encounter on the same trail, but I had managed to outride it because I had the element of surprise on my side. This time the dog saw me coming and was ready. The locals aren't big into training their dogs because they are meant for security reasons, and as I had been warned about the high case of rabies in this area I was very wary of these undisciplined dogs. Before I knew it, the chase was on. This guy was snapping at my ankles, which were cranking the pedals like there was no tomorrow. My main concern was how to maintain my speed and out run this dog through a steep technical section that was coming up, and one that I usually had to slow down to get through. This time I had no choice but to hit the same line, without brakes, and bunny hop over the last big rock at the end. I somehow managed to get through and away from the dog in one piece, in what must have been the smoothest ride of my life! However, I had to take a moment or two to collect my shattered nerves before continuing on my ride.

Many thanks to Camille and Cecile, my research partners, who displayed high levels of patience whilst I explored this mountain biking haven, knowing that they were only a phone call away (if I had signal). I would highly recommend such an adventure to any skilled mountain biker, who does not mind feeling lost most of the time and is open to the vast unknown. These rural areas are ripe with fantastic single tracks, which have been carved out by the community and their livelihood practises over the decades. It's an amazing feeling to know that you are the first to scout these trails, from a mountain bike perspective, and you get to meet the most incredible and interesting new people as you navigate this fantastic landscape. Herein awaits the opportunity to create a formal safari-type of MTB tourism to the area, whereby mountain bikers could pay a small amount to the community for the usage and maintenance of trails. Under such ecotourism conditions, both the biker and community would benefit, resulting in the perceived importance of maintaining such an aesthetic landscape that is rich in biodiversity. Any takers? •

è

Related articles: • Facing our Giants in Eden, Part 3 (Issue #18, p. 20) • Facing our giants in Eden Part 2 (dinDIGITAL, June 2012) • Touring through Baobab Country (Issue #18, p. 24)

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 33


inGEAR:

Words & Photos by Catherine Scott

Two

Scotts on the

Trot the storm before the flight

Cath, let’s cycle around Argentina,” said Andrew, my brother. “Yes! Sounds like fun,” I responded. This phone call and an uninformed decision launched us into a whirlwind of research, ticket buying, forum scouring, advice seeking, clothes making and the odd bit of cycling.

A few months prior to this conversation, Andrew and I had been seriously toying with the idea of travelling together for the last half of this year, a prospect we have been discussing for years. Being avid rock climbers, the obvious choice was a trip centred on climbing and we proceeded with extensive and detailed research into camping, public transport and climbing destinations. However, a persistent finger injury demanded a change of plans and a new proposition was borne: two novices on a four-month cycle tour in southern South America. This was just three weeks before our estimated date of departure, and we were both on separate, short trips in different parts of South Africa. We managed to meet up for a few days and then booked our flights; the date determined by the cheapest ticket available.

Preparation

The next few weeks were mayhem. I needed to buy a bicycle, and although Andrew had one he was unsure if it would be appropriate for touring. We visited bicycle shops and were bombarded by sales talk, package deals, quality promises, warranties and warnings from umpteen dozen salesmen, each with their own opinions and firm advice about which brand, frame quality, gearing system, brake setup, tyre size, or number of spokes would best suit our needs. “Take it from me, if there is one thing you don’t skimp on it’s a good frame.” “Honestly, if there’s one thing you really do need it’s a good gel saddle.” “I mean it, you don’t need a carbon frame, rather buy an average helmet and spend the extra money on decent hydraulic brakes, slime tyres, a quality kickstand, cycling shorts, sunglasses … the lists were endless.

34 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Driven to tears by a barrage of ‘you won’t regret its’, we turned to websites and forums, phoning any friends and even strangers with an ounce of cycle touring experience to desperately seek sanity and unbiased advice. Slowly the essentials (we hope) started establishing themselves through repetition: an entry-level frame is sufficient; a more advanced rear derailleur is a good idea (it will be working hard); and V-brakes are advised, as they are easier to fix on the road (especially for us rookies in a non-English speaking country). Using this criteria, we made our decisions. Until a few days prior to this decision, and to put some perspective on the situation, I had no idea what a derailleur was or how to


Southern South America appealed to us immensely. It is a place of great natural beauty, and geographical and cultural diversity. The people, we change a tyre, and I’d only been on a few short cycles earlier this year. Andrew on the other hand was working in London for eight months and commuted on his bicycle, but had limited experience beyond that. We were far from experienced cyclists.

have been told, are wonderfully warm and full of fun and we intend to immerse ourselves in the cultures of each society we came across. Learning Spanish was another big reason and a personal goal for both of us.

Why cycle? Our motives for choosing this type of travel have been questioned a few times already, and we anticipated plenty more queries. A sufficiently eloquent answer in Spanish is under construction J. Andrew discovered that using a bicycle, as opposed to public transport, as the primary method of transport provided so much more freedom and accessibility, and expanded the encounters with the country and its people. Furthermore, we wanted adventure and physical activity from our travels. Since climbing was no longer an option, cycling was an excellent alternative. It would most certainly be an adventure, physically demanding, cheaper than paying for public transport (we were on a very tight budget), and environmentally friendly - something we both value.

Training

“Eat meat and make your legs strong.” This was the first piece of advice I received, and although amusing, it held some truth. We needed to get strong, but time was short. We managed a few rides, some long enough to hurt, some carrying backpacks filled with 2 kg bags of split peas, peanuts, rice, sugar and any other heavy items we could scrounge. However, training was not a priority. Our few remaining days were spent sourcing everything from tyre levers to first aid kit necessities, and trying to research weather and road rules in Argentina and Uruguay, where we planned to cycle first.

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 35


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

1. Making waterproof 'booties' 2. Checking gear, checking meds, checking checking checking 3. Testing out our new gear

Our route

Based on people’s advice, the temperature and what looked feasible on a map, we roughly sketched out a plan of our route. On 15 August we flew out of South Africa and into Buenos Aires, Argentina. We will spend a few days there assembling our bicycles before heading north into Uruguay, and - depending on the weather and wind - either cycle straight up towards the Iguazu Falls, or east along Uruguay’s coastline. Since the speed/distance of daily travel will vary according to terrain and fitness, we have not planned a day-by-day itinerary. Rather, we have pinpointed a few places to visit based on our minimal and lastminute research: Monte De Ombúes (home to Uruguay’s largest concentration of Ombúes, ancient and fantastically shaped tree-like plants); Cordoba (reputedly a fascinating mix of old and new); Mendoza (for the winelands and its wine); Bariloche (for climbing, lakes, and chocolate); and the vast terrains of Patagonia. And I am certain that plenty new ‘must visits’ will emerge as we converse in our rudimentary Spanish. Most importantly, we want to see and meet the farmers, villagers, city folk and the people that are the salt of the southern South American earth. “Locals look at you differently. They open up and show you their lives,” an old hand at cycle touring told us. This is exactly the kind of travel experience we are seeking.

DO IT NOW Magazine will catch up with Catherine and Andrew mid-way into their travels through Argentina to find how they are faring - so don’t miss their next report. • 36 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

DINfo box i About Argentina • It is the eight largest country in the world, spreading over an area of approximately 2,766,890 sq km. • Argentina, literally translated means 'land of silver'. • The capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires. • The official currency of Argentina is the peso. • Argentina is split into 23 provinces. • The literacy rate in Argentina is pegged at 97%. • Argentina has been the place where some of the oldest and largest fossils of dinosaurs have been unearthed. • The tango dance is an embodiment of Argentinean ethos, having its origins here, which has become famous and popular today. • Pato is the official national sport of Argentina and is a combination of polo and basketball. • Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Argentina. • The world's first animated films were created and released in Argentina by a person named Quirino Cristiani in 1917. Sources: www.iloveindia.com / www.articleswave.com

èRelated articles: • Facing our giants in Eden, Part 2 (Digital article, June 2012) • Facing our giants in Eden, Part 1 (Digital article, June 2012)


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inGEAR:

Words by Jaco van der Westhuizen Photos by various photographers

, d n a S f O Sea, Solitude, Horsepower & Adrenaline

In June 2012, the Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia played host to one of the greatest 4x4 adventures still available to those who have invested in a vehicle that has only one requirement - IT CAN because it MUST! And the vehicles THAT COULD on this trip were all of Japanese origin, with the technical exception of Hannes Kruger’s 'MadMax'; a Toyota bakkie cursed with a 300-horsepower, 5,7-litre V8 Chevy “Stroker” that hails from the land of the NASCAR, USA.

I received an invitation from Johan de Kock and Ean 'Whiskey' Steenkamp from Augrabies, to join this 4x4 adventure, and had no trouble convincing my buddies, Jan Luwes and Ockert Olivier from Johannesburg, to also come along. A previously impossible dream was about to become a reality. Our five-day 4x4 trip would take us across the Namib Desert to the southern reaches of the Namib-Naukluft Park, then on to Meob Bay on the Namibian Skeleton Coast, and all along the coastline to Walvis Bay! As the crow flies, this would entail 700 km of desert riding … magic! And so a journey the likes of which we had only heard about via second or third hand reports began to unfold.

Photo by Dop & Tjop de Vries

38 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Right from the start, nothing about this trip was ordinary. Just getting to the meeting point at Seeheim was an adventure. Leaving Johannesburg in Jan Luwes’ 2008 Mitsubishi Pajero 3.2 Di-D, we took the fun route via the dry river bed of the Molopo, then crossed the Rietfontein border post and continued through Keetmanshoop to an idyllic little hotel in Seeheim. Of the eight vehicles waiting there, five were either Land Cruiser 4,5EFi or 4.0 V6s, one was a 3.0 D4D D/C 4x4, another a 4.0 V6 Fortuner and vehicle number eight was a demon; the only indication that the light blue former KZTe may not be stock standard was the 200-litre drum of petrol on the back and the roar that should have been coming from an 18-wheeler.


Leaving the German-colonial comforts of Seeheim behind us, we travelled in a convoy via Goageband Helmeringhausen to Betta, which was led by tour leader Grant Knight of Namab Desert Tours and his three-man support team. We overnighted in the chalets at the Betta camp site, and the great food and companionship, bolstered by the Boks getting the better of England in the first rugby test, set the tone for the tour ahead. Breakfast the next morning was followed by a reading from a scripture and prayer, and if this had left us mildly impressed about the calibre of men taking us across one of Africa’s true deserts, the sight of the first 100 m high slip face later in the day put it all into perspective. "Only fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” became our motto, which was supported by Grant’s regular warnings of, "If you fly, you die!” The message was clear: Out there it helps to have one’s own hand tightly grasped in the Lord’s hand, so to speak. The route from Betta took us westward into the NamibNaukluft Park and along the Namab Desert Tours concession route through Uri-Hauchab; a typical African desert savannah, with mountain ranges and large herds of springbuck and oryx grazing on the grassy plains. Lunch was at the Jagermeister Tree, and it was here that we received our first lesson of the trip: leave nothing behind but footprints. Not a single piece of human evidence was to be left behind, not a cigarette butt, a bottle top, or, worst of all, a piece of used toilet paper! So we left only our footprints, and those of the vehicles, on the jeep tracks that snaked through the plains, our rubbish safely stashed in the vehicles all the way to Walvis Bay. While at Jagermeister Tree we saw the remnants of a leopard kill, which had been dragged up a tree three days earlier. How privileged we were to see Africa in its most natural, unspoilt and wild state. It was a humbling feeling.

Namab Desert Tours require at least seven vehicles and 14 people per tour. The reason being that if anything were to go wrong with a vehicle during the next few days, it would, in all likelihood, be left behind in the desert, as there's no tow-in service to call! Therefore, each convoy has to be large enough to take the crew of a stranded vehicle and all its equipment. No mean feat when every vehicle was loaded to capacity with water, fuel, camping equipment, fire wood and so on. The time had come to put our best foot forward! With two superb guides in Grant Knight and his South African agent, Hannes Kruger, safety was always of paramount importance. At Betta, each vehicle was fitted with a twoway radio and whilst it allowed for some good natured bantering, its main purpose was to have all members of the convoy in communication with one another at all times. The importance of this soon became apparent as we entered the dunes. The convoy had a strict order of approach and a vehicle was only allowed to breach a dune and descend down the slip face after the vehicle in front of it had reported itself to be clear and out of the way, down the other side. Lesson two: safety first!

After a hard day’s driving, we camped amongst the famous Namib dunes. However, the infamous 'Oosweer' blew in an icy wind for the night, leaving a soft drizzle of desert sand in its wake, and in every nook and crannie. Welcome to the Namib boys! The next day brought the first of the Really Big Dunes - monsters towering up to 200 m high, frightening in appearance, and a true test for any driver. This is what makes the experience of crossing the Namib such an unforgettable one; the knowledge that a mistake could be costly. One has to put blind faith in the equipment chosen, and know that with patience, common sense and pure guts, the job will have to get done … because there are no alternatives. This was the time to ‘balls up and shut up’.

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 39


Grant led the convoy with experience and the utmost dedication to safety and respect for the terrain, and at the back Hannes and MadMax made sure that no one got left behind. Crossing dunes in excess of 150 m high required the drivers to charge up the dune in fourth gear, low range, and as fast as possible to get the vehicle to the top, often with the limiters complaining and the crew in 'white knuckle' mode. Only at the very last moment could one gear down, as it would inevitably lead to a loss of speed. So with the motor and transmission mustering everything it had to get the vehicle to the point of inertia and across the peak of the dune, the momentum would tilt the vehicle forward for the hairy descent down a 60-storey high slip face, with a gradient of around 38 degrees and tons of loose sand following in its wake. High range was often considered, but often proved the down fall of the attempt - riding sand seemed to be less about how fast one could do it, but rather how hard one could! Now if a successful charge up the dune was all about speed, power, traction, and support from everyone, then going down was a whole different ball game! Firstly the driver had to apply his brakes at the exact moment the momentum of the car took it from going up and past the point of no return, to going down. Should the driver let go of the accelerator or apply the brakes too soon, the car would hang on its belly on top of the dune, with all four wheels aimlessly spinning in fresh air - not cool! This would then result in either Hannes Kruger or Hannes Nel having to pull the stuck vehicle back a metre or two so it could reverse all the way down and allow the driver another attempt. Dune riding requires tyre pressures to be as low as 0,5 bar, and it's this requirement that also presents a challenge when descending the slip face of a dune. The wheels should always be straight when descending, as tons of loose sand will follow the vehicle, and voila, an avalanche. Should a tyre come off its rim for any reason and cause the vehicle to alter its direction, the loose sand could push the vehicle sideways. This in turn can cause the vehicle to roll down the slip face, with dire consequences for the crew and vehicle. For this reason a vehicle must descend in first gear, low range, and with as little as possible braking. This act is a study in patience and strong nerves, but the feeling of successfully navigating your first monster dune is indescribable.

Photo by Ockert Olivier

40 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Therefore, any successful breach only requires the driver to apply his brakes just as the vehicle gets to the 'tipping point' at the crest of the dune. Remember, “If you fly, you die!” Too much speed at the crest and ramping over the edge without applying the brakes could result in a tyre coming off a rim, or the front wheels landing when still turned. This, together with speed and momentum, could be the end of the tour for both vehicle and crew. Knowing just how hard to go up a slope, where to gear down, when to apply the brakes, when to slip back into first gear and how to steer a sliding car down 170 m of Namib dune slip face requires experience. For us experience came hard and fast, and already by the end of day two, we were negotiating the terrain with admirable aplomb. The adrenaline, determination, concentration and appreciation had woven 20-odd men, who were mostly strangers, into a strong group of friends with a common goal: to get through the Namib without drama.

Moving on to 'Eben se Gat', just a few kilometres to the west of Sossusvlei, we set up camp again, this time with hot showers courtesy of Grant’s intrepid water-heating system. Big bragging rights came with camping WEST of this famous land mark, having driven through the desert from the south east! Day three included more monster dunes, but feeling more confident and with assistance from the guides, we easily made it to the NDT camp site at Meob Bay by mid afternoon, and our home for the next two nights. What a place! We set up our tents amongst the dunes and just off the beach, and then the rods came out. Steenbras took pilchards off barbless hooks in the shallow waters and barely 10 m in. Within half an hour we had caught forty fish, all heavier than two kilogrammes. Grant has a strict catch and release ethos, so we only kept a few of the smaller fish for our dinner. Coetzer Hanekom, of Kakamas, hauled out his own special blend of herbs and spices to expertly cook our catch, and together with Grant’s lamb and green bean potjie, the end of another day was almost bearable.


www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 41


Photo by Jaco van der Westhuizen

Photo by Jaco van der Westhuizen

Photo by Jaco van der Westhuizen

Photo by Dop & Tjop de Vries

We spent the next day fishing and exploring the dunes around the camp. If we were impressed with our prowess at driving in the dunes, our confidence grew when Grant and Hannes took us through the technicalities of driving in the desert, and demonstrated what our vehicle can do if properly put through its paces. Our last day took us approximately 260 km up the coast from Meob Bay to Walvis Bay, via derelict fishing and mining settlements, and several ship wrecks that gave rise to the name 'Skeleton Coast'. Dozens of seal colonies dotted the coastline and were jealously guarded by black-backed jackals, a common sight around seals. We arrived in Walvis Bay, our base for the last evening, and with great sadness said our goodbyes.

We'd had the privilege of getting to know ourselves, our vehicles and a small part of one of the natural wonders of the world a little better, and in the company of a league of extraordinary gentlemen. Photo by Ockert Olivier Photo by Dop & Tjop de Vries

A heartfelt word of gratitude to Grant Knight and his crew who led us, and Hannes Kruger who organised everything; without your work, so much would have remained a mere dream. Thank you! •

DINfo box Photo by Ockert Olivier Photo by Ockert Olivier

42 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

i

To arrange or join a tour with Namab Desert Tours from South Africa, contact Hannes Kruger at hannesk@nexusag.net or visit their website www.namabdeserttours.com.na


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inH2O:

Words by Ivan Newmark Photos by various photographers

o z , o o P ierd u q n i z f I sur d n i aW

a c c e M g Ivan Newmark back loop

quierdo, in Iz o z o P o t ip r t windsurfing a m o r f d e n r haven’t seen u t u e o r y y t l a t h n t e c l e l r e I e me when I t v ie l e b ous spot! d m n a a -f , d l ia r r o a w n a is C h Gran ve been to t a h u o y il t n u y windsurfers fl Pozo is a very small and laid-back town, where the majority of the locals are either fishermen or radical windsurfers. The Pozo Izquierdo zone is the top spot for windsurfing, any time of the year, and where the very best riders meet up. The trade winds and sea currents in the eastern zone of Gran Canaria have made this beach the centre of world championships year after year, and this is also where you will find the Pozo Izquierdo International Windsurfing Centre, where you can learn and practise this sport at all levels. Even though the weather is fantastic and water warm, a wetsuit is recommended for impact protection! And if the wind gets too much for you, just rent a cheap car and take a 15-minute drive to the south of the island and you’ll find loads of tourists, sandy beaches, full-on parties and no wind. From the moment I arrived in Pozo Izquierdos’s parking area, I knew it was on! The wind was typical for this site, boasting two to three metre waves and sailors using mainly 3.7 m² sails! The level of sailors that congregate at this windsurfing Mecca is crazy … they do perfect back loops, push loops, double forwards and push forwards, all the time. Their endless repertoire of moves is seriously impressive to watch and it makes you want to elevate your own level of jumping. But what struck me most was the good, friendly vibe between everyone on and off the water.

44 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

At this beach it’s very important to sail with your weight on your harness, otherwise your hands get destroyed. I started sailing with 34-inch lines to help control down-the-line and overpowered sailing. I took two sails and one 72l board, and used my 4.5 m2 only five times and the 3.7 m2 every other day, all day. Pozo is the perfect

spot for practising those high jump loops, and if you can land them here, you can land them anywhere! After four days of non-stop sailing my hands were starting to take strain. Luckily I was saved by a hot weather condition called Kalima. This is when a heat wave and dust from the Sahara comes in and hangs over the islands for a few days, and temperatures rise to 35 degrees in the day and 28 degrees at night, with no air movement, and surfing in the north is the only option. After Kalima the wind returned and was stronger than ever, with sailing 3.7 m² overpowered every day. The only way you could control the wind was to sail at 8 a.m.


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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

1. Victor Fernandez stalled forward 2. Cape Point - Photo by Harry Vogelezang 3. Swartriet - Photo by Liz

I had planned my trip to coincide with the Professional Windsurfing Association (PWA) World Cup, which is held at Pozo, and everyone who is anyone, including all the guys from the windsurfing movies, was there. Just watching Phillip Koster and Victor Vernandez training for this event, and crazy Ricardo Campello doing his 12 m stalled double forward, was enough to blow my mind! The event was amazing, with the sailors giving it their all and showing no mercy in gusts of up to 61 knots on the one day. The action and crashes were out of this world. Guys like Kauli Seadi needed a 3.2 m², and I still remember when Phillip went for a massive push to forward in the finals and had his sail ripped out of his hand because of wind gusts six metres up in the air. After five days of sitting and watching the best live action possible, it was time for the guys to move on to the next event in Tenerife. I was quite relieved as this meant that this spot wouldn’t be as crowded.

Metcalfe 4. Sunset Beach

During the six weeks I was in Pozo, there was only about five days when the wind was simply too strong to sail. In these conditions everyone meets at El Viento Restaurant to enjoy a Bocadillio (a 6- to 8-inch long portion of baguette that is sliced in half and filled with Spanish chorizo sausage, cold cuts, tuna or Serrano ham) and watch a few die-hards surfing with 3.0 m² sails. But for the true fanatic, there are a few other spots to go to that have less wind, like Vargas and Salinas.

After sailing at Pozo my fear of jumping high was a thing of the past. Now there is just one thing left to do and that is push the level of the local sailors in South Africa, because we also have the best variety of conditions, the most perfect wind and an awesome social life! My thanks to Brian from Suntrax / Cape Dr. for supporting me on this trip with the 3.7 m² Ezzy Wave Panther Sail and Ezzy Mast. This gear once again proved itself as I didn’t have any breakages! And to my parents for sponsoring and making this trip possible! Now it’s payback time! See you on the water.

46 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


Ivan stalled forward

ing Africa Steven Rhodes from Windsurf caught up with (www.windsurfingafrica.org) his thoughts on Ivan to find out more about e sport. Pozo and this high-adrenalin

1. It sounds like Pozo is a great learning ground for really big air. Is it more about big wind and waves, or are you just trying to copy the pros? It is actually about both. Pozo is a really small, constricted windsurfing spot, with rocks all around you. This forces you to sail really close to all the pros and while they are jumping over your head, you always keep an eye on them, absorbing all those images and subconsciously you are training the visual side of the moves. This gives you the confidence to try them. 2. What’s the biggest move you pulled and didn’t make? The biggest move I tried was the double forward loop. After a few attempts I smashed myself nicely. Haha. 3. Does SA have anything similar to Pozo, and what has this trip done for your confidence? SA has the same wild conditions, if not better! The wind at Cape Point gets as strong as it does at Pozo, and it’s windy almost every day during the summer. We are also fortunate enough to have multiple windsurf spots and can move to the next beach when it gets to strong at your beach. Pozo has done a lot for my confidence, especially for going high and controlling moves. 4. The last couple of seasons has seen a renewed interest in twin, thrusters, and quad-fin boards. Do you think it makes any difference to getting big air? No. When getting big air the original single fin boards jump just as high as the latest boards on the market. 5. What’s all the hype with the 4-batten sails? Was anyone using them in Pozo? I’ve heard so many people give their opinion on the new, 2013 4-batten sails. The current top two wave sailors in the world are using 4-batten sails at Pozo, so I guess they work. At the end of the day it is just a marketing ploy, so the pros have to use them. 6. What’s your top windsurfing travel tip? Pay some guy to carry all your equipment!

7. Your dreadlocks were so cool. Were they slowing you down or is UCT turning you into a banker? Haha! Yes they were slowing down my brain capacity (according to my parents) and speeding up my windsurfing crashes! Each day in class I ask myself if I am still a surfer or have I completely turned into full-time banker. But honestly, getting a degree is really important and I count myself very lucky J. 8. You’re the hardest charger I’ve seen under 30. Do you see yourself competing on the PWA? That was my idea before I went to Pozo and witnessed my first PWA event. I just don’t know if it is really worth sitting on some overcrowded beach waiting for your heat, stressing, being competitive with your mates, and worrying about competition money. There will be so much more joy in your life if you go to some quiet spot with your best mates and just sail the most perfect waves all day - and still be a super good sailor. 9. Your trip prior to Pozo was Fuerteventura, so what’s next on the list? If my bank account allows it, I definitely want to go to Reunion Island in June/July 2013. All local South African sailors must join me, so you guys better start scaling down on those sundowner beers and start saving up! 10. What is your recommendation on getting to Pozo and where to stay, if you are on a budget? I found the cheapest way to travel to Pozo was to fly to Madrid via Dubai (Emirates takes gear at no extra costs) and then on to Gran Canaria. I stayed in an apartment, a cheaper alternative, which was within walking distance of the beach, so renting a car was not needed and helped save on costs. •

è

Related articles: • L  angebaan Down Wind Dash (Issue #16, p. 64) • Riders of the Surf (Issue #16, p. 68) • To Cross an Ocean (Issue #15, p. 40)

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 47


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inH2O:

Words by Dirk van den Berg Photos by Dirk van den Berg & Hannes Cronje

Kayaking Destination Inhaca and Portuguese

Islands

50 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Kayaking ‌ just the sound of the word evokes thoughts of adventure; be it a leisurely paddle at your local water spot, tackling the surf at the coast, running a few bone-crunching rapids down a river or packing your touring kayak for a multi-day trip. My friend and I are kayaking enthusiasts

and always on the lookout for new destinations to play in. So when the opportunity to tour around the beautiful Inhaca Island and relatively untouched Portuguese Island, in Mozambique, presented itself, we didn't hesitate. A very relaxed five-day kayaking trip followed, in which we covered roughly 38 km, stayed in three different campsites, took in some breathtaking scenery, snorkelled the reefs, swam in warm turquoise water and sampled the legendary Tipo Tinto Rum and 2M. But I'm getting ahead of myself, so let me start at the beginning of our trip.


The Road to Maputo We decided to go with Canoe & Kayak World, the same operator that we had purchased our kayaks from, three years ago. As we had to meet the group at Maputo Harbour at 5 a.m. on the Friday morning, we decided to overnight in Maputo on Thursday. Our trip coincided with a long weekend, and from past experience we knew the Komatiepoort border crossing would be a nightmare and that we’d be in for a fair bit of harassment from the local border 'helpers' and long queues. Not wanting to put ourselves through that, we opted to travel via Swaziland into Mozambique. It was a beautiful drive and no queues to speak of; this route is definitely advisable during peak seasons! We arrived in Mozambique and immediately set about finding accommodation for the night. Normally one would plan this in advance, but there was a yachting competition taking place the next day and most of the hotels were fully booked. So what does one do? You 'wing it'! For my mate and I this was nothing new, as we normally just take things as they come, typical bachelor behaviour I presume. The girls, however, were a bit more worried about our prospects. We eventually found accommodation at R450 per person in an old hotel in the heart of Maputo. After checking in, we hit the streets in search of a small, vibey bar or restaurant. Four blocks from the hotel we found what we were looking for, and celebrated the end of the day with our first 2M beer.

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 51


Day 1 - Maputo to Inhaca Up before the sun, we arrived at the harbour at 5 a.m. The right time, but wrong harbour. Some friendly and utterly amused fishermen directed us towards the correct harbour, where we eventually joined the rest of our group. We packed our kayaks, closed the hatches and carried the kayaks to the bow of the motorised catamaran, where a total of 25 kayaks were stacked closely together on the bow. It was a perfect day as we left Maputo on a two-and-a-half-hour cruise towards the beautiful island of Inhaca. Arriving at Inhaca, the catamaran dropped anchor roughly 200 m from the shore in what was arguably a rough sea when considering what we were about to do. One by one we got into the kayaks, closed the spray deck, and were lowered into the sea. The trick was to get going as quickly as possible, so that your forward momentum gave you the necessary stability to stay upright when the waves hit you. Paddling to shore, we regrouped on the soft, sandy beach for lunch. Once satiated, we returned to the water for a 9 km paddle along the bay of Inhaca. This quickly turned into a tough two-hour journey, as the wind had turned against us and we had to fight against a strong current. If you stopped paddling for just a few seconds you were literally pushed backwards. None the less, the incredible scenery soon made us forget about the rough paddling conditions and before long we arrived at Ponte Torres. As the sun started to dip, we quickly set up camp at what would be our home for the next two nights.

Day 2 - Ponte Torres

don't We woke up in paradise! That is if you prefer to be in nature and ed star-rat no is there as es, ameniti basic to mind only having access it. And if boil and filter you water, fresh want you If here. odation accomm and look you are looking for a toilet, well you arm yourself with a shovel J. ocean the of view a with one ly for a private, vegetated area, preferab pleased, There was nothing planned for the day so we could do as we e to us. availabl were which entailed indulging in the many activities that to decided we st breakfa After tion. The only limitation was your imagina m 12 brilliant, was visibility The reef. nearby a go snorkelling and explore fear without reef the e navigat to able easily were we surge no plus! With reef is of being slammed into the sharp edges of the rocks. This vibrant gentle a with and beach, the of side elongated and stretches along the spend to ed proceed We . required was finning no current to help us along, s of this the next few hours happily exploring the many nooks and crannie fish of of nce abunda magical underwater world, which was alive with an every colour imaginable. ck so After our snorkel it was time for a nap, and if you had a hammo we Later ck! hammo a get to need ly definite I self: to Note better. much the reached we which visited the small village on the other side of the island, taxi. We by bush taxi; if a Toyota Land Cruiser could be considered a km of 15 roughly crossed we as ry necessa was 4 x soon realised why a 4 dense the through tunnel a merely areas some with roads, sand winding . It island vegetation and barely big enough for the Cruiser to fit through tary, elemen fairly is village The ride! was like a bush-island rollercoaster whatever with just a few informal shops and three bars, but you can get on names brand African South see to expect don’t Just there. you need the shelves though. ted the To end the day off we went for a night snorkel. A diving torch illumina in the earlier seen had we what to species t differen entirely saw we reef and t, highligh The lionfish. day. There were massive hermit crabs, lobsters and green neon bright, in glowed that however, was the bioluminescent algae like colours when disturbed. Needless to say we splashed in the water this Googled I Later enon. phenom amazing this enjoying little children ms marine wonder and found the following explanation: “Microscopic organis each d, disturbe When event. eerie known as dinoflagellates cause this individual gives off a brief flash of light.” For a full explanation visit: www.dtmag.com/Stories/Ocean%20Science/01-98-ecoseas.htm

52 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


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Day 3 - Marine Station Leaving early on the third day, we embarked on a 12 km paddle across the bay and along the beach towards our second campsite, the Marine Station on Inhaca Island. This site offered more luxurious facilities, such as proper toilets and hot showers. As you pass the active station and follow the forgotten pathways overgrown by vegetation, you come to an abandoned section of the old Marine Station. It has a haunted feeling to it, very similar to the TV series LOST, and although eerie it was a rather unique experience. After setting up camp, we took a leisurely 4 km stroll along the beach towards the village for lunch. However, walking back after lunch and a 2M or two was not exactly a popular choice, so we paid one of the local fishermen to take us back to our campsite by boat. That evening the stars shone exceptionally bright and reflected beautifully of the calm ocean; it was a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Day 4 - Portuguese Island The paddle from Inhaca Island to Portuguese Island was a different animal all together. We were no longer paddling alongside the relative safety of an island, but rather 12 km out to sea to get from one island to the other. It was a somewhat daunting thought at first, but luckily the conditions were ideal and so the paddle turned out to be quite relaxed. We entered Portuguese Island through a long and winding stream that snaked its way between the island and a set of dunes, and ended in a magnificent lagoon. The island itself is truly untouched, and this is what makes it so beautiful. The island is small enough to walk around, so while the women went for a walk, the men snorkelled. Knowing that this was our last night, the mood was sombre as everyone soaked in every last bit of paradise and watched a magnificent sunset over the lagoon.

Day 5 - Time to go home

A five-day trip is ideal … or so we came to agree on. But it was still with a heavy heart that I packed my kayak and joined the group, to make our way to the other side of the island and where a 60-foot catamaran awaited. We travelled back to Maputo, loaded the kayaks on the cars and said goodbye to Maputo, leaving once again via Swaziland.

Overall, the trip was well priced, balanced and we had an excellent guide. It’s a kayaking adventure I would highly recommend undertaking! •

54 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

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Quick facts: Tour type: Guided, self-catering, own camping equipment (all to go on the kayaks) Water type: Generally calm sea that’s protected by Maputo Bay Campsites: Rustic, with no proper facilities, dig a hole, fresh water well and camp guards Paddling distance: 38 km in total Paddler profile: Singles, couples and families Experience: First time paddlers to experienced paddlers Age group: Five years and upwards Fitness levels: Moderate fitness, able to swim and comfortable in water Min / max paddlers: 16 minimum to 25 maximum Closest town: Maputo, Mozambique Of interest: Snorkelling, fishing, marine biology station and village tour Tour availability: April through to September Price: R2 990 per paddler and this includes all paddling equipment (kayaks, spray decks, paddles and pfds), experienced guide, ferry, campsites fees, island levies and snorkelling fees Price: R2 490 per paddler, with your own kayak from Canoe & Kayak World For more information about the kayak tours on offer, contact Canoe & Kayak World at www.canoekayak.co.za or www.kayaktours.co.za


inH2O:

Words by Dirk van den Berg Pictures by Dirk van den Berg & Daniel Carrollo (aka Parascubasailor)

Diving Bilene The lesser-known Mozambican diving destination If you were to ask the diving community what the most popular diving spots in Mozambique are, you can expect to hear the common names of Ponta do Ouro, Ponta Malongane, Inhambane, Bazaruto, and Pemba. But there is another gem of a diving location not too far from Maputo, a destination that is an absolute must for both divers and non-divers, and that is the breathtaking area of Bilene.

Bilene is located approximately 180 km north of Maputo, making it one of the closest Mozambican resorts to Johannesburg. Known by the locals as Praia do Bilene, it is a small town adjacent to a massive salt water lagoon flowing into the Indian Ocean. The lagoon is called Uembje, and is blessed with picture-perfect white, sandy beaches, calm waters and spectacular views. This lagoon destination is actually known as a beach resort. The lagoon itself is a dream playground for water sport fanatics and is perfect for swimming, kayaking, sailing, jet skis, fishing, snorkelling and of course diving - both in the lagoon and ocean. Scattered sparingly along the beach of the lagoon are various resorts catering for all types of accommodation, from backpackers to more luxurious resorts. Uembje is rumoured to be roughly 27 km long and 8 km wide, hence there is more than enough space between these minor resorts to ensure a distinct sense of privacy and solitude. And if your intention is to rest and break away from the craziness of the rat race, this is definitely a place you would want to be. My intention behind going to Bilene was indeed to get away from that very same rat race, and do as much diving as possible and as little as possible of anything else.

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 55


To dive at Bilene you really only have one option, and that is to go through the Palmeiras Water Sport Centre, situated at the Palmeiras Resort. This is currently the only dive operation running in Bilene, which is well managed by a very pleasant and humorous French character named Daniel. The diving operation is further supported and co-owned by Divetek. Besides diving, the centre has a variety of items for hire to choose from including kayaks, underwater scooters, snorkelling gear, paddle boards, and mini sailboats. But enough about the location - although I could go on and on J and let me tell you about the diving. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to diving in the lagoon and ocean. The lagoon offers two artificial reefs called ‘Lego Land’ and ‘The Graveyard’, as well as snorkelling at a reef within the lagoon. Both artificial reefs are relatively new, and the remaining fish of the lagoon have concentrated within the relative safety of these structures to protect themselves from the local fisherman, who sadly overfish the lagoon. The viz is surprisingly good in the lagoon, that is if you don’t kick up the silt at the bottom, then the viz quickly resembles Bass Lake. If you like free diving then you can have a lot of fun at these lagoon sites. On two occasions I took my kayak and paddled to Lego Land and free dived amongst the scuba divers. The Graveyard site is made up of actual tombstone-like concrete structures that have been inscribed with personal phrases from divers. The novelty of this dive site is that you can buy your own tombstone and inscribe it with whatever you please at a minimal fee. The tombstone will then be added to the graveyard and forms part of the dive site. This dive spot makes for a particularly eerie yet unique night dive.

The reef of the lagoon hosts a large variety of creatures including lionfish, honeycomb eels, pipefish, boxfish, pencil eels and scorpionfish, to mention a few. But the real rock stars of the lagoon are the seahorses! These amazing creatures were once flourishing in the lagoon, but sadly their numbers have drastically dropped in the last year alone. The local fishermen use nets that mercilessly scoop up every creature in their path, and then simply discard the creatures they can’t sell.

Daniel is desperately trying to raise awareness of the dire seahorse situation and is looking for a Marine Biology student who is willing to do a study on the declining seahorse population to get them on the endangered/ protected species list. The seahorses in this area are the Hippo­ campus Camelopardalis (for more info go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giraffe_seahorse), and anyone who would like to assist in this cause is urged to please contact Daniel.

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 57


Right ... with my call for aid out of the way, let’s get back to the diving J. If you are looking for a bit of adventure in your diving, the ocean dives at Bilene are a must! The reef and rock formations in this area are astounding! Massive boulders, deep gullies and overhangs are everywhere and covered with healthy coral, which means there is an abundance of marine life and colours that flood your visual senses. Most of the reefs here are untouched, compared to other popular dive sites, and some have not even been dived or named yet. The area is rather prone to strong surges and currents, but then that just adds to the adventurous nature of the dives. They also offer ‘Big Blue’ dives, where divers are dropped to a depth of 15 m and suspended next to a guideline running from the boat. This creates a unique platform to view some of the larger marine species, and whales, dolphins, sharks and mantas have been seen on these Big Blue dives. The only limiting factor of the ocean dives is the fact that exiting through the mouth of the lagoon is dependent on high tide and the general conditions at the mouth. To compensate for this during rougher conditions, they offer back-to-back dives that enable you to have two dives without having to go through the mouth in-between dives. In short these dives are not your average dives, they are a bit more adventurous, but oh so worth it and highly recommended! Bilene has something for everyone. Whether you want to dive and indulge in all the water sports on offer, get a feel for the local culture at the market, read a book and work on your tan, or daydream in your hammock while sipping on a Tipi Tinto and raspberry, you will find it there.

So if I have managed to convince you to visit this wonderful place, be sure to stop by the Palmeiras Resort and go diving with Daniel and the Divetek team, or just stop by to say hEllo. • 58 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

DINfo box i More details on diving Bilene: Costs: • R800 accommodation for four people in a chalet • R350 for a dive on the outside reefs (ocean dives) • R280 for a dive at The Graveyard (artificial reef inside the lagoon) • R250 for a dive at Lego Land (artificial reef inside the lagoon) • R650 for a double-tank dive on the outside reefs (ocean dives) • R500 for a dive on a whale expedition (big blue) • R350 for a non-diver on a whale expedition

Contact details: Daniel from Divetek (South Africa) Website: www.divetek.co.za Email: info@divetek.co.za Follow Daniel on his rather entertaining blog: Blog: http://divebilene.blogspot.com Palmeiras Water Sport Centre (Mozambique) Email: divebilene@gmail.com Blog: http://divebilene.blogspot.com

è

Related articles: • Marico Oog - a unique freshwater diving experience (Issue #18, p. 36) • Diving the SS Thistlegorm (Issue #14, p. 36) • Ras Mohammad National Park (Issue #13, p. 34)


LOOKING FOR ADVENTURE? www.divetek.co.za

LET us organisE your advEnTurEs!

ComE and join ThE divETEk advEnTurE CLub. We do all the organisation and a team leader will be present at every activity/event. so try new things. meet new people and it is aLL PLannEd for you. all you have to do is join in on the fun. don’t miss out and contact us today!

Tel: 011 791 1095 / Fax: 011 791 1289 Email: dac@divetek.co.za www.divetek.co.za

www.doitnow.co.za | Adventure • 59


60 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 61 Kart Track

// inALTITUDE: Kites - The World on a String // inTRAIL: Muizenberg Mountain Run - A Quantum Classic! Great Ethiopian Run * Basic Navigation Skills - laying the foundation, Part 2 * De Hel Van Kasterlee * Spur Adventure Sprint Series // inGEAR: How Good is Milk for You? * Fit to Drive // inH2O: Waveski Surfing - please remain seated * Getting your Groove Back for Summer * Quick Snow - SA Championships

PHOTOGRAPH: Ocker Odendaal DESCRIPTION: Honda NSF 100 Vereeniging

Sport


BurrY puSHeS oN WHIle THe reST oF THe TeamS geT SWalloWeD BY THe HeaT & TougH TerraIN oN STage 1.

AN EPIC RACE TO VICTORY BURRY’S WINNING SUPPlEMENT STACk

BURRY’S INSIDE STORY ON AN EPIC JOURNEY - STAGE BY STAGE.

What a week. I hardly know where to start. After a successful World Cup I flew down to Cape Town to start my prep for this year’s Cape Epic. We had a solid week of training and resting in Stellenbosch before heading to Meerendal for the start of the race that Sunday. prologue

27 km

The prologue has always been a stage we aim to win and this year was no different. Christoph and I were super motivated and went hard from the gun on the 27km course. I didn’t have the best legs and had to let Suzie do most of the pacing. In the end we won, but only 14 seconds separated us from 2nd place. We did, however, go into the rest of the week with confidence. STage 1

115 km

Stage 1 is always super hard as the route is traditionally a big tester and the field is still fresh and looking to make a hard effort at the front. We rode near the front for the first half of the race and then the teams around us got swallowed by the heat and tough terrain. With 45km to go, we were alone and stretching a good gap and in the end we won by a few minutes.

STage 2

119 km

This stage was an easier day after the first two days as it was quite fast and flat over the first half and had minor rough steepish climbs near the end. We made the pace hard there and got away from a small group to the finish. Then we had a hard sprint for the win and came home safely in 3rd. But importantly losing no time on the overall gc. STage 3

147 km

This was the longest day ever in the Cape epic and had a massive amount of climbing spread over 4 peaks. on the 3rd climb around 70km to go, Team 360life attacked in the feed zone and Suzie had to work hard to come across the gap. From there on we shared the work with them until the last climbs where Suzie put the hammer down and eventually rode away.

This was the longest day ever in the Cape Epic and had a massive amount of climbing spread over 4 peaks. I was eager for the sprint and managed to stay ahead of the other team to take the win. STage 4

124 km

This was a much underrated stage in the race booklet. after the big day before, the legs were

also rather tender. We climbed up to the famous Charlies Heaven peak and then faced a tough 30km stretch in a strong headwind home. at the front we were joined by multivan merida and 360life for the last 30km. everyone paced really hard and we had stretched a good gap to the riders behind us. With 5km to go we attacked hard leaving both 360life and merida behind. The end of the stage saw us riding some sweet single track through the Caledon Botanical gardens which was a real treat. STage 5

115 km

Wet, wet, wet. The only real way to describe this stage between Caledon and oak Valley. The stage started pretty fast along winding jeep track and open gravel roads before we got to Botrivier and the road started pointing skywards regularly. The main element of the stage though was the weather. over the last few km’s it became very cold again and here Suzie attacked yet again. With 15km to go only the team of Bulls 2 remained at the front with us and we eventually out sprinted them for the stage. Now tied with our most stage wins in an epic and a time gap of around 27 minutes to the second team on gC. STage 6

85 km

It might only have been 85km, but it was hard and had the most amazing terrain. We decided to have an easier day and team 360life capitalized by taking the win. We followed a few minutes behind and it was a stage which I really enjoyed. The views and single tracks on this stage put a smile back on everyone’s faces.


BurrY & SuZIe ouTSprINTINg BullS 2, TakINg STage 5.

Epic prO ALL-in-OnE

uLtrA EnDurAncE EnErGy & rEcOVEry fOrMuLA Nothing comes close to Epic Pro. I virtually live on it during and after I ride and train for marathon or stage races. It is my all-in-one endurance fuel for optimal performance and complete body recovery.

BcAA VitArGO

VOOMA GEL

intrA-WOrKOut StAMinA & EnErGy cOMpLEX My muscle strength and stamina booster for higher impact, shorter races and the first halve of marathon or stage races (first bottle)

VO2 MAX

EnErGy & ELEctrOLytE tOp up GEL My energy top up fuel when I’m in full race mode or hard training sessions. It’s easy to use and works instantly when I feel my energy levels are running low.

pHOSpHAtE LOADinG AnD OXyGEn trAnSpOrt I always start loading with VO2 Max 3 days before a race to ensure optimal phosphate levels for maximum muscle output.

ormance while “It’s all about the right preparation, maintaining your perf ” racing and effective recovery to remain in top condition y Stander Burr

STage 7

64 km

The grand finale sees the riders head from oak Valley to lourensford via the Sir lowry’s pass and the famous "Wagon trail" that lies there. after an easier day on the previous stage we attacked the stage from the gun, setting a hard pace at the start. our goal was to defend our big lead by heading into the last 30km at the front of the bunch, however our pace was good enough to win the Telkom hot spot and head into the last 30km with a good lead. We didn’t want to just give it away and kept our heads down to try and secure the stage. This was quite a challenge as we wanted to stay cautious on the rough stuff. luckily we could keep opening the gap on the climbs and held on to take our 6th stage win on the fields at lourensford in front of an electrifying crowd!!!

www.usn.co.za

usn sa

my daily supplements used throughout the race were BCAA Vitargo and Epic Pro in the bottles 3-5 Harvest Bars, 1x Vooma Gel, 5 x Cyto Gels and 4 x tablets of VO2Max. It was an awesome week in which we had a great time. The team pulled together and we delivered. Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters who make racing possible for us. Thanks also to Suzie for a great 8 days! I now go home for a few days before heading to Belgium for the next World Cup.

Ciao Burry

@usnsa

as seen on

Weekdays 6.25 on SaBC 3


inALTITUDE:

Words by Cathy Williams Photos by various photographers

s e t i K

g in r t S a n o ld r o W e Th

US kiters Susan and David Gomberg with octipi kites

64 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


KITE FESTIVALS AROUND THE WORLD

Kite festivals are popular all over the world. The world’s biggest kite festival is probably the Basant Mela Kite Flying Festival in Lahore, Pakistan, which hails the start of spring. There, tens of thousands of people gather in the streets to fly their kites, be it on terraces, roof tops, or even standing on vehicles. American kiters David and Susan Gomberg, patrons of the Cape Town International Kite Festival, are extremely welltravelled kite fliers. They have participated in more than 100 kite festivals in 35 countries, including Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, the South Pacific, and across North and South America. But it’s the Cape Town International Kite Festival that has earned a special place in their hearts. “We love Cape Town and the people we have met through Cape Mental Health. We will definitely be back,” said Susan Gomberg, despite having dislocated her shoulder anchoring a big kite in gale force winds at the 2011 event. Local kiters Keith Mould, from Knysna, and Greg Mountjoy of Windsong Kites, in KwaZulu-Natal, are part of the international kite circuit and travel every year to different festivals in places as diverse as India, Bali, Indonesia and Germany. “Kiting is a wonderful way to connect with people from all over the world,” says Mould, who has an impressive collection of over 300 kites. Every kite festival has its own flavour. The Cape Town International Kite Festival is organised by not-for-profit Cape Mental Health and raises funds to help provide free mental health services in the Western Cape. It is very much a family-focused event that brings together people of different ages, abilities and cultures, who enjoy watching and flying kites. Giant inflatable ‘show’ kites are the main attraction, with stunt kiting displays and Rokkaku kite battles also on the programme.

HISTORY

Although power kiting has only been popular for a couple of decades, kites have been flown for millennia. It is not known exactly when and where the first kites were flown, but cave paintings in Indonesia suggest that thousands of years ago local people were using leaf kites, possibly for fishing. One of the first times kites were written about is 2,200 years ago when a Chinese general used a kite to measure how long a tunnel his army needed to dig, to secretly reach inside a walled city. The earliest Chinese kites were usually rectangular and flat. From China kite-flying eventually spread along trade routes across Asia to India. Kite fighting became popular in many countries, and although the rules and kites differed, the idea was usually to cut your opponent’s line. Explorer and adventurer Marco Polo carried stories of kites to Europe more than 700 years ago, but it took several hundred years before kites really took off in Europe.

Although some people think Africa is the only continent without a kiting tradition, South African kite-making dates back to the days of slavery. The Swaeltjie kite (swallow or bat kite) is believed to have originated in South East Asia and travelled to Africa more than 350 years ago via Indonesian and Malay slaves. Today these kites are still being made by descendants of slaves, particularly in Cape Town. Goosain Davids and his grandson Mujaid make particularly fine Swaeltjie kites and have won the Heritage Kite Award for the past two years running. Goosain says that they make their kites using bamboo sticks, fishing line and a special kite paper. “Other people use tissue paper, but we use the original kite paper. Where we get it from is our secret. It is a shop in Cape Town, but I’m not saying where.”

Kites for science and war

There are many records of kites being used for scientific research, including Benjamin Franklin’s experiment in 1752 to test if lightening was electricity, which he was lucky to survive. Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone) built gigantic man-carrying kites in the nineteenth century. One was made of 3,393 tetrahedron shaped cells locked together. The Wright Brothers also experimented with kites in their quest to invent the aeroplane, and their first plane in 1903 was modelled on a Hargrave box kite. In 1901 Guglielmo Marconi used a kite to lift an antenna for the first transatlantic radio transmission in history. The British, French, Italian and Russian armies all used kites for enemy observation and signalling. During World War II the American army used a specially designed kite – the Garber Target Kite - for target practise.

POWER KITING

Since the 1980s there has been a renewed interest in kiting for sport. New materials like ripstop, nylon, fibreglass and carbon graphite have made kites stronger, lighter, more colourful, and durable.

Kite Traction

Using kites to pull people or objects is at the heart of today’s power kiting and was pioneered by George Pocock. This English school teacher patented a carriage drawn by kites in 1826. The Charvolant was able to reach speeds of up to 32 km/h hour; quite a speed considering this was long before the first car hit the road. New Zealander Peter Lynn, proud Guinness World Records holder for the world’s biggest kite, is credited with popularising modern day kite buggying with the development of lightweight, affordable kite buggies in the 1990s. Today a skilled kiter can reach speeds of over 110 km/h, and some enthusiasts do extreme buggy jumping where the kite literally lifts buggy and rider into the air.

www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 65


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Sonia, Nathan, Noah and Matthew Booth - by Elsa Hoffmann 2. Buggying 3. South African kiter Keith Mould - by Cathy Williams 4. Bernd Halbeck's bees - by Eric Miller

The 1980s and 1990s also saw the development of water relaunchable kites, which can fly even when wet. This helped to make kitesurfing a reality and today there are an estimated 250,000 participants around the world, including many in coastal parts of South Africa, where there is an abundance of the two main ingredients: wind and sea.

Kite fighting

There are different styles of kite fighting and different rules that are created and localised to the country or region where they are held. In Thailand, kite fighting has been deemed as an official sport with competitions being held year round. In Japan the traditional form of kite fighting is called Rokkaku. ‘Rok battles’ are a highlight at many international kite festivals including the Cape Town Kite Festival, where up to six contestants participate at a time. And in other parts of the world like India and Afghanistan it is common practice to coat the line of kites in crushed glass and cut your opponent’s line (as seen in the movie The Kite Runner).

FLY YOUR KITE

‘All about ability’ is the theme for the 18th Cape Town International Kite Festival, proudly hosted by Cape Mental Health in association with Heart 104.9FM, which is taking place in Muizenberg on 3 and 4 November 2012. “This year the kite festival will celebrate our organisation’s slogan ‘all about ability,’ which reflects our belief in the ability of children and adults with mental disability to acquire skills, develop their potential, and live full and contributing lives,” said Ingrid Daniels, director of Cape Mental Health. The Cape Town International Kite Festival happens on (and above) the lawns surrounding Zandvlei, Muizenberg (corner Axminster and The Row). Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, the event offers lots of parking and easy access by train (False Bay or Muizenberg Stations). Entry is just R20 for adults and R10 per child. Bring your own kite, buy one there, make a kite or simply marvel as giant kites take to the skies. If you can’t make it to Cape Town, go fly a kite on any safe, open space. •

66 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

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Where you can find a kite SA: www.hiflykites.co.za info@hiflykites.co.za www.windsongkites.co.za kites@windsongkites.co.za USA: www.gombergkites.com More details on the festival For more information visit www.capementalhealth.co.za, email info@cmhs.co.za or follow the event on Facebook for regular news and updates at www.facebook.com/CTKiteFest. Making your own kite To make a kite visit www.drachen.org General information Kitesurfing: www.kitesurfingafrica.org lists most retailers and hot spots. Kiting information is courtesy of www.gombergkites.com, www.wikipedia.org and www.drachen.org.


www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 67

5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 12 / 14 / One 16

The Lithium is ideal for riders looking to do a bit of everything – whether it’s your first day of cruising, busting out some freestyle or riding waves!

Due to its wing tip and strut positioning, the Lithium has a direct and agile feel through the turns – essential for wave and freeriding. The sweep of the Delta Hybrid Design wingtips guarantees a hassle-free and award winning relaunch.

As the front-runner in all-terrain kites, the Airush Lithium is focused on being the do-all kite.After winning numerous magazine tests, and receiving incredible feedback from customers, the ongoing refinement of the Lithium has created a legion of followers.

CHOOSE YOUR ELEMENT.

AIRUSH KITEBOARDING | sales@airushkiteboarding.co.za | 011 3140795 | http://www.airushkiteboarding.co.za | RSA

WWW.AIRUSH.COM


inTRAIL:

Words & Photos by Ugene Nel

]

68 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

]


www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 69


DINfo box

èRelated articles:

i

• SHOOT! An Extreme Trail Run (Issue #18, p. 120) • Trail Running Safety (Issue #18, p. 70) • Grootvadersbosch: A Magical Run (Issue #17, p. 98)

70 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


inTRAIL:

Words by Cathy Williams Photos by various photographers

Gre

E t h i o p

R u The Great Ethiopian Run is the biggest 10 km road race in Africa with over 36,000 runners

72 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


eat

p i a n

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Join

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bat ss com dne blin

On 25 November 2012 a team of 60 runners from South Africa and Ireland will be taking on Africa’s biggest road race - the 10 km Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa - in a fight to save sight.

www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 73


The group of amateur athletes will participate on behalf of international blindness prevention organisation ORBIS. They face two challenges: the altitude, at 2,300 metres above sea level this is one of the highest races in the world; and a fundraising target of at least R10,000 each. “It’s a privilege to help raise funds for ORBIS,” said Paula Wilson (41) from Cape Town, who will be running the race for the first time this year. “I’ve been involved with the organisation since it opened an office in South Africa, and having seen what outstanding work they are doing I am committed to helping in their aim to save sight, in particular preventable paediatric blindness. This might mean training doctors on the latest surgical techniques, or it could be something as simple as giving a person access to an antibiotic. In Ethiopia it apparently costs less than R3 to stop someone losing their sight to the infectious disease trachoma. And even in South Africa, where there are world-class medical facilities available, many children go blind every year simply because they are not getting the right care, at the right time.” This will be Wilson’s first international race. She is currently doing about four training runs a week and looking at highaltitude training options at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. It is the fifth year that participants have raced in support of ORBIS - to date more than €400,000 has been raised.

About ORBIS

George’s Story

The fact that 90% of visual impairment occurs in developing countries and 80% is avoidable, preventable or curable, inspired American ophthalmologist Dr David Paton to start ORBIS. In 1982 he teamed up with the founders of Pan Am and FlightSafety International to develop the first ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital on a decommissioned DC-8 aircraft. He convinced his fellow ophthalmologists to volunteer their time and join him aboard this mobile ophthalmic teaching hospital and conduct sight saving missions to developing countries; and so ORBIS International was born.

Children and Blindness

Over the last 30 years, ORBIS has been working to save sight, and in that time has trained over 288,000 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals in 89 countries. It has helped provide medical and eye treatment to 15 million people, almost a third (4.7 million) were children.

ORBIS has since established a network of high-quality eye health programmes around the world, building the capacity of local partners so that they can tackle avoidable blindness. This long term approach is complemented by intensive training programmes on board the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital in several countries each year. During its 30th anniversary year, the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital will be conducting two training programmes on the African continent (in Ethiopia and Zambia), as well as doing an advocacy visit to South Africa (22 to 24 November). The South African runners taking part in the Great Ethiopian Run will tour on this ‘mighty plane’ before departing from OR Tambo for Addis Ababa.

74 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Three-year-old George Miti was admitted to the ORBIS Paediatric Eye Care Centre in Kitwe, Zambia, with a sinus infection of his upper nasal sinus node that had developed into a major infection of the eye socket. Within 48 hours, the swelling in George’s eye sockets had completely gone down and he was able to fully open his eyes. George was feeling fine in no time, kicking the ball around while he waited to be discharged.

There are an estimated 1.4 million children around the world who are blind - and one in five of them live in subSaharan Africa. Young children can become blind due to a range of factors: cataracts, prematurity, repeated infections and more. The poor are at greatest risk. And here’s a shocking fact: children who go blind are far more at risk of dying. Up to 60% of children in developing countries die within a year of going blind. Sub-Saharan Africa is a priority region for the organisation, and since ORBIS opened a programme office in South Africa, three specialised paediatric eye care centres (in Durban - South Africa, Gondar - Ethiopia and Kitwe Zambia) have already been built. “Eighty percent of all blind people suffer from treatable conditions,” explains Dr Robert Walters, Global Chair of ORBIS and one of the runners who participated in the Great Ethiopian Run last year. “Our vision is a world where no one, especially children, should go blind from causes that are preventable.”


www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 75


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Dr Itay Ben-Zion mentoring local doctors in Ilorin, Nigeria, during an ORBIS mission. 2. Charlotte Coleman Smith, Clare O’Dea, Tracey Stafford and Susan Brennan, who all ran the Great Ethiopian Run for ORBIS last year. 3. The ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, a mobile ophthalmic teaching hospital on board a DC-10, by Kiran Ridley

The Great Ethiopian Run

Olympic Gold medalist and legendary Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie is a co-founder of the Great Ethiopian Run, which was first held in 2001, and is part of the international Great Run series of road races. Last year there were more than 36,000 registered participants, including a team of ORBIS supporters, from around the world. Some of Ethiopia’s top running talent competes. In 2011 both winners were Ethiopians; Mosinet Geremew was the fastest man in 28:37 minutes and Abebech Afework won the ladies in 32:59. However, due to the affects of high altitude many runners’ average time is around 80 minutes, so this isn’t a 10 km race to aim for a personal best.

Join the Fight to Save Sight

ORBIS is inviting South African runners to join its 2012 team. The cost of R20,000 includes: economy return flights from Johannesburg to Addis Abba, four nights bed and breakfast in 4-star accommodation, a welcome lunch, dinner (including a traditional Ethiopian meal), a half-day excursion to the Entoto Mountains, a visit to the ORBIS Paediatric Eye Care Centre in Addis Ababa, race entry, an ORBIS branded T-shirt and goodie bag, and a contribution of R10,000 towards ORBIS’s sight-saving work. The package does not include: drinks, additional lunches, vaccinations (yellow fever vaccination is mandatory), transport to OR Tambo, travel insurance, passports or tourist visa (US$20 available upon arrival for South Africa citizens). ORBIS is working with partners and donors in Southern Africa to secure long term funding for its vital sightsaving work in the region. •

è

Related article: • Lesotho Sky 2011 - Racing with a purpose (Issue #15, p127)

76 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

DINfo box

i

To enter: • Online entries www.ethiopianrun.org (entries close 16 November 2012) • Contact Laura van Zyl, lvanzyl@orbis.org.za • Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ GreatEthiopianRun/www.orbis.org.za Travel information: • Ethiopian Airlines and SAA have regular direct flights from Johannesburg to Addis Ababa • Vaccinations - Yellow Fever vaccination is mandatory Become involved: Sponsor Paula Wilson www.givengain.com More info: To find out more about ORBIS and how you can join the fight for sight, visit www.orbis.org.za or www.facebook.com/ORBIS-SA


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inTRAIL:

Words by Kobus Bresler

Basic Navigation Skilglsthe PART 2

Layin foundation

In the previous issue I discussed the basic skills needed to effectively use a topographic map when navigating outdoors. It is important to understand and learn the basics, which will lay the foundation for learning more advanced techniques.

Compass Features

Your skills will improve over time and make for a safer and more enjoyable experience out on the trails and in the mountains. In this issue I will continue to look at more basic skills, with a specific focus on compass use. It is nearly impossible to effectively learn compass use from text, but a few key skills will be highlighted. More important is choosing the correct compass and features when selecting a model for purchase.

A compass combined with a decent map remains the primary navigation tools when moving about outdoors. There are many different models available, but your selection should be lightweight and compact. The ideal compass must stand up to every-day bumps, and should be easy to understand and use. Standard map compasses have a baseplate and compass housing, but a decent model will also have a ruler, roamer and more features for advanced use. Some navigators prefer a ranger compass, which essentially is a map compass with a mirror, while others may prefer a prismatic compass. We will focus on the basics of the standard map compass as it is the most readily available and widely used compass by amateur navigators.

Nowadays most outdoor navigators make use of GPS technology. A standard handheld GPS is an amazing tool and if used correctly allows for pinpoint accuracy. It is an electronic device and makes use of batteries. The human factor can potentially be a problem, as GPS models are reliant on correct human input to work effectively. So what happens if it fails? We revert back to the basics of compass use.

Compasses can either be ‘dry’ or ‘wet’. A wet compass has a liquid damper inside the compass housing, which allows the compass needle to settle faster due to less sensitivity. Although most map compasses use a needle, it is still fairly common to find models using cards. Cards generally settle faster than needles, but in return needles are more durable. It is important to invest in the best compass you can afford, as one day your life may depend on it.

78 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


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North Compass Facing

n 4 Baseplate Silva Expeditio amer Compass with Ro

As your compass is a precision instrument you should care for it accordingly. Avoid dropping it and handling it roughly, and try to keep it clean. Protect your compass from magnetic fields and extreme temperature changes as this will affect its continued accuracy. You should check your compass periodically on a known line of direction, and any compass with a variation greater than three degrees should be replaced. Often a bubble forms inside the compass housing of a ‘wet’ compass as a result of abuse, and this will allow air to enter the housing. The bubble will interfere with the needle causing it to be a few degrees inaccurate and therefore no longer good for use. Continued exposure to strong magnetic fields may cause reverse polarity to occur. Basically this means that the south end of the needle will point north and vice versa. If this is unknown to the user it can cause obvious problems and mistakes. While using your compass avoid magnetic fields of any sort, such as power lines or metal objects. Any such interference will cause magnetic deviation, which forces the needle away from the correct direction. Because of the earth’s magnetic field and curvature the needle will try to point directly to the magnetic north pole. When standing in South Africa this point will be underground and as a result the needle will dip. A compass needle will need to be perfectly balanced to avoid touching the top or bottom of the housing. This ‘dip’ is commonly referred to as magnetic inclination and will affect the accuracy of your

80 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

compass reading. As a result compasses are balanced for different international zones, so be sure to purchase the correct one for use in southern Africa, or wherever else you may be navigating. The ruler found on your compass is useful when determining distance covered in conjunction with your map. Practise this skill until you are comfortable using it accurately. Most decent map compasses will have a roamer printed on the baseplate. Roamers are aids used to increase your accuracy when determining grid references and are used in conjunction with a topographic map. Learn to use the roamer effectively as it takes the guesswork out of grid references. You can also make your own roamer based on the maps you use and I highly recommend having this tool available. Take a look at the pictures above to understand the simplicity of this aid. When visibility is good most navigation can be done visually without a compass and is called terrain association. To ensure this is done accurately the map needs to be orientated so

Orientating a map means that the features shown are in the same relative position as the earth. There are two main methods used to achieve this: terrain association and compass orientation.

that it is correctly aligned with the earth.


p Measuring Device Standard Roamer Ma

By using terrain association the user can make quick references as they move across the terrain. The user will have to know the approximate location, and careful examination of the land and map features is needed. Once you have orientated the map it is possible to locate the relative position of features in your vicinity. Practise this skill as often as possible because it is one of the easiest things to get wrong. Orientating a map is a lot more accurate if you use a compass. When using a compass, always remember that it measures magnetic azimuths or bearings. You will need to convert this to true north by making use of the declination diagram on your map. If you have never done this before it is hard to learn this skill from text and you may need instruction and lots of practise. Any small mistake during this process will result in navigating in the wrong direction.

Follow these steps: 1. Lay the map out flat. 2. Find the declination on your map and set the north arrow accordingly. 3. Place the compass on the map, with the direction of travel arrow pointing north along the grid lines. 4. Rotate the map and compass until the needle coincides with the orienting north arrow. 5. The map will be correctly set in relation to the features on land and accurate navigation is now possible.

tatio Map Orien

n

Compasses have numerous other uses that you can learn over time, but it all starts with the basics. The most important aspect to take from this article is choosing the correct compass in the first place. You generally get what you pay for and a decent compass will go a long way towards ensuring your safety and that of the people around you. Once purchased take care of this precision tool so that it can help guide you in the right direction. If you practise these basic skills it will open a whole new world of exploration and possibilities.

Proper instruction can never be replaced by any textbook, so if you are unsure of certain aspects find someone that can assist you. Happy and safe hiking. •

è Related articles:

• Basic Navigation Skills - laying the foundation, Part 1 (Issue #18, p. 72) • 9 Provinces, 9 Peaks and 9 Packs in 9 Days (Issue #11, p. 51)

www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 81


inACTION:

Words and Photos courtesy of Glenn Macnamara, Pro athlete

De Hel Van Kasterlee It was a week before Christmas and I had just

arrived in the small town of Kasterlee, located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. My sole reason for being there was to take part in a duathlon

It all started when I received a personal invitation from the race organiser, who I had met previously. He said, “I like your spirit and this race will ask much of you. Please come do this race.” De Hel consists of a 15 km off-road run, 105 km MTB and ends off with a 30 km off-road run. It has earned a rather unenviable reputation in that more than 50 percent of the top-class field that participate fail to finish, either due to mental fatigue or technical issues on the bike. Great news! For some reason I often find myself drawn to races where the odds are heavily stacked against us.

that is ominously known as De Hel Van Kasterlee -

no triathlons take place here because it is too

cold on the rivers. The arrival

of an African pro athlete, the first ever at this event, even had the town’s Mayor seek an audience with myself, eager to find out what on earth inspired me to do this race!

82 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Arriving a week before the event, I spent the time acclimatising, as best as a warm-bloodied South African can in temperatures of zero degrees, and training hard in final preparation for the race. Even though it was incredibly cold, thankfully there was no sign of rain, yet. My steed of choice was a Gary Fisher, well suited to I a track boasting lots of single track. In terms of my strengths, I am not a strong mountain biker, as my background is road, but really worked had I mind, in felt confident in my running. With this hard to improve my off-road bike skills. However, nothing in South Africa could have prepared me for what I finally encountered,


C

M

Y

CM

MY

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CMY

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and trust me I tried! Intense training camps in the Drakensberg made me strong, but riding in knee-deep mud was an altogether different challenge! Then four days before race the rain came! I knew the bike track was going to be something out of science fiction novel after a few laps.

Race day Under the shelter of darkness, 400 of the world's best duathletes lined up at the start, their warm breath creating icy crystals in the night air. The first 15 km running leg was done mainly in the dark. I opted to cruise the run as a long day awaited. I entered the first transition in sixth place in a time of 49:40, and well within striking distance of German Uber Man Van Staal, Marc Pschebizin.


Running records

The brutal bike The first lap on my bike went well. Being in the front pack had its advantages as we had a decent gap on the field and although the track was wet, it was not rutted and difficult to ride. Other than some tight technical turns, there was nothing I couldn't handle and was feeling comfortable and confident. But lap two and three saw the race change drastically now that all the athletes were on the track, churning it into a mud bath deluxe. There were stretches of track where we rode in knee-deep mud for three to four kilometres at a time. I had no idea it was even possible to ride in conditions like that, but the locals took to it like ducks to water and made me look an ungainly donkey on a surfboard in Alaska! By the third lap I had no brakes and there was no recognisable path left to follow! So I began a series of calculated crashes to ‘help me’ through some of the patches. I counted 14 falls and crashes in total, but thankfully no broken bones! My racing gear was soaked through, plastered in mud and everything felt heavy, bike included. By the end of this leg I believed that my race was over in terms of achieving a top-10 result. Downhearted and some six hours into the race, I entered the transition for the final 30 km run.

84 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

to lift my Just being out of that muddy cesspool was enough took off, I spirits and rekindle my determination to fight back. no idea had and side, my with my race assistant on his bike at runner after runner g passin started I how fast I was going until of the end the at only was It rate. raging encou at a healthy and ner Afrikaa first lap when I heard the announcer say, “De Zuid was I ning happe was kan lopen (run),” that I realised what I thought on course to break the running course record! Oh, ps the perha ... h thoug quick that feel didn't really in surprise. I run that Man, adrenaline from the bike course was kicking in. was amazing! r stretch At around the 22 km mark, we ran through anothe almost and long tres kilome few a was that mud thick of this was it sure I’m pect, impossible to get through. In retros new a setting of ge privile the ed particular patch that snatch ploughed run course record away from me, as I plundered and ed, cold Reliev my way through what felt like a muddy ice rink! d the crosse finally I toe, and covered in mud from head to . It racing of hours eight y exactl after finish line in 12th place, had been epic! almost Races like these are surreal and ful grate and humble us dreamlike. They keep that then know I did Little . alive that we're I there would be tougher race challenges would encounter. •

è Related articles:

p. 64) • Expidition Africa: Trails & Tribulations (Issue #18, 86) p. #17, (Issue • Kenetic Adventure Series


www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 85


inTRAIL:

Words by Ugene Nel, Quantum Adventures Photos by Ugene Nel & Jacques Marais

R U P S ADVENTURE

SPRINT SERIES

Twelve years ago, the Spur Adventure Sprint Series started off with just 18 teams taking part in what was then purely a mountain bike and trail run event. Today, this Western Cape-based series has evolved into a highlight on the running calendar, attracting some 200 teams, and offers a number of different courses and activities. But some aspects of the series haven't changed, and the focus on living a healthy lifestyle, spending quality time with family and friends, and a love of nature, remain the steadfast objectives of this event. With this in mind, the series has attracted many serious athletes who use these races to do some cross training. However, the majority of the participants attending see it as a way of getting together with friends and/or family and spending quality, stressfree time away from home.

86 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

The series consists of six events; the first starts in October and the last takes place at the end of March. Competitors are guaranteed a varied and action-packed course at each event, and with beautiful venues such as Lourensford Wine Estate, Oak Valley and Paul Cluver Estates, entries to these events are highly sought after. Each season brings its own challenges, thus requiring special attention and thought being put into the design of each course. With many years of adventure exploits and expeditions under my belt, I painstakingly design each course to ensure that the different skill and fitness levels of the participants are taken into consideration. So whether you are a youngster or a seasoned adventurer, there's a specially constructed route for you to enjoy.


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Although this is a team event, it's not a relay. Teams are made up of two to three people, who start and finish the elected category together. In addition to a long (25 to 30 km) and short course (12 to 15 km), there's even a mini adventure course for the little ones (from three to eight years old)! You know what this means? That Moms and Dads can't use 'junior' as an excuse for not getting out and about anymore everyone can take part now! Mountain biking, trail running, hiking, scrambling and numerous natural obstacles all forms part of the fun. Mud, water, bush and fresh air - ah, pure bliss and a massive endorphin lift! Teams will take between 1.5 to 2.5 hours to finish the long route, while the shorter route is about half that, and the little ones would have about 30 minutes of action. Not everyone wants to have a cardio workout and they are the ones who add to the festive vibe by cheering the teams on as they run and mountain bike in and out of the transition zones. The three race venues are rich in generations of family history, thus creating a great synergy with the series' focus of being family driven. Lourensford Wine Estate is situated in a spectacular bowl behind Somerset West, nestled against the Helderberg Mountains. Views across the False Bay complete the setting. The wine cellar, restaurant, coffee shop and cheese shop are only a small part of numerous activities on offer at this estate. The Farmer's market, which is held once a month, is a huge hit with fresh produce and home-baked food that will tempt even the most discerning of palates. Travelling up and over Sir Lowry’s Pass on the N2 takes you to apple country and the Oak Valley Estate in Elgin; our the next stop. With a few hundred oak trees scattered through this estate, the name is obvious. Pieter Visser, the winemaker at Oak Valley Wines, is an avid mountain biker and a regular competitor in the family category at the adventure sprint races. Not many people know that on this farm numerous flowers are grown in tunnels for export and the South African market. The mountain biking trail here is in a class of its own - all designed by Pieter. It's no wonder then that this is one of the most sought-after trails in the Western Cape. Hikers, riders, and other outdoor enthusiasts can now spend an entire day, or even a weekend, exploring here.

88 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

A stone's throw away is the Paul Cluver Estate and our last stop. Dr. Cluver and his family manage this estate with passion! Whether it’s wine tasting, a picnic or a sumptuous meal in the farm restaurant, it’s all done with a friendly and welcoming smile. The 'Amphitheatre' is a popular summer venue, and plays host to weekly music events with local artists entertaining the crowds. The setting is very special and well designed, and more and more mountain biking trails are being built here. In fact, you can now ride for an entire weekend on the Paul Cluver and Oak Valley Estates without riding the same trail twice. Bliss!

TAKE UP THE JOLLY JESTER CHALLENGE

A special, annual event within the series is the Jolly Jester Adventure Sprint race, also in December. This event is a celebration of the end of another year, and teams are encouraged to take part in fancy dress. This is a total spectacle with plenty of laughter - a perfect end to any year! Prize-giving after each race is almost another event in itself, as the competitors get involved by performing live to stand a chance of winning some of the big prizes on offer. The crowd judges!

ENTER THE NEW SERIES

With summer on our doorstep, why not make it your challenge to spend more quality time outdoors with the one's you care for. And what better way than to get everyone involved in the first event of the new Spur Adventure Sprint Series, which kicks off at Oak Valley Estate in mid October. Until then, happy trails. •

èRelated articles:

• Step into Spring (Issue #18, p. 68) • Kinetic Adventure Series (Issue #17, p.86) • Lesotho Wild Run (Issue #17, p. 90)


inSHAPE:

Words by Hannele Steyn | www.passion4wholeness.co.za

How Good is Milk for you? As an avid mountain biker and nutritionalist, I am passionate about healthy living and constantly doing research on various trends and new scientific findings about nutrition and supplements. Recently I came across a very interesting discussion about different kinds of milk, which focused on the importance of this natural food product and how it actually relates to us mountain bikers.

www.shutterstock.com

Considering that a calf stands on its feet immediately after it is born must say something about the nutritional value of milk - and have you seen how quickly it grows and how strong it is? So unless you are lactose intolerant or suffer from an allergy caused by milk, it is actually a very healthy drink packed with vitamins, minerals and all the essential food groups to boost our well being, and builds the muscles you need to throw a ball, climb a tree and more importantly, ride a mountain bike J

90 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


Today, dairy products are driven more by market demands than common sense. As a result, these products rely heavily on the use of genetically modified and chemically derived hormones, drug regimens, pasteurization, UHT processes, homogenisation and other industrial influences in the natural milk production cycle. So let's take a look at the different kinds of milk we get and what's good about them, as well as who in the milk industry still tries to give us the product as it should be. The most common milk of them all is cow’s milk, then rice milk, goat's milk, soy milk, oat milk, and nut milk. Over recent years, there have been a lot of mixed views expressed on cow’s milk, but the benefits include calcium, folic acid, Vitamin C, B12, B2 and potassium, to name but a few. It also contains HTP, a precursor for serotonin and thus a natural anti-depressant and sleeping aid. Rice and oat milk are good options, but very expensive. They can lower cholesterol levels, however the ones available normally contain a lot of chemicals to make it better tasting and lengthen the shelf life. Goat’s milk also contains lactose, although not as much as cow or human milk, and has lower levels of folic acid and Vitamins B and C. But it does have higher levels of B12, potassium and casein (a milk protein). It is also more easily digested. Soy milk has a noted oestrogenic effect and should be taken with some caution due to the fact that it is likely to be derived from genetically-modified soy, which can cause allergies. Soy milk, if taken, should be supplemented with complete fatty acids and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The best options though are nut (almond) or coconut milk. However, almond milk can be dangerous for people with a nut allergy, and coconut milk is very high in saturated fat and thus not a good long-term option.

So that brings us back to good old fashioned cow’s milk. Now if you are serious about your health and what you put into your body, then I heartily recommend a company like Fair Cape Dairies. Its slogan is, “Do the right thing,” and they really do walk their talk! It is the first company to advertise their carbon footprint on their milk bottles.

Their eco-fresh milk is their carbon footprint and means: 1. Less pollution 2. Eco-friendly farming practices 3. Animal wellbeing Let us look at how that relates to us mountain bikers: 1. Less pollution - don’t throw paper wrappers, CO2 bombs and the like into nature. 2. Eco-friendly farming - ride where we are allowed and have respect for nature. 3. Animal wellbeing - be good to our bodies and try to put good nutrition into it and supplement it with the correct vitamins and minerals. Another interesting fact about Fair Cape Dairies is its passion for mountain biking. The company has sponsored several riders, the Wines2Whales mountain biking event and hosts a few races on their farm. So you just don't get a better fit than this! Let us support the ones that support us. At the end of the day science has once again established that cow’s milk is not bad for us, and is in fact very good for us. It is a great source of calcium and protein, good to drink whilst doing an extremely long race, and an excellent recovery drink. Other products from milk, like yoghurt, are also an excellent food source and contains good probiotics. So go on, put on your milk moustache! •

èRelated articles: • Clever Nutrition for Mega Long Races (Issue #18, p. 84) • Nutrition in Sports Performance (Issue #12, p. 96) • The Importance of Good Nutrition (Issue #10, p. 88)

Passion4Wholeness muesli: A balanced meal for everyone! Diabetic friendly, wheat free, low glycaemic and NO trans-fat Designed by a sportsperson with a passion 4 health: Hannele Steyn is a former winner of the Absa Cape Epic, a former Triathlon World Champion and the only woman who has completed all 9 Cape Epics. For more information: Hannele@geminips.co.za or jesblue2@yahoo.com

www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 91


inGEAR:

Words & Photos by Steve Wicks

Fit to Drive

There you are, sitting in the grandstand at Kyalami watching another exciting race, and like most spectators you’re pretty sure that if it was you on the track, you'd be right up there with the best of them. After all, motorsport is not like playing rugby, soccer or running a marathon where fitness is of THE utmost importance. Wrong! Driving a car in race conditions is incredibly taxing and requires a surprising amount of fitness. Think about it, have you ever seen an overweight racing driver get out of a car after a Grand Prix, or a pot-bellied rider get onto a motorcycle for a MotoGP? Twenty-one year old Gennaro Bonafede is one of the new breed of drivers who realises fitness is a prerequisite for success. Racing a Volkswagen Golf GTI in the Bridgestone Production Car Championship, he follows a strict fitness regime and enjoys a healthy lifestyle. Gennaro is also studying towards an Industrial Engineering Degree at Pretoria University and lives in a flat near Pretoria’s party heartland of Hatfield, but often has to turn down a night on the town with his mates due to the total commitment this sport demands. A typical motorsport season in South Africa consists of nine events stretching from the beginning of March until the end of November. After a fairly relaxed day of two practice sessions on the Friday, race day is pretty busy with the all important qualifying to determine grid position at approximately 10 a.m. Two short sprint races are run back to back, with no work allowed on the car between the races, thus placing the emphasis on conserving the car in the first race. The day usually ends with a feature race that is double the laps of the sprint races. Sometimes a two-hour mini endurance race is thrown in for good measure.

92 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


THE HOLESHOT ADVANTAGE

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Delivering holeshot-winning performance is a key factor that can mean the difference between running upfront and winning, or getting stuck mid pack. The chassis geometry and the hard-hitting 4-stroke engine’s wide powerband were designed to maximise rear wheel traction. Factory-style launch control system helps riders maximise traction when starting on a slippery surface.

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Riders can choose from two positions to suit body size and preference.

A choice of four positions allows riders to tailor their riding position. Factory-style Renthal handlebar and pad come standard.

The KX450F has the ďŹ rst production-use Launch Control Mode, a new ECU with 3 easily selectable maps and an adjustable riding position that riders can tailor to suit their size and riding style making the new KX450F an even more potent weapon on the track.

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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Race engineer Vic Maharaj and Gennaro analyse data after a test 2. G  ennaro's office.

Gennaro's Ferodo-backed Golf still manages to look racy even though it isn’t fitted with a plethora of aftermarket go-faster spoilers and side skirts. Optimised suspension settings give the car a more aggressive stance, but otherwise it looks pretty standard because even spoilers and ‘aero kits’ are not allowed. Inside the car it’s a different matter altogether. It's bare besides a proper racing seat, six-point safety harness and fire extinguisher. There's no sound deadening, heat shields, carpets, door handles or air conditioning. In fact, the entire ventilation system has been removed to save weight; functional is perhaps the best way to describe it. Race wear isn’t exactly designed for a hot summer day either. Typically Gennaro wears a layer of fireproof underwear (long johns and a long sleeve top) and then a double-layer fireproof suit. Added to this is fireproof socks, boots, gloves balaclava and a full face helmet. When it comes to fitness Gennaro commented that, “For me, if you’re not physically fit, you can’t expect to be mentally fit! A lot of guys racing in this country don’t pay attention to their fitness, and I believe it’s quite wrong. I'm in the gym five to six days a week doing light weights and stamina training, and running also forms a big part of my exercise regime. People say that physical fitness isn’t so important to us because we are in a car, but you’d be amazed to discover just how physical it gets in a car.” Cornering speeds puts tremendous strain on the neck, so shoulder and arm strength is perhaps most vital. “It isn’t like a standard car where suspension is designed for comfort. My car is so stiffly sprung that every imperfection in the track surface can be felt. Tracks might look smooth, but they are bumpy, especially Kyalami and Killarney in Cape Town. The steering is also heavy and you need to be very quick to catch a car when it suddenly starts sliding, especially after contact from another car,” explained Gennaro. Inside the car, heat is a massive problem for drivers. In a sport where every thousandth of a second counts you can image what a race engineer’s answer would be if he had to choose between car performance or his driver’s comfort. An open window creates drag, which costs a few tenths of a second, so windows do not open. On the grid, when temperatures outside are often hovering around the 40 degree mark, the door is open, but that’s it. And it gets worse. “Inside the car temperatures can reach 50 degrees during a race. All the ventilation fans and air cons are taken

94 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

out. There’s no electric windows and all the glass, apart from the windscreen, is replaced by Perspex to save on weight, so it is really important to be properly hydrated,” he said. Accidents can be pretty violent, and as everyone knows the fit sustain fewer or less serious injuries and tend to heal quicker. Fortunately there’s only been one accident Gennaro regards as serious. When he was competing in the Engen VW Polo Cup he went off the track backwards at Potters Pass in East London, which is taken at around 180 km/h, in a Polo. After a quick trip across the grass, during which the car was airborne for most of the way, he hit the bank backwards at close on 120 km/h. Yet he walked away and was able to race in a hastily arranged replacement car the following day. Added Gennaro, "I was stiff and sore, especially my back and neck, but I was lucky considering how badly bent the seat was as a result of the forces. It was a massive impact and the consequences could have been much worse. "Being fit certainly does help your concentration and ability to perform under pressure. Weeks before a race I like to keep my diet very healthy. On race day I make sure I take in all the right minerals needed. I also like to use my iPod and listen to music because it puts me in a good, calm state of focus. Although in saying that, I'm normally a very calm and relaxed guy on race day; I don’t get stressed as much as some people,” he remarked with a straight face. Motorsport isn’t just about driving a car. Sponsors demand a driver who looks fit and healthy. He also needs to attend functions so he must be able to converse with a wide range of people and be knowledgeable about his craft. Information runs in two directions on race day. Engineers make changes to the car based on what the driver tells them so he also needs an understanding of vehicle dynamics. In other words, a driver needs to be marketable. Can you for one minute imagine an overweight Sebastien Vetel uttering, “Yo bro, it’s like you know hectic, hey,” every time he answers a question? •

è

Related article: • Is Time Running out for Vanlentino Rossi (Digital article, June 2012)


McCarthy Toyota Lynnwood Tel: (012) 807 9800 “Peace of mind is part of the deal!”


inH2O:

Words by Doug Copeland Photos by Rory Taylor

i k s e v a W Surfing please remain seated

come all things summery, it’s also As we wave goodbye to winter and wel resurface and dust off their various the season in which our water babies weather. Yes, it’s time to hit the pool, water toys in celebration of the warmer not try coast or planning a holiday there, then why river or the big blue. And if you are living at the work off those extra winter kilos challenging and a great way to something different, like waveski surfing? It’s while having loads of fun in the sun.

96 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


A waveski is a surf craft designed to ride waves while seated, and combines the paddle power of a kayak with the manoeuvrability and performance of a surfboard. They handle very easily on a wave, in much the same way as a surf board, but instead you sit on top of the ski and turn with body movements and a paddle. Surfers are strapped on with a seatbelt and their feet secured by foot straps. The paddle propels the surfer onto the waves where they can do similar manoeuvres to stand up surfing. Now when it comes to fitness, waveski surfing is guaranteed to give you a good upper body and cardiovascular workout. It’s also ideal for anyone with knee or ankle injuries that rule out stand up surfing. So whether you’re male or female, a beginner or someone who simply enjoys the excitement of riding big waves, there’s a waveski to suit everyone. C

To make the transition into this sport looking like a pro, selecting the right waveski for you is all important, and the following factors should be taken into account: • Weight and size - The length and width of a waveski relates to body height and weight. So the smaller you are and the less you weigh, and the better you become, the smaller the ski. However, I would recommend purchasing a larger ski when starting out, as this will help with stability and staying on the ski for longer whilst surfing. Then as you progress and get fitter, you can start to look at smaller, more manoeuvreable boards.

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

• Height - It is imperative to sit right on the waveski. So the distance from the seat to your feet is of the utmost importance, as sitting with your knees bent too high or low is uncomfortable, and will certainly contribute towards the unstableness of your craft. The ideal position for your legs is one to one-andhalf fists lengths between the back of the knee and top of the board, while sitting in the seat pan with your feet in the foot well under the straps and belt on. The knees should be slightly bent. You should be able to pull your feet out easily to hang over the sides of the ski, and you need to be able to lean forward with the belt on. Ensuring a proper fit can also assist stressed muscles when surfing for long periods of time.

www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 97


The accessories you select are equally important, in terms of safety and performance, and here are some pointers: • Paddle leash - All beginners are strongly urged to use a paddle leash, as this will save many long swims to retrieve your board when wiping out. It also prevents other people in the surf being hit by a riderless ski. • Seat belt - The seat belt or lap strap is best used for your own safety and that of other surfers. Until you are able to eskimo roll, always wear the belt done up so that you remain strapped in if you wipe out, and when the wave washes under you and stops throwing you around, then unbuckle the belt and climb back on. Important: familiarise yourself with the seat belt in flat water first before wearing it out on the waves, by practising turning upside down and releasing the buckle. Do this a number of times to ensure you know how to release it, so that you don’t panic when you overturn in the waves. • Foot straps - These straps provide frontal control and allow the feet to remain secured to the board. They should be set so the feet are held firmly in position, but don't restrict movement. • Deck - The deck is the uppermost part of the ski, and all fittings except for the fins are located there. The design properties are such that the position of the seat and foot wells are in relation to having full control of the ski and rider comfort. To achieve this, the rider must be able to rotate freely from the torso; therefore, the seat and foot wells need to be set at a distance where the rider has sufficient and comfortable bend in the legs. • Bottom (rails) - The sides of the ski are called rails. The part where the rail becomes round and bends to join the bottom is described as the rail shape. The rail shape varies along the length of the ski, and the volume and shape affect the stability of the ski. Stability is determined by how easily the perimeters of the ski sink. • Fins - The fins provide traction and help guide and manoeuvre the waveski into the body of the wave. This means they provide little resistance moving forward and greater resistance to sideways skip. Fins come in a range of size and shapes, and at a beginner’s level a large fin will provide the rider with the maximum amount of stability. • Wet suit - A wet suit provides the rider with thermal insulation from the weather and acts as a barrier from scratches and sun burn. • Seat pad - The seat pad is for cushioning your bottom, adding traction so you don’t slide around in the seat pan, and contouring the seat to fit you specifically will make the ski fit your leg length better. It is recommended that you wear wet suit pants or baggies (cotton is a no no, as it can give you a rash if you ski for long periods of time).

98 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Looking the part

There are a number of reputable suppliers you can go to for your equipment: Macski: Ian Macleod on macski1@telkomsa.net / www.macskisurf.com Second Nature: Trudy le Roux on kola@rumba.co.za Carstens Skis: Nikkie Carstens on carstensfreedesign@hotmail.com A new custom waveski will cost you in the region of R8,000 and a paddle around R1,500. But if you are just starting out, or on a budget, I would recommend looking around for a second hand ski. You should be able to pick up a complete board, plus paddle, for less than R3,000.

Where to start

Once you have your new water chariot, the best place to start out is on a river or estuary. Use this time to practise your balance and as mentioned earlier, make sure you know how the seat belt operates. Only progress to the ocean when you can balance on your ski, and when you get to this stage, start off paddling out on the big blue on calm days. NEVER SURF ALONE and always have someone to assist you should you get into difficulties.

Make it official

If you are interested in joining this rewarding sport, contact any one of our regional associations and the members will guide you through the entire process; from purchasing a waveski to your very first wave in the ocean. Contact details are as follows: • • • • •

Western Province: Bruce Stewart, bandi.stewart@gmail.com Eastern Province: Ian Macleod, macski1@telkomsa.net Border: Jan Brand, brandgrens@mweb.co.za KwaZulu-Natal: Darryl Moodie, darryl@focusmarketing.co.za General: Doug Copeland, president@waveski.co.za

You can also find out more about the sport by visiting www.waveski.co.za or the South African Waveski Surfing Facebook page. •

è Related article:

• 2011 Glacéau Vitamin Water SA Closed Waveski Champs (Issue #11, p 84)


inH2O:

Words by Deon Breytenbach Photos by various contributors

I’m in front followed by Hugh, with a bit of a high brace and safely tucked in elbows

]

]

Getting your Groove Back

for Summer Pierre and Robin demonstrating good hands and elbow positions

100 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


]

For those of you who found every excuse to stay away from the river over the last few cold and dry months, you can now look forward to warmer temperatures, blue skies and plenty of paddling because summer’s back! And to those who persevered throughout those chilly winter mornings and evenings, with still-frozen fingers and toes to show for your efforts, kudos to you. During the course of this year, I've looked at various physical tune ups that will help you look after yourself and get the most out of your paddling. So now it's time to take a look at what you need to do to get off to a good start for what will hopefully be a brilliant summer session. Getting back on the river and finding your rhythm again after a break can be difficult, but with a couple of small tricks you'll be back in the swing of things in no time at all. Just a word of advice though when you start training again, it's very easy to let small bad habits sneak in and embed themselves in your technique, and once they are there it can be tricky to rectify. The best way to ensure that you start the season off right is by taking it easy in the beginning. The main components you want to focus on are paddle/boat control and reading the water. To do this, the first step is to get yourself a buddy. The next step is to find something that can capture your sessions. And lastly, find enough water to float a kayak on, even flat water will do the trick - and might be a really good idea if you are a fresh boater. Stretching and warming up on the water before you do anything else is all important. Now, at a moderate pace, do everything you can do while your buddy films you. Then be nice and do the same for your friend. Find a shady spot and take a look at the footage to see what you are doing correctly and what you need to focus on. Like I've said before, the key things you want to see yourself doing while paddling are; use your whole torso to generate power for your strokes; keep your active hand in front of your shoulders, your top hand eye level, and elbows tilted slightly downwards for safe shoulders; and use your leg and stomach/core muscles to edge your kayak (keeping your head over the centre line of your kayak). Any bad habits should be relatively easy for you to spot and improve on. If you aren’t sure, then load the footage onto the net and get myself or another experienced paddler to have a look at it for you. A more social option is to organise a braai and show the footage, then ask for advice from the more experienced guys around. Most of the experienced paddlers I know are only too happy to do this in

return for a lekker braai and some cold beer - well, they would actually do it just because they are such nice people and want to help. The rolling technique suffers the most from having a off season, and spotting bad habits here is a bit trickier. So do the same exercise here; get yourself filmed while rolling and then scrutinise the footage. What you need to look out for is that you are starting from the correct setup for that particular roll, and that you are keeping your shoulders safe by having your elbows close to your body and tucked down, especially as you finish your roll. The main culprit of failed rolls is not keeping your head in the water until the last moment and then keeping it down until you are upright - imagine that you are looking at your power hand (the one that stays in the water). As always, nothing can compare to getting a little tune up from an instructor or pro paddler. A good plan would be to make one of your first paddling missions a refresher kayaking clinic or river running clinic at a training centre like the Blyde Adventure Camp, Whitewater Training or Gravity Adventures (Gravity a bit more for the Cape winter season). But if you aren’t able to join a course like this, then ask your local pros if they won’t mind joining you and your buddies for a paddling session to help you out. Don’t know anybody? Then get hold of me and I will help you find someone in your area who can lend a helping hand. I have and will always believe that reading water is the key factor to becoming a better paddler and getting the most fun out of your paddling. The only way to do this is to have an understanding of what makes water do certain things. If you want to read about it, the only book I would say you need is 'Kayaking the New Frontier' by William Nealy. This is still the ultimate, all-round kayaking manual, and just a brilliant book. But as I've mentioned before, nothing can replace proper instruction and here I highly recommend doing a swiftwater rescue course. Not only will you learn about why water does what it does, you will also learn how to keep yourself and your buddies alive, or at least have a fighting chance. Reading water is also something you need to practise. So the next time you are next to some flowing water, no matter how fast or slow moving it may be, look at what is happening as there is a lot more going on than most people realise. Float a leaf down the stream and see what it does and where it goes. Or for a slightly more entertaining version build yourself a teeny kayak out of closed cell foam and use that to test the water. The flow of water in a small stream will be similar to any other flowing water. Obviously, the more water you have, the bigger and more powerful the various currents will be, but they will still be much the same. The last thing to do before paddling into the new summer season is check your gear. Dust it off, make sure no rats have munched holes in it and wash the inside of your kayak to get rid of any insects. You're now ready to hit the water and make the most out of summer and your kayaking.

]

Don't miss the next issue of DO IT NOW Magazine where I will look at where to get your best wetness this December. •

èRelated articles: • Caring for Your Spine (Issue #18, p. 76) • Preventing Paddling Shoulder Injuries (Issue #17, p. 102) • Stretch it to get it (Issue #16, p. 100)

www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 101


inH2O:

Words by Francois Flamengo Photos by DO IT NOW

102 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


K C I QU W O SN s ip h ions p m a h C SA

g destinations ski and snowboardin st be e th of e on ly Lech, Saalbach, Austria is probab rrounding areas like su ins ta un mo e Th mention the in the world. mesmerising, not to ly te le mp co e ar n perience. Ischgl and St. Anto that visitors can ex e ur lt cu i Sk riAp d are we? incredible slopes an less fortunate, or e ar we r, ve we ho a In South Afric is well known for its Lesotho, southern Africa's 'kingdom in the sky', few hours away from a only and , terrain stunningly beautiful mountainous at 3,322 m above ains Mount Maluti the in up high d Johannesburg. Nestle t, one of only Resor ain sea-level, is where you will find AfriSki Ski & Mount s - skiers, visitor of nds thousa two skiing resorts in Lesotho that attracts It is also year. every slopes snowy its to snowboarders and spectators alike ips. pionsh Cham SA home to the Quiksnow tes from early in the With a single piste, and a T-bar drag lift that opera the main slope, the of top the to you morning until late afternoon to get oarders. But the snowb nly piste-o for lt difficu or terrain is not that varied to AfriSki, is down drove resort's pièce de résistance, and the reason why we the run create to s kicker ve a ski park featuring world-class sliders and massi r premie s Africa' South ip, pionsh Cham for the 2012 Quicksnow Snowboard ured the manic well how with sed impres hugely was I snowboarding event. set up. And with perfect slopes and 'Play Park' were, as well as the overall own. showd winter conditions, the stage was set for an epic in South Africa, local Although snowboarding is not a mainstream sport compete with honour riders have proved that they can hold their own and any sport should be what tely on the international stage, which is ultima to showcase the which from m platfor ideal about. Quiksnow has become an talent. g sportin local our of uniqueness and variety title of SA National Quiksnow is really two contests in one. While the division, the title each in African South Champion goes to the highest placed t attracted contes year's This s. comer all to open is of Quiksnow Champion Krivec Jojo ion champ its fair share of top competitors, including 2011 a Bell, Stevie of likes the t agains (Slovenia), who returned to defend his title class worldother and these With es. freerid pro from the US, who primarily everyone would bring snowboarders amongst the competitors, we knew would be of the highest their A-game to the party and that the snowboarding calibre.

Starting off on the Friday with the qualifying rounds, riders could be seen scoping their lines down the park as they put their runs together, which would hopefully see them through to the finals on Saturday. After an incredible day of competition, the likes of multiple SA Champion Marcin Jekot, defending SA Champion Luke Dutton, Dean Van Greunen, Marta Jekot and Brigitte Heeb had made it through and were firm favourites for podium positions. With everyone in high spirits after the day's qualifying rounds, the athletes and supporters enjoyed some refreshments from the ApriSki Cafe. A highlight of the evening was an exhilarating 'everybody is welcome' bum board race down the bottom half of the main slope. While some participants gave it their all, others chose the safer, slower, and actuallybraking-from-time-to-time option. But no matter your final speed, it was heaps of fun, and everyone had a great time and a VERY cold face afterwards! The next morning you could almost feel the tension in the air as the athletes totally focussed on the more serious task at hand; the final showdown. Each rider was given three attempts to run the slope and only the best run would count.

www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 103


This meant there was no holding back and as a result there were a few hard crashes. One unfortunate racer bailed out of a massive jump at the last moment and came down hard on the deck, because he just couldn't build enough speed to clear the big kicker, with a sixmetre gap. Luckily he was not too badly injured, but he had to withdraw from the event. While the competition was in full swing, a vibey snack bar and seating area ensured that the spectators had a great view of the goings on and were part of the fun, theirs cheers spurring on their favourites. And there was delicious hot chocolate and Glühwein to keep everyone warm while enjoying all the thrills and spills. One of the things I really liked about AfriSki’s setup is that the whole family can be kept busy within close proximity of each other, thus making sure everyone has as much fun as possible. When it was all over, the final results were as follows: *Open Men’s Pro division 1st. Jojo Krivec (20) from Slovenia who defended his title 2nd. Marcin Jekot (29) from Cape Town 3rd. Luke Dutton (16) from Durban *Open Women’s division 1st. Marta Jekot (29) from Cape Town who defended her title 2nd. Bridgitte Heeb (30) 3rd. Vanessa Jackson (29) With the serious business out of the way, prize-giving was a festive affair with everyone celebrating yet another fantastic and well-organised championship event, to the sounds of rockin' music and the antics of a few riders showing off some of their extraordinary skills indoors J. Well done to the organisers and Contest Director, Oliver Schwankhart, for putting together such a professional event, and congratulations to all the riders that took part! I can't wait to see you guys back in action next season. If you haven't been to this event before, I would highly recommend going next year. It's the best 'European' ski destination that you will find in Africa, great for the family or if you want to go with your mates, and most definitely an experience that you will want to come back and experience again and again. Just make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

104 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

AfriSki Ski & sort , you will tain Reoverse Mounfortun as for skiing travel to ate

If you've been annotice that this resort has been designed with an Austri vibe the into influenced culture in mind, and when you settle in Africa! at the resort you sometimes forget that you are still nice AfriSki boasts a very cool ApriSki Cafe, a very ing selfrestaurant, various accommodation options includ you catering chalets and camp sites, and a ski shop where you if ent equipm ski some hire and can stock up on gear can s visitor that slopes three are There own. your don't have an area, g choose from; a short beginner's slope and trainin longer much is which intermediate slope and the main slope, and tailored for experienced riders. they It is compulsory for all novices to take lessons before nts. accide essary unnec are allowed on the slopes, to avoid those for t perfec is area g trainin and The beginner's slope , and a who have never tried skiing or snowboarding before ed Qualifi y. great way to prepare for an overseas skiing holida the and kids small the instructors are on hand to assist as they bigger ones - who looked like pros in no time at all, . slopes the down cut their way

The best times to ski and snowboard are June and July, when the snow is at its thickest. The resort, however, is beautiful at any time of the year.

carefully, Travellers are advised to plan their road trip to AfriSki sburg Fourie en betwe ns sectio are bearing in mind that there is, There ion. recept mobile no is there where and the resort the visit ation however, reception at the resort. For more inform AfriSki website at www.afriski.net. •

èRelated articles:

p.28) • Snowboarding in Grindelwald, Switzerland (Issue #17, p.26) #16, (Issue • Snowboarding in Méribel, France • Snowboarding in Lech, Austria (Issue #15, p.30)


www.doitnow.co.za | Sport • 105


106 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


// in THE HOLE: Golf Brawdcasting from the US of A * Must-play Courses - Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate // inNATURE: Vegetarian Trout in the Karoo * Old Faithful Travels to Sesfontein - Namibia, Part 2 // inCREDIBLE PLACES: Cologne - The Magic of a White Christmas // inFOCUS: SHOOT! A MTB Stage Race - Multi-day Shooting * inFOCUS Competition // inVOLVED: 94.7 Cycle Challenge ride for a purpose // inDULGE: Recipe: Courgette and Ricotta Pasta // inSURE: Beware the Buyer // inREVIEW: In the Spotlight: Nissan Murano, Chevrolet Lumina SSV Ute, Toyota Avanza vs Nissan Livina * Product Reviews // inTERTAINMENT: Music, Movie and Game Reviews

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in THE HOLE:

Words by Michael Scholz, The 40 Year-Old Rookie

Huh...

110 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


g Golf Brawdcastin from the US of A The Americans are known for doing everything bigger and better. Their cars are bigger, their Olympic team is better and all that good stuff. The PGA Tour is also leaps and bounds ahead of any other in terms of the purses (in excess of $250 million - the US kind, not Zimbabwe Dollars!), courses, venues, spectators, charitable contributions (in excess of $100 million annually), and some players even tip the scales obscenely (Scott Gutschewski at 118 kg) to reinforce the fact that professional golfers do in fact indulge in a few burgers, beers and stay well clear of the gym. BIGGER, BIGGER, BIGGER! The latter part of the 'bigger and better' phrase tends to wobble a little though when it comes to professional golf in the States. The top of the official Golf World Rankings is peppered with names that boast flags of other countries, with five out of the top ten golfers in the world hailing from Europe and our rugby rivals down under. Regardless, the US is the capital of golf on this planet of ours and perhaps even the universe! With that, one would assume that the trend of 'bigger and better' would then carry through when it comes to broadcasting the game out to their nation, as well as to the rest of the fairway passionate world. Not at all. In fact, and this is based solely on my opinion, as well as the opinion of every golfer that I have spoken to this year (about 6,487 to be exact if you count the inebriated fella that I elbowed in the face whilst demonstrating how to take the club inside the line after a golf day at Goldfields West … sorry about that!), but the American broadcasters really seem to miss the plot when it comes to covering a professional golf event. The US PGA Championship was the final straw that now drives me to ‘officially’ get this off my chest! To lay the platform, let me spare a few details: Going into the last round, the broadcaster spent more time showing edited snippets of golfers who most have never heard of (and probably never will) shooting millions and littering the bottom of the score sheet, than actually televising live golf of in-contention players. Most readers will probably think that I am exaggerating … well … no! For example, instead of featuring Louis Oosthuizen playing live golf whilst lying fourth on a respectable score of 4-under par, they featured a hole-by-hole summary of John Huh, yup, Huh, who finished the tournament on 11-over par and second last! Poor Cameron Tringale must have felt well denied by not receiving the same five minute highlight/lowlight treatment with his 18-over performance for the week. If the SuperSport producers had to base the coverage of our Sunshine Tour events on this principle, I would have received more exposure than Ernie Els has over the past 20 years, even though this included a 10year sabbatical! All credit to our SuperSport guys, as they continually present the finest coverage at our local Sunshine Tour events, as well as the epitome of all broadcasts, the Nedbank Golf Challenge. To the US

broadcasters ... take a page out of our book boys! The majority of the coverage of the US Tour is spent showing the first page of the leader board with eight names on it, scenic visuals of the ripples on one of the water hazards and excuses as to why Tiger has folded like a cheap deck chair this week. The commentary is a little dodgy too! In fact it generally sucks! Pronunciation of the simplest surnames seems to be too much effort. Read and pronounce the following name: Carl Petterson. How hard is that? Well the poor lad has had to adapt his birth-name to Peterson because the education levels bestowed upon the custodians of verbalising the broadcasts are incapable or too lazy to bother with finding out how to pronounce the names of the PGA Tour members properly!

Other classic examples include

(modified to be read as the commentators pronounce them): Retief Goosen = Retief Goose-senn - I say nothing! George Coetsee = George Coat-see - Poor George. Like Carl Petterson, the fella is going to have to live with it. Bernd Wiesberger - No words can explain how they debauched this poor Austrian’s heritage. The way they pronounce it sounds similar to an elephant giving birth. Colt Knost - When the commentary team attempt to get this out, someone in the booth always yells, “Bless you!” Ernie Els - Ernie Elzzzzz - where do you see 'Zs'? In summary, if you want to watch a static leader board that changes only to air footage of a few golfers struggling to finish their rounds, a slow mo of a bird flying across the horizon, and every now and then a shot presented by the winner who so happened to take the title by 8 strokes, then you won't be disappointed.

Good on you Rory McIllroy for winning the US PGA Championship by 8 shots, and thank goodness your name is too simple to obliterate! •

www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 111


in THE HOLE:

Words by Francois Flamengo Photos courtesy of Serengeti Golf Course

Must-play Golf Courses

Serengeti Golf

and Wildlife Estate

Any golfer in Johannesburg would agree that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a course for a round of golf. JCC, Royal Johannesburg, and I could go on and on and on. But one course in the east of Johannesburg that has made a big name for itself - and after playing on it, it now ranks in my top five courses - is the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.

When you arrive at the clubhouse, which is beautiful by the way, your golf bag is specially marked with your name and placed on a golf cart that's waiting for you. From here you make your way down to the fantastic change room facilities, and can grab a quick bite to eat or drink from the snack shop before hitting the greens. If you've forgotten something, or just want to browse, the Pro Shop offers a wide range of golf apparel and equipment. The Head Professional and his team are available to assist you with anything from advice regarding clubs and store merchandise, to club repairs and adjustments.

Serengeti's golf course was designed by a man who needs no introductions in the golfing world, Mr. Jack Nicklaus. The course features a fantastic blend of lush green fairways with grasslands, which are complimented by bunkers, and features water on almost every hole. But what makes this venue so special is the fact that it is a 27-hole signature course, comprising of an 18-hole championship golf course, named Masai Mara, and a 9-hole course called Whistling Thorn. The latter features a more classical golf-course feel compared to the more rugged grassland and dune landscape of the Masai Mara.

Playing on the course is an absolute treat, the grass is well manicured and if you stay on the course you will have loads of good scoring opportunities. However, should you hit your ball into the rough, you can pretty much kiss your ball goodbye J.

It is also the first course in Gauteng to use cool season grasses, which means that it stays lush and green throughout the year. A variety of tee options keep the most skilled players challenged, yet are ideal for new golfers to learn the game. There are a number of unique features, such as the challenging par 5, 8th hole with its island green.

In conclusion, this course is challenging and fun, and I would highly recommend giving your mates a call to say that you booking your next four ball at the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.

My personal favourite is the second last hole on the first nine. The design is amazing, with players starting on a tee box that provides a view of a massive water feature on your right, which runs all the way to the island green, and an almost straight fairway running parallel to it on the left. The par 5 is extremely challenging, but there's many ways to play it. If you are feeling adventurous and go for the big shot, you will be well rewarded, but the course will punish you severely if you get it wrong.

I'm confident you will all enjoy it thoroughly and, like myself, be back more ...

112 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


inNATURE:

Words by Alan Hobson Photos courtesy of Angler & Antelope

Vegetarian Trout

in the Karoo

Probably the greatest fascination with fly fishing is the incredible passage of learning the sport takes you on. It is a very dynamic sport, constantly changing, engaging you intellectually, visually and physically. Learning to hone one’s skills through observing the environment around you, connecting the world at the water’s edge with the behaviour inside the water, understanding nature’s nuances and then challenging yourself to become part of it becomes utterly absorbing. Being a guide means that I constantly have to change the ingredients provided on the day, to come up with a winning recipe. Without a doubt, the more you tweak the recipe, the better the chances of a memorable experience. Lee and Kerry were out from the United States of America on a hunting trip and had successfully conquered their trophy, which left them with a few days to enjoy some of the more unusual activities on offer in our beautiful country. Being familiar with the semi arid countryside back home, they rightly harboured some scepticism when they booked a day’s wild fly fishing in the Karoo. If it was anything like back home, they could not comprehend thoughts of fountain-fed, quality water, never mind the possibility of catching an eight-pound trout in the Karoo. It was certainly not your typical autumn Karoo day of bright blue skies and sparkling sunshine when we set out, instead we were greeted with a seeping drizzle and wet conditions under foot. However, the weather did not dampen either Lee or Kerry’s enthusiasm or curiosity.

114 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

We headed for Buffelshoek Farm, where fountain-fed pools are hidden in the riverene thickets of the Little Fish River, between Somerset East and Cradock in the Eastern Cape. En route I always stop on one of the bridges crossing the Little Fish River, pointing out where we will be fishing for the day. It is usually a dry river bed. The reaction of the fly fishermen is priceless, as it is difficult to imagine eight-pound trout in a dry river bed. I can see them muttering to themselves that this guide has been in the Karoo sun too long, or he must be smoking some acacia leaves! Hundreds of years ago, hippos scoured the pools below rocky outcrops, which now hold deep, quality, fountain-fed water. A few hundred metres below the pools, the water disappears underground until the next rocky outcrop, thus giving the appearance of a dry river bed. The water is cooled underground during the hot Karoo summers and is termed ‘limestone’. It receives its minerals and nutrients from the bed rock, thus providing an exceptional habitat for both insects and fish, and is actually why the trout grow so big and are able survive in these conditions. The pools are closely guarded by riverene thickets of mostly acacia and karee trees. We tackled up using a #5wt rod, reel and a floating line, with a ten-foot leader rigged with a shockingly pink strike indicator. Here we like to keep things local, so we dye some of the local Merino sheep’s wool and treat it with a waterproofing agent. Whilst we call the experience ‘wild’ fly fishing, because of the environment one fishes in, the fish are stocked in these pools. Typically, about 50 fish are stocked in a pool, usually yearlings of four to six inches, averaging about 40 grams in weight. Because the


water is so fertile, these fish grow about 80 to 120 grams per month, but only 10- to 15% of the fish stocked survive. They don’t get big by being stupid, so they very often take the fly very, very subtly, hence the wool indicator.

DINfo box i • Other wild fly fishing areas: Visit www.amatolaflyfishing.co.za to catch South Africa’s genetically oldest wild brown trout. • Wild fly fishing tip: Once you have cast, give your fly a chance to sink before you begin retrieving.

Kerry, being a true gentleman, allowed Lee the first cast. Lee was positioned at the top of the pool and cast into the bubbly white water of a small waterfall, caused by the rocky outcrop. Her fly tumbled downstream through the turbulent current, as she watched her pink indicator like a hawk. Tip: When detecting any movement, hesitation or stopping of the indicator, you must strip strike, as the trout could be mouthing the fly and drifting with it in the current. Sometimes one develops a sixth sense, so even if you only think there is something there do a strip strike to set the hook. If your imagination was playing you, you have lost nothing as your fly is still in the water. Lee managed to land two beauties before Kerry stalked through the thorn bush to the tail of the pool to try his luck, and he too landed some handsome Karoo trout. A brace of seven strong fish from the pool showcased a great morning’s session. We kept one of the fish taken by Lee and on examining its stomach contents, we discovered a very strange phenomenon. The fish’s stomach was full of what, at first, felt like snails and small stones. Upon closer examination, we found literally a handful of acacia seeds. Perplexed, we observed a big thorn tree over hanging the water’s edge, and had our answer. When the seed pods open, the acacia seeds fall into the water and are sent tumbling through the river resembling water beetles darting around in the turbulence. What have we here, vegetarian trout? •

• Equipment to use and cost: Xplorer Procast 904 #5/6wt rod, with a Xplorer STX #5/6 reel loaded and a Xplorer WF5F floating line will cost approximately R1,500. • Best place to fish from: When fishing a river position yourself at the tail of the pool and systematically work your fly up to the head (inlet) to ensure you have covered every inch of that pool.

è

Related articles: • Big Fish, Bruised Egos and Bionic Flies (dinDIGITAL, July 2012) • Baviaan’s Battles (Issue #17, p. 114)

www.wildflyfishinginthekaroo.co.za

Tel: 042 243 3440 Fax: 086 671 6146 Cell: 082 375 4720

WILD FLY FISHING IN THE KAROO SOMERSET EAST

www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 115


inNATURE:

Words & Photos by Xen & Adri Ludick

Old Faithful travels to

Sesfontein Namibia Part 2 of 2

stern Namibia and its rough parts of we th d , we le el av tr ng vi Ha the Ugab River camp ndscapes to reach la h in the rs us ha d d te an ai ed aw ri va ospects that pr e th t ou ab d te Faithful, were equally exci is wild region. Old th in e ur nt ve ad r ut and second half of ou re-footed througho su ed in ma re d ha , our trusty Cruiser Rhino Camp lling we left Ugab ca ad ro en op e th with untain. the famed Gai-Ais fo of h rc sea in nt and we

116 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


Gai-Ais fountain

We took the road less travelled through the Ugab River canyon, one that is rocky and challenging, and so our progress was slow. But once through it became an easier, sandy, two-spoor track. Passing through Desolation Valley on the 4WD trail was a real treat, as we saw the most amazing sandstone formations, and almost missed the Petrified Forest in the process. Further along we came across the small Gai-Ais fountain, but there was no water in sight so we continued on the track to the top of the plateau, and enjoyed an uninterrupted view of Damaraland’s landscape; one of the most scenic areas in Namibia. In the distance, the mountains provided a dramatic backdrop to the vast and grassy plains, where a few gemsbok, springbok and ostrich were peacefully grazing. Driving in the direction of the Huab River, we saw some remains of the Damara ruins. If it hadn’t been for a few gemsboks that took flight when they saw us, we would have missed the Gai-Ais fountain completely. It is very small and a few green bushes were the only indication that there was water present. Continuing through Desolation Valley in a north-westerly direction, the road was rocky and the going was once again slow, but it did give us an opportunity to appreciate this geological phenomenon. After carefully navigating our way through a particularly difficult section in the road and along a black mountain pass, we came to the luscious green Huab River swamps; and what a contrast it was to its stark surroundings. The track led us into the riverbed, which appeared to be the route most travelled. However, it was not long before the river banks closed in on us and we hit a dead end. This left us with only one option; to reverse for some distance so that we could make a U-turn. There was a fair amount of elephant dung in the area and we realised that it was time to get out of here, pronto. Spotting an exit point, Xen guided the Cruiser up the river bank, but the sand was so soft that the vehicle got bogged down. We had not followed one of the golden 4x4 rules: first walk the route prior to attempting any out-of-the-ordinary driving. We utilised all our skills and available tools to no avail; we were well and truly bogged down. The only other solution was the winch, three tow straps, a tree protector and a yellow fever tree, which worked a treat and got us out of this predicament. We were truly in the middle of nowhere and couldn’t find the main twotrack spoor. This was no time to panic, so we took a breather and had a few cold drinks. Feeling more relaxed, we went in search of the elusive track once more, and found it. Relieved to be on the move again, our next destination was Twyfelfontein (meaning ‘doubtful spring’), Namibia's first World Heritage Site (2007). This natural water spring is also the site of thousands of ancient rock paintings and carvings. Twyfelfontein is situated in Damaraland, a huge, untamed, ruggedly beautiful region, with open plains and grassland, massive granite koppies and deep gorges. The animals that inhabit this harsh region are very wild and scampered off into the distance at the mere sight of the vehicle. Finding the correct track to follow was no easy task, as there were many that led into the valleys and hills. So we took a detour to see the dam at Aba Huab, but this was disappointing because it was dry, and a clear indication that rain was desperately needed in the area. We camped at Mowani Mountain Camp, which only has three campsites nestled amongst the granite boulders, and warm showers that are a blessing after a long, hot and dusty day. Incredible desert scenery, fascinating geological formations and archaeological sites, and an inimitable variety of desert flora and fauna, make this a compelling destination for any visitor.

The next day we travelled to Palmwag, a nature reserve located in the Kunene region, in northwestern Damaraland. This 400,000 ha reserve is home to a multitude of wildlife and also has the largest population of black rhinos in Africa, which are under the protection of the Save the Rhino Trust.  www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 117


Desolation Valley formations

How green is my val ley

Palmwag ground squirrel

Back on the road the next morning we were delighted to discover the 4,500 km² Palmwag Concession area. This region provides habitat for a variety of rare species of plant and animals, such as elephants, mountain zebra and giraffe. It also supports 70% of the world’s free-ranging population of black rhino, and the unique fauna and flora are major tourist attractions. With so much to see, it took us eight hours just to do the circle route. The landscape, which was mostly canyons and passes, was breathtaking and we saw many zebra, kudu, springbuck and gemsbok. As we were heading to Sesfontein, we decided that it would be more interesting to take the western route through the Concession area and explore some more, than travel on the C43. With our decision made, we re-entered at 6 a.m. the next morning and travelled on the Aub-Barab Pass to reach the turn off at 8 a.m. We were not disappointed! The landscape was amazing, changing from plains with savannah grass to canyons with green river beds. And in some areas you could literally see into the future with a seemingly-endless horizon. We encountered springbuck, gemsbok and ostrich in the arid and desert-like areas. Every now and then we came across small fountains framed by beautiful green trees, while the camp sites in these areas were restricted to a single lonely tree, if you were lucky. Our next stop was the Amspoort Gorge, a deep, narrow valley with steep sides that cut into a mountain area to create the most incredible rock formations. It was here that we came across a herd of 25 desert elephants. They were very peaceful and not at all aggressive, and looked smaller and browner than the Botswana and Kruger elephants. Fortunately for us, the ‘Poort’ was dry so we crossed over and continued travelling along the Hoanib riverbed 4WD trail to the Elephant Song Village. A fee of R250 gained us entry to overnight at one of the ‘exclusive campsites’, but all we found was a troop of baboons and a deserted and dilapidated campsite. We learnt that the reason why it was deserted was due to the presence of lions. Not wanting to be their next meal, we decided to high tail it out of there and continue to Sesfontein. In Sesfontein, we camped at the Khowarib Campsite. It was clean, with simple yet practical ablution facilities. But what makes this camp special is the spectacular view of the Khowarib Schlucht (gorge), and the Hoanib River that runs through the camp and attracts many bird species.

It had been a day full of delights, and as we sat around the campfire we reflected on yet another amazing travel experience in Africa. • 118 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

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Travel tips for nature reserves: • Let somebody know where you will be travelling to and for what length of time you will be away. • Obtain an updated weather report and ensure you have the appropriate clothing in your vehicle. • Have some snacks and water in the vehicle should you become stranded. Peanut butter is a recommended snack with cracker bread. • Speak to the game rangers, prior to leaving your base camp, regarding best routes for game viewing and road conditions. • Never venture off the approved road structure. • Follow the recommended speed limit; not only is it safer, you will also have a better chance of seeing animals. • Stay in your vehicle at all times, as you could put yourself in danger if you get out of your car anywhere, unless it is a designated safe place. • If you are close to an animal and observing it, take note of its behaviour. If it looks agitated in any way, makes mock runs at you, or stares and paces up and down, then move off slowly. • Using the vehicle's hooter is not allowed in a nature reserve, plus it might be seen as a challenge by some of the animals! • Remember the suntan lotion, animal reference books, camera and binoculars.

èRelated articles:

• Old Faithful Travels to Messum Crater Part 1 (Issue #18, p. 114) • Old Faithful Travels to Botswana and Namibia (Issue #16, p. 18) • Old Faithful Discovers Botswana and Namibia (Issue #15, p. 18)


www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 119


inCREDIBLE PLACES:

Words by Steven Yates Photos by Steven & Laura Yates

120 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


Cologne

The Magic of a White Christmas Most South Africans dream of somehow, someday replicating the tranquil and beautiful pictures thrust upon us every December by just about every movie and sitcom - that of a white Christmas. So used to the fantastic clear blue skys and hot weather of the southern hemisphere, the elusive white Christmas more often than not seems like a far off dream to many of us. Laura and I found - during our sojourn to the UK - that simply heading north is not always good enough to experience the magic of Bing Crosby’s words, “The weather outside is frightful, the fire is so delightful, the lights are turned way down low. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” As global warming continues to play with our emotions and expectations, Laura and I decided that we might not have snow on the actual day, so the best way to experience the white Christmas spirit was to head to the world-famous German Christmas markets. Choosing your location for such a trip is extremely important as most of the German cities offer Christmas markets with a variety of events from Christmas concerts, to winter wonderlands and culinary festivals. We decided to try Cologne for a few specific reasons. Handcrafted Christmas decorations where high on our list to kick-start our non-existent Christmas tree. The medieval Christmas market and floating Christmas market also sounded fun, and of course a Christmas concert never hurts. We started our white Christmas experience in splendid fashion by attending the market in the cathedral square. We got to the market early, the air was icy cold and the sparkling Christmas lights illuminated the grey morning. This might sound depressing, but it was not and fitted perfectly into the spirit of our adventure. We drank steaming hot chocolate from a boot-shaped mug decorated with hand-painted reindeer. With hands and tummies warm and content we started filling up on the massive selection of German Christmas treats. Starting with roasted sugared nuts, we moved on to gingerbread and Christmas cookies, and only stopped eating when one of the decoration artisans did not allow food into their workshop. The variety of decorations on display was incredible and the intricately-carved, hand-painted wood was mesmerising, and Laura and I spent most of the day trying to limit our selections. Laura’s favourite decoration was a natural wood with a white- and gold-edged cherub angel climbing up a string, with presents and bells hanging off the base. My favourite was a wooden carriage, painted in a variety of bright colours with Santa driving a load bay filled with exciting looking presents. Finally with our top 20 decorations in hand we left the workshop in search of some more of the Christmas fare on offer. Our first stop was to take our boot-shaped mugs to the Glühwein stand, for a refill with more oomph than the morning's hot chocolate. Never before have I had such wonderful Glühwein! To this we added some potato pancakes with apple sauce (kartoffelpuffer) and German noodles (spätzle) covered in cheese. We then enjoyed our bounty while absorbing the view of Germany’s most visited landmark and largest façade of any church in the world - The Kölner Dom. After lunch we picked up a refill of Glühwein and strolled through the market purchasing more trinkets, all the while marvelling at the incredible beauty of it all.

www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 121


Enjoying a Glühwein

As the sun sank and darkness began to fall, the lights of the market and those of the largest Christmas tree in the Rhinelands dominated the square, which took on a Christmas carnival feel as the musical voices of the choir performing before the cathedral filled the air. More delicious Glühwein and a variety of tasty German sausages accompanied by pan roasted potato (bratkartoffeln) mellowed us into a long evening of festivity, as the temperature slowly fell. The next morning was a marvel as small, white flakes of powder drifted through the city. The snow was not heavy enough to settle but the effect on the city was wonderful, nowhere more than the medieval market that was our first point of call. Fundamentally different from the cathedral market, our morning started with warm cider and calvados, rather than hot chocolate. Breakfast was warm home-made bread filled with grilled wild boar. The wares on sale were less focussed on decorations and more on the wrapping up of the individual. Beautifully knitted jerseys and mittens competed for our attention, along with cuddly, leather slippers painted with Christmas trees and reindeer. The feel of the market was quite different too; children played with toys in the winding isles and adults played knight while shooting Santa with an old longbow and arrow, all to the sights and sounds of jugglers, jesters and medieval musicians entertaining us. Next we visited the floating market. Moored on the banks of the Rhine, alongside the old quarter, is the MS Wappen von Mainz, an old KD river boat. The market consumes the four levels of the boat, and the interesting stalls' focus is on antiques, where you are sure to find something a little different and special. More food and some Glühwein, and finally back to the cathedral for some more music and twinkling Christmas lights. Over the next few days we visited all of the markets and enjoyed more falling snow, which created magical winter wonderlands in its wake. We added to our growing collection of decorations, the most unique was a blown glass bowl that is hand-painted with a white Christmas landscape. The bowl is hung from the tree with a light inside illuminating the painted scene with startling effect. Both Laura and I were sad that our magical white Christmas had to come to an end - we will definitely return. So if you are still undecided about where to go this Christmas, why not consider Cologne? Was für eine wunderbare welt! •

122 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

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• White Christmas in London is defined as 'one flake of snow falling on Buckingham Palace on December 25th'. This last happened in 2010, although one has to go back as far as 1895 to find the last Christmas-card blanket of snow covering the city on Christmas morning. • Arguably, the top five Christmas market destinations in Germany are:  Munich - Known for its wood carvings, glass crystal and free daily Christmas concerts.  Dresden - The oldest Christmas market in Germany (first held in 1434), famous for its 45-foot carousel, life-size angles and the world’s largest Christmas cake.  Nuremburg - Renowned for its opening ceremony and the 180 traditionally decorated huts.  Berlin - Home to 60 different Christmas markets, including the historic Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt.  Cologne - There are seven Christmas markets throughout the city centre and free Christmas concerts take place under the shade of the cathedral. Here you will also find the largest Christmas tree in the region, and working decoration artisans. • Cologne’s floating Christmas market is the only floating Christmas market in Europe. • Useful links: http://gogermany.about.com/ od/eventsandfestivals/tp/ bestchristmasmarketsgermany.htm http://www.germany-christmas-market.org. uk/cologne_christmas_market.php

èRelated articles: • Cinque Terre - five lands to love (Issue #18, p. 116) • France - lavender fields, pink wine and white horses (Issue #17, p. 122) • A Love Affair with India (Issue #16, p. 118)


inFOCUS:

Words & Photos by Jacques Marais

Photographic

Chronicles

SHOOT! An MTB Stage Race

124 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Multi-day Shooting If you want to put your digital photographic equipment to the ultimate test, the way to do it is to go and shoot the incredible Fedhealth Tour de Tuli. Dust. Heat. Major MTB wipe-outs. Minimal electricity. Elephant charges. Twenty-hour working days. And more dust. This legendary four-day mountain biking tour traverses three countries along a route linking the shared border regions between South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. It was my first time shooting ‘The Tour’, but I had quite a good idea as to what to expect, as I knew some of the previous shooters well.


One of the challenges was that the only way to cover much of the course is on a mountain bike, which meant I had to ride my trusty Silverback Mercury while packing a full complement of Nikon gear in my backpack. Now, cranking elephant tracks through extreme sand with a heavy pack is not for the faint of heart and needs damn good planning to boot. Gear selection is critical, to keep weight down without stifling creativity, but also from the point of view of having faith in the ability of your gear to survive a lethal cocktail of dust, heat and impact. Let’s just say both the Silverback and Nikon deserve a double thumbs up after coming through the rigours of Tour de Tuli with flying colours!

Image 1: Home Turf Advantage The Action: The key factor that sets the Fedhealth Tour de Tuli apart from other mountain biking multi-day events is that it offers riders the option to immerse themselves in their surroundings. Here, competitors have an impromptu bicycle race with the Shashe villagers. The Shot: Always take a long lens; it’s a weighty piece of kit, but offers viewpoints you can’t replicate. I sent the riders a few hundred metres down the road and let the action unfold … The Technique: Nikon’s advanced predictive focusing is classleading, allowing you to focus on composing your shot instead of worrying about tracking your subject. The Specifications: 1/2000th sec @ f5.6; Nikon D700 + 80-400 mm telephoto lens; ISO 320; WB Setting (Sunlight); AE Setting (0). More Information: www.citw.co.za


Image 2: River Rumble

Image 3: Desert Cranking

The Action: Position, position, position! Getting a good shot means you need to find a spot where action and scenery combine, and this technical drop into a dry river was it on Day 3.

The Action: Day 3 saw TdT riders hitting the arid baobab plains of southern Zimbabwe, with some stronger riders, including those from Super Group, setting the pace.

The Shot: I positioned myself low down to outline the rider against the sky. This may have meant I looked like easy meat to passing predators, but guaranteed uncluttered composition.

The Shot: Multi-day MTB stage races do have their perks, and the occasional chopper flip is one of them. The key tip here is to select a lens fast enough to avoid blur from rotor vibration.

The Technique: Two NIKON SB-910 flashes, connected to Pocket Wizard TT5 transceivers, are used to provide bi-directional lighting with back-lighting from the sun.

The Technique: Scan ahead to make sure you don’t miss the good shots, and constantly communicate with your pilot to ensure he knows what you’re looking for.

The Specifications: 1/250th sec @ f8; Nikon D800 + 24120 mm f3.5 lens; ISO 100; WB Setting (Auto); 2x Remote SB-910 units; AE Setting (-1).

The Specifications: 1/1250th sec @ f5.6; Nikon D800 + 24-120 mm zoom; ISO 160; WB Setting (Sunlight); AE Setting (0); No post-processing.

More Information: www.tourdewilderness.com

More Information: www.nikon.co.za

126 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


Image 4: Boy with Ball The Action: In Shashe Village, the riders from all the groups congregated to hand out soccer balls to the kids, and a large cheque to local authorities to be used in educating the children of the area, and instil a love of the wilderness in them. The Shot: This boy had taken a break from excitedly playing with his new soccer ball, and I chatted to his dad to set up a shot against the powder-blue wall behind him. The Technique: I used a single SB-910 flash unit to the right to light the scene, knowing the shadow against the wall would add balance to the image. The Specifications: 1/160th sec @ f8; Nikon D800 with 16 mm f2.8 fish-eye lens; ISO – 100; WB Setting: Auto; AE Setting (-1); 1x SB-910 flash unit. More Information: www.jacquesmarais.co.za

Image 5: Tree Children The Action: The barren landscape offers little respite from the harsh African sun in Botswana and Zimbabwe, and these kids were only too glad to find a spot in the shade to watch the TdT riders. The Shot: The narrow depth of field on the long lens meant I tried two focal points; one on the kids and one on the riders. The former symbolises the ethos of Children in the Wilderness. The Technique: This was relatively straightforward; all I did was use the ‘Active D-Lighting’ in-camera setting to improve my dynamic range to control highlights and harsh shadows. The Specifications: 1/1600th sec @ f5.6; Nikon D700 with 80-400 mm telephoto lens; ISO – 200; WB Setting: Auto; AE Setting (0); no flash used. More Information: www.fedhealth.co.za

Image 5: Go Team, Go! The Action: Excited children line the route near Shashe Village, cheering on the riders as they slug it out along the challenging route back to Maramani Camp. The Shot: I got the kids to line up close to the road and shot from a low angle to make sure I included them and the riders in the frame. The Technique: I only had time to set up 1 x SB-910 flash unit to beam light onto the riders, thus getting rid of the worst of the shadows. The Specifications: 1/320th sec @ f4; Nikon D800 with 16 mm f2.8 fish-eye lens; ISO – 100; WB Setting: Auto; AE Setting (-1); 1x SB-910 flash unit. More Information: www.childreninthewilderness.com

128 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 129


inFOCUS

Reader Photo Competition

WIN R500!

Winner Photographer: Steven Morrow Photograph: Focus Camera Type: Nikon D5000 with 35 mm Prime Lens Camera Settings: 1/3200 @ f/2.8, ISO 125 Place: Contermanskloof DH track Category: Sport

Competition Information

Stand a chance to WIN R500 by entering DO IT NOW’s inFOCUS competition, which features in every issue of the magazine. Simply email your best image - anything adventure, sport or lifestyle related - to competitions@doitnow.co.za because to win it, you've got to be in it! Good luck and we can't wait to see the world through your eyes! When emailing your images to us please include the following information: • Name of photographer • Name of photograph • Camera type • Camera settings • Place where the photograph was taken • Which category you are submitting your photo under - Adventure, Sport or Lifestyle

Competition Rules (1) The closing date for this competition is 25 October 2012 and the winning photo will be featured and credited in the next issue of DO IT NOW. (2) The image entered must include the information requested above and any entry received without this information will not be considered. Digitally manipulated images are not accepted. (3) Only amateur photographers may enter. (4) Email your 1-3 mb compressed .jpg image to competitions@doitnow.co.za. (5) There is a maximum of one entry, per person, per issue. (6) The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. (7) Please note that your images may be published in the DO IT NOW magazine and on the DO IT NOW website. (8) By entering the competition, you agree to abide by these rules. (9) Winners will not be eligible to enter again in the next issue.

130 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


Miniscule Detail Monumental Images Broadcast Quality Video

I AM ADVENTURE GUN FOR HIRE: Global shooter and author; national newspaper columnist; respected magazine journalist; author of 11 outdoor books and guides. Nikon NPS Member: shoots with the brand new NIKON D800. EXPERIENCE: Accredited Merrell, Land Rover and Red Bull photographer; covers global extreme sport events; focus on Sport, Adventure Travel; African Culture; Documentaries; Environment and People. Interesting projects required. AWARDS: Global finalist in Red Bull ILLUME International (2008); Silver & Gold Awards SONY PROFOTO (2010). CLIENT PORTFOLIO: JM Media shoots, writes or coordinates media projects and events for clients as diverse as Nike, Land Rover, Capestorm, Salomon, Hi-Tec, Cape Union Mart, Red Bull, Maserati, Wilderness Safaris & Tourvest. NO EGO: Buzz me now on (083) 444 5369 or on the details below for a quote on your next event or project. Do it now. 083/444-5369 • jacques@jacquesmarais.co.za • www.jacquesmarais.co.za

Salomon Athlete Christiaan Greyling shot during the QUANTUM Adventures Oorlogskloof Trail Run

I AM NIKON


inGEAR:

Compiled by Cheryl Whelan Photos courtesy of Hunger and Thirst Foundation

e g n e l a h C e l c y 94.7 C e s o p r u p a r ride fo

timer or a health nut It doesn't matter if you're a hardcore pro cyclist, a first ther, have fun and because this challenge is for everyone! Let's ride toge rs! make a positive change to the destiny of our future leade

132 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


EaglE Canyon CyClEs H o n e y d e w

HELPING YOU REACH NEW FRONTIERS www.eaglecanyoncycles.co.za Eagle Canyon Cycles

254 Honeydew Road West, Cnr Northumberland Road Northriding, Gauteng, South Africa Tel: 011 795 4022


hunger and thirst foundation Be a part of the DO IT NOW for the HUNGER AND THIRST FOUNDATION team that is taking part in Jo’burg’s toughest race, the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge, on 11 November (MTB) and 18 November (road race) 2012. With a favourable starting time of 08h14 secured for the road race, and tons of fun to be had along the route, your efforts will be richly rewarded by helping us raise funds for the Hunger and Thirst Foundation, a non-profit organisation that believes in changing the future by investing in our future leaders today.

About The Hunger AND Thirst Foundation

Founded in 2006, the Hunger and Thirst Foundation (H&T) develops future leaders by feeding and helping disadvantaged children with their homework and sport, thereby improving their school results and developing sport talents. In the process H&T grows leadership principles in children, helping them to understand that a better education means a better future. It also empowers communities by creating jobs.

Leadership centres

The H&T leadership centres are true prevention centres. Many of the children in poorer communities have nobody to help them with their homework; often their own parents are not schooled. Something as basic as this helps build a child's morale, opens up more and better opportunities, and makes it possible to qualify for a higher education. The centres run from 12h00 to 16h00 in the afternoon at the school premises. The total time is divided into 30 minute sessions consisting of various activities. These activities include the following: a lunch session, games, homework with a Homework Coach, sport with a Sport Coach, H&T life skills lesson with a Mentor and various others activities. Furthermore the centres provide a safe environment to communicate with children about HIV/AIDS, crime and other challenges they will face in their environment. These children are highly susceptible to influence - both negative and positive. Spending time with the children thus ensures that they receive the correct information and as much positive influence as possible. Other benefits of the leadership school centres include improved passing rates for schools, more children are fed, the children receive wider exposure and they are a safe environment for the children to go to after school.

134 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

Testimonials from principles, teachers and parents confirm that the H&T children are indeed becoming the leaders/examples the foundation anticipated. They pay more attention in class, partake more, are more respectful at school and home, and the like.

Creating opportunities

Job creation is a major challenge in South Africa and H&T has a unique solution. The after-school centres employ coaches from the local communities to help the children. These coaches are previous year's matriculants, who are currently unemployed. To fulfill this role they are trained as life skills coaches and are also given the opportunity to be trained as a soccer coach. This way they earn a great recognised qualification, valuable experience and the opportunity to build a reference on their CV.

Be a part of the DO IT NOW Team

Our aim is to have a 'tour de force' team of 200 riders, all riding in our team jersey. We invite all corporates, SMME’s and individuals to be a part of this heart-warming cause and also engage friends, families and networks to get involved too - because together we can make a difference. For as little as R247.50 per month, a child's destiny can be changed forever! The options available are as follows: • BUSINESSES - For a sponsorship fee of R3,000 the business can proudly display their logo on the team jersey, which every entrant in the team will receive. This money will go towards feeding, equipping and restoring dreams, as well as changing a child’s destiny for a year. Our ultimate goal is for companies to continue supporting that child on an ongoing basis. In return, the Hunger and Thirst Foundation will provide quarterly feedback in the form of a progress report on the children's improvements in the areas of Body Mass Index, school attendance, school marks and sporting development and achievements. Armed with this knowledge, sponsors can be assured that their contribution is making a positive and life-changing difference to the children and our society. All contributions made by businesses will earn points on their B-BBEE scorecard for Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and these sponsorships are also income tax deductible. • I NDIVIDUALS - There are various options open to individuals. You can make a donation per kilometre and this will go into a pool that will be used to assist a child or children. Sponsorship per kilometre forms can be designed on request. Alternatively, you can approach businesses big or small - for sponsorship per kilometre, or base the sponsorship on bettering your time from previous 94.7 Challenges. For example, beat your previous time by five minutes and the business sponsors a child for a year; beat it by 10 minutes and the business sponsors two children for a year and so on. Let’s make this FUN!


inDULGE:

Words by Neil Ross, Executive Chef

Become a part of our team:

Step 1

Enter the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Race on www.cyclechallenge.co.za/

Step 2

Send your proof of entry and ID Number to cheryl@doitnow.co.za

Step 3

Help us make the dream of feeding and educating our children a reality

A day in the life of a pupil

Henry goes to school, it is a two kilometre walk from his home and he is joined by his friends. The school bell rings at 07h30 and he starts another day. Instead of going home after school, Henry stays behind because he is enrolled in the Leadership and Sports Academy (LSA), and that makes him a Young Leader. During the registration period at the LSA Henry receives his after-school meal, which is packed with vitamins and minerals that these young leaders need to grow up healthy. Today he starts with sport first and a LSA Sport Coach takes the group of 15 outside to hone their skills. Thereafter he has a mentor period, during which time valuable leadership and life skills lessons are taught to him by a respected figure in the community. As soon as that is finished, it's back to working on his future in the homework period, where a Homework Coach helps the group with their homework assignments. Henry's mother and father work late, so it's nice to have someone who explains the difficult things to him. Henry's day is finished and he goes home to play with his friends. It's a good day because he invested in his own future. Children like Henry need a helping hand to reach their full potential and realise their dreams. Are you ready to extend yours? •

DINfo box i For more info contact Cheryl Whelan, DO IT NOW Magazine Cycle Race Team Leader on cheryl@doitnow.co.za

Serves 4 ThIS recipe is really simple to make and packed with flavour.

Courgette & Ricotta Pasta Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil 1 shallot, finely chopped 4 courgettes, halved and thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 300g/11oz pasta shapes Small bunch basil, chopped Zest of 1 lemon 50g/2oz Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated, plus extra to serve (optional) 50g/2oz pine nuts, toasted 250g tub ricotta Method: 1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Cook the shallot and courgettes for 8 minutes until softened. When they are just beginning to colour, add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. 2. Cook the pasta as per the pack instructions. Drain and reserve a little of the water. Tip the pasta into the courgette pan and add the basil, lemon zest, Parmesan and pine nuts. Season, dot over the ricotta and mix gently so that you don’t break it up too much. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan, if you like, and serve. Bon appétit!

www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 135


inSURE: Words by Peter Fairbanks

DO IT NOW FINANCIAL TIMES OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2012

136 • DO IT NOW Magazine October August | |September November 2012 2012


Beware the Buyer In your lifetime there are a lot of lifechanging events that can happen to you. Some are good, such as marriage, birth, buying a home, and/or starting a new business. But some are bad, for example, the death of a loved one, divorce, financial difficulty, or a life-threatening disease. Whatever course our lives take, we need to be prepared, and the old adage, 'Prevention is better than cure' is never more apt. And this is where Risk Management products come into the picture - products such as Life Cover, Disability Cover, Income Disability Cover, Dreaded Disease Cover, Cancer Cover, Business Partnership Insurance, Bond Cover and a Home Loan Protection Plan. However, over the years there has been a lot of negative publicity around such products. But the simple fact about Risk Management products, be it short- or long-term cover, is that the world would not be a better place without them, and many a household and/or community would have suffered severely without insurance monies to pay off a bond at the death of the bread winner, or even save a business at the passing of a director. So why all the negativity? Well, I don’t think I am wrong in saying that 99% of it will be directly related to bad advice. To back up my statement is the fact that government has stepped in and made oodles of legislative amendments over the past decade to ensure a safe and healthy advice channel, as well as try to regulate and maintain the standard of advice that is given out across the board. But let me give you an example to better explain my point. Risk products are designed by financial institutions, which are then released via various sales channels, such as direct call centres, independent brokers or in-house advisor channels. Now, if you had to contact a call centre to insure your assets, the onus is directly on you to make sure that all the information you give is correct. Should you fail to mention that you had a car accident four years ago, the insurer can reject your next claim, and you have no one to blame but yourself. Therefore going through your broker, someone who knows your personal situation well, would have prevented this. When dealing with complicated issues - and believe me Risk Management products or any insurance product for that matter, are no picnic to understand - I can't stress the importance enough of speaking to your advisor first. Based on their knowledge of the products and your personal

situation, your advisor can assist with the selection of the right products to suit your specific needs. Just remember that although you may be price driven - as many of us need to be in these tough economic times - cheaper is not always better and could turn out to be your downfall. Another reason for the bad publicity, and one we don't hear too much about, is a bit more of a sticky one. The Financial Services Board (FSB) has gone to extensive lengths to clean up the advisor/broker channels, but the question that keeps popping up more and more lately is why they allow weak and complicated products into the market, and then blame the product's inadequacy on poor advice? Sharemax comes to mind here, but I can promise you there are a lot more product suppliers in the short- and long-term game that need to be taken to task on this. For years Sharemax property syndication was the hottest thing in town, but now everyone is knocking on their broker’s door to retrieve their money, while the product supplier is walking away with all the goodies. So how do we resolve this growing issue? Surely one option would be to make the FSB responsible for ensuring that the underwriting and processing of products, as well as the claim criteria, are evaluated by them first before any product is launched to the public? Similarly, the financial viability and stability of these products, and the product suppliers, should also be regulated to ensure that the financial institution does not go under, thus stealing millions from pensioners and dependants. Another opinion is to have the FSB set payout benchmarks, and investigate all product suppliers that do not payout 70% to 80% of claims received, and thereafter ensure that steps are taken to monitor them on an ongoing basis. If these changes had to happen, I have no doubt that there would be a huge outcry from the product suppliers. Why? The less claims you need to pay, the more competitive your premiums can be. I fully understand that no one runs a business to make a loss, but when clients are put at risk because of the supplier chasing bigger profits and increased share prices, someone has to stop them from shirking their responsibilities. My final point to ponder. The FSB, on the other hand, could also avoid putting in the necessary procedures to regulate and remove all these 'not so up to scratch' suppliers, because the more product suppliers you have paying levies each year, the better the financials will look. One can only hope that 'justice' will prevail here!

Until the next time, take care and plan now for tomorrow. •

www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 137


inREVIEW:

Words & Photos by Francois Steyn

In the Spotlight

Nissan Murano

I’ve always liked the look of the Murano and the fact that you don’t see many of them on the road had its own appeal. And then there is the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, delivering a normally aspirated 191 kW and 336 Nm of torque. I expected it to be a driver’s car, like the BMW 35i X3 was, but the CVT gearbox diluted all the fun. It is still quick though, with a top speed of 210 km/h, but it doesn’t feel that racy. When you floor the right pedal from standstill you don’t get kicked in the gut, however, a few seconds later you’re breaking the law. The power delivery is so smooth and the interior so well sound proofed that you feel completely detached from that lovely VQ35DE power plant under the bonnet. Nissan aimed to make the Murano comfortably controllable in all situations, which is why the power delivery is so linear. Add speed sensitive power steering and a brake pedal that firms up at speed and the result is an altogether relaxing experience. You can switch to manual mode for six pre-programmed gear ratios, but though the changes are smooth they don’t happen in a flash. Just a pity that after a week and more than 500 km in it, it only returned 14.3 l/100 km. The intelligent ALL MODE 4X4-i sends power to any of the four wheels as needed and can be electronically locked to transfer equal amounts to the front and rear. The ground

138 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012

vs.

clearance of 185 mm might not sound like much, but if you take care you can get over a fair amount of protruding earth. ABS with EBD, VDC (traction control) that automatically controls engine and brake output to keep the vehicle going in the right direction, and HID bi-functional Xenon headlights are just some of the safety features. Inside you are treated to a luxurious cabin with aluminium, gunmetal and leather finishes. The double sunroof is electrically opened to let the summer sun in, and the sound of your BOSE sound system with 11 hi-fi quality speakers out. I am not much of a sound geek, but the integrated DVD/ MP3 player with a 9.3 GB HDD music server is pretty cool. So is the seven-inch, high-res MAP display of the 40 GB HDD SatNav system. This is controlled by a smart control panel sporting a joystick-type dial above the audio controls. The rear-view camera also shows up on this screen. The phone, radio and cruise control are operated from the leather steering wheel, and the boot lid can be opened and closed remotely. Even though the boot may not be that big - it has a rather high floor - you can fold the second row of seats flat to expand the luggage bay.

The Murano surprised me in more than one way. I had hoped for more fun, but I did not expect all the luxury touches.


Chevrolet Lumina SSV Ute

Early last year I tested the Chevrolet Lumina SS Ute Automatic and loved it. A year later I had the opportunity to drive the updated SSV Ute in manual guise. I did not expect much of a difference, but I was very wrong. It still has the same 6L V8 engine with 270 kW and 530 Nm of torque, but the manual does not switch off one bank of cylinders at lower engine speeds, as did the auto.

interior is the tall sixth gear. At 3,000 r/min you are doing close to 200 km/h. Due to the addictive feeling when pulling away, the on-board computer mostly read 14 l/100 km. However, I did manage 10.5 l/100 km over 40 km doing 120 km/h on one occasion.

This means that all of the torque is at the ready when you drop the clutch. There is a much bigger sense of excitement in the manual and I had to concentrate when I pulled away with force, especially since it was raining the whole week. I dared not switch off the traction control, as the tail came out every time I stomped on the throttle exiting a corner.

The interior has been updated and gone are the geeky oil pressure gauge and engine coolant temperature (which I rather liked). You now have a touch screen radio above the upmarket dual zone climate control knobs. The steering wheel still houses the audio, phone and cruise control buttons, and the instrumentation is reserved with old school dials for temperature and fuel, but it says SS below the rev counter and V8 below the speedo.

Rear wheel drive and mountains of torque make it fun to play with, but is it drivable? Thanks to a near 50/50 front to rear weight distribution and very direct steering you never ever feel like it is driving you. I always felt completely in control, even in the wet, and the ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution offer great feel and stopping power. The only criticism here would be that you would have thought the dual exhaust system would reward you with the sweet sounds of that massive V8, but the interior is so well dampened that you can only hear the radio or talk on the integrated Bluetooth hands-free kit. Adding to this quiet

Oh yeah, and it has racing style pedals too. At R432 500 it may be a lot of money, but Torque-forRand this is a bargain!

www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 139


Toyota Avanza vs. Nissan Livina One of my favourite new vehicles has always been the Toyota Avanza. When it was introduced it cost just over a hundred grand, has loads of space and it’s a Toyota. Fighting in the same class, but in the opposite corner, is the Nissan Livina. Both are essentially practical budget wagons for people who don’t care what the neighbours think about them and need room for the kids and their labrador.

Performance

Neither one claims to be a super car and neither come close. The Livina’s 80 kW of power edges ahead of the Avanza’s 76 (both at 6 000 r/min), but it is in the torque department that the Nissan clearly stands out. The extra 100 cc is good for 12.5% more Nm at a rivalling 4 400 r/min, but the way in which it is delivered is even more evident. I have no complaints about the five-speed manual of the Nissan, but I am sure the auto ‘box on the Avanza came straight out of my old 1993 Camry 200Si automatic. Four speed in 2012? Really? Both cars’ engines are a tad noisy at highway speeds, but they can keep up with the traffic. The Avanza was a bit thirsty, but that is to be expected from the automatic shifter.

seats flat, you will have to do a lot of shopping to fill it. The Avanza makes up lost points here with a third row, offering seats for seven occupants. In Nissan’s defence, the Grand Livina also takes seven people, but then you pay for it in the looks department.

Features

Both the Livina and Avanza are built to price and it shows in the switchgear. The Avanza’s air conditioning/fan knobs are impossible to figure out and you need to tug on the cable-operated knobs to change the settings. The radio in the Avanza was an aftermarket Kenwood, which gave it a second-hand car dealer feel. The Nissan has an integrated sound system, but neither has multifunctional steering wheels. That being said, I suppose if you want to pay Polo money for a people carrier with ABS, driver and passenger airbags and a three year service plan (all of which come standard on both by the way), then you cannot expect X5 or ML luxury. A welcome surprise was the Halogen headlights on the Avanza.

Versatility

This is where these cars start to make sense. The Livina has a large luggage space and if you fold the second row of

COMPARISONS

Overall

I like practical cars, and I’ve always liked the Avanza for being rear wheel drive and cheap. However, at R177 400 for the Nissan and R191 500 for the Toyota, I’d work a bit harder and get myself a Daihatsu Terios. •

Nissan Murano

Chevrolet Lumina SSV

Nissan Livina

Toyota Avanza

Capacity (cc)

3 498

5 967

1 598

1 500

Power (kW)

191 (6 000 rpm)

270

80 (6 000 r/min)

76 (6 000 r/min)

Torque (Nm)

336 (4 400 rpm)

530

153 (4 400 r/min)

136 (4 400 r/min)

Fuel consumption (claimed) 14.5 l/100 km (actual) 14.5 l/100 km (actual)

N/a

N/a

Gearbox

6-speed CVT

5-speed manual

5-speed manual

4-speed automatic

Service plan (years / km)

5 / 90 000

3 / 60 000

3 / 60 000

4 / 60 000

Price

R562 925

R432 500

R177 400

R191 500

140 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


NEW HONDA CRF250L

Trinergy Brand Connectors 2011328/CFR250L

DUAL PURPOSE FOR EVERYONE

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Suggested Retail Selling Price R42 000 Special Launch Price R39 900 www.doitnow.co.za • 1412012 Until the end of| Lifestyle October


inREVIEW

inREVIEW Products CAPE STORM Helium Jacket This little beauty has been a hit with trail runners, cyclists, paddlers, and sailors; basically anyone who needs a feather-weight windproof jacket when playing outdoors. Setting the standard for weight and compressibility, the Helium jacket offers the best in ultra-light windproof and breathable technology. Made from Vo2 Max, a remarkable new generation breathable fabric, the Helium jacket is 50% lighter and 50% more compact than conventional lightweight windproof garments. Incredibly tough for its weight, this jacket packs down to the size of an energy bar and tips the scales at a feathery 85 g. Quite simply, if you are a runner, biker or hiker, you should always have this jacket with you. The jacket now sports an updated design, without compromising on the quality or any of the features. The rear zipper pocket has moved to the front, and the cuffs have been changed to aid removal. It's available in four colours to appeal to all tastes.

GET IT FROM: www.capestorm.co.za

New Salomon S-lab 3 XT-Wings Stability and agility come together in this lightweight, pure trail running shoe for moderate to rugged mountain trails. Perfect for a hike, trail running or even normal running, the S-lab 3 XT-Wings are not only light, but also comfortable thanks to the cushioning and technology in place. It hardly feels as if you are wearing a pair of trail running shoes as they only weigh a mere 320 g, which is actually lighter than some of the running shoe available in the market today. The colours are bright and bold, and a sure head turner.

GET IT FROM: www.trappers.co.za

INOV-8 ROCLITE™ 295 All-purpose, tough and reliable. Ideal for long trail races and training and perfect for the beginner trail minimalist. Combines underfoot protection and comfort while also remaining light and supple with a versatile grip. Features: • Weight: 295 grams (UK8) • Fit: Comfort • Shoc-Zone: 3 Arrow • Differential: 9 mm • Upper: Synthetic Nylon

GET IT FROM: www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za 142 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


Sit-on-top White-water Kayak for Beginners There's a new kid on the waterway and it's Fluid Kayaks' new sit-on-top white-water kayak - perfect for anyone learning to paddle. Branded the Do It Now Kayak, it's unique, innovative, and will change the way novice paddlers are introduced to the sport of white-water kayaking forever. Features: • The new design removes the fear factor of being trapped inside a kayak, a very real obstacle for new paddlers. • It feels like a real kayak, unlike sit-on-top white-water boats normally used by beginners to paddle white water. • The raised knee area is high enough for the knees to push against it.

• S  hort thigh straps keeps the knees in position, thus providing improved control by being able to edge the boat more accurately when needed. • Even if you are 6'6" (like Hugh du Preez, Fluid team paddler, and our guinea pig for this test) you can paddle comfortably. • It's super stable and less likely to capsize than any normal kayak. It's also easy to climb back onto the boat and doesn't require emptying before you can continue your journey. • The back of the moulded-in seat comes up quite high and provides good lower-back support, so there is no need for a backband. No backband also reduces snag risks and does not prohibit rolling.

GET IT FROM: www.whitewatertraining.co.za

INOV-8 ROCLITE 285 A lightweight and versatile trail shoe designed for maximum performance in both races and training. The reinforced toe box protects the foot and shoe upper from any unexpected terrain.

INOV-8 TRAILROC 245 Designed specifically for running on loose, rugged and eroded trails. The middle shoe of the trailroc™ range, includes sufficient under foot protection and cushioning for racing and training. Includes MetaShank™ gen3 for increased underfoot protection. Features: • Weight: 245 grams (UK8) • Fit: Anatomic • Shoc-Zone: 1 Arrow • Differential: 3 mm • Upper: Synthetic Mesh

GET IT FROM: www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za

Features: • Weight: 285 grams (UK8) • Fit: Performance • Shoc-Zone: 2 Arrow • Differential: 6 mm • Upper: Synthetic TPU Mesh

GET IT FROM: www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za


Sit-on-top White-water Kayak for Beginners There's a new kid on the waterway and it's Fluid Kayaks' new sit-on-top white-water kayak - perfect for anyone learning to paddle. Branded the Do It Now Kayak, it's unique, innovative, and will change the way novice paddlers are introduced to the sport of white-water kayaking forever. Features: • The new design removes the fear factor of being trapped inside a kayak, a very real obstacle for new paddlers. • It feels like a real kayak, unlike sit-on-top white-water boats normally used by beginners to paddle white water. • The raised knee area is high enough for the knees to push against it.

• S  hort thigh straps keeps the knees in position, thus providing improved control by being able to edge the boat more accurately when needed. • Even if you are 6'6" (like Hugh du Preez, Fluid team paddler, and our guinea pig for this test) you can paddle comfortably. • It's super stable and less likely to capsize than any normal kayak. It's also easy to climb back onto the boat and doesn't require emptying before you can continue your journey. • The back of the moulded-in seat comes up quite high and provides good lower-back support, so there is no need for a backband. No backband also reduces snag risks and does not prohibit rolling.

GET IT FROM: www.whitewatertraining.co.za

INOV-8 ROCLITE 285 A lightweight and versatile trail shoe designed for maximum performance in both races and training. The reinforced toe box protects the foot and shoe upper from any unexpected terrain.

INOV-8 TRAILROC 245 Designed specifically for running on loose, rugged and eroded trails. The middle shoe of the trailroc™ range, includes sufficient under foot protection and cushioning for racing and training. Includes MetaShank™ gen3 for increased underfoot protection. Features: • Weight: 245 grams (UK8) • Fit: Anatomic • Shoc-Zone: 1 Arrow • Differential: 3 mm • Upper: Synthetic Mesh

GET IT FROM: www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za

Features: • Weight: 285 grams (UK8) • Fit: Performance • Shoc-Zone: 2 Arrow • Differential: 6 mm • Upper: Synthetic TPU Mesh

GET IT FROM: www.sportsmanswarehouse.co.za


inTERTAINMENT:

Reviews by www.fortressofsolitude.co.za & Richard Flamengo

MOVIE TITLE

Expendables 2 Director: Simon West Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terry Crews

HIGHLIGHTS • Cast Recommended for: • Old-school action movie fans

VERDICT

The Expendables are reunited when Mr. Church enlists them to take on a seemingly simple job. When things go wrong, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory, where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swathe of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time - five tons of weapons-grade plutonium, more than enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that's nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary they seek revenge from. The long awaited follow up to the 2010 smash hit brings together all of our old-school favourites, and has grown from the previous instalment most notably by adding Chuck and kickboxing Van Damme into one big action-packed ride that will have you flinching and laughing all at once. This franchise is built on uncompromising, hard-hitting action explosions, shooting, fighting an old fashioned bad guy that everyone hates, and sharp humour that only these legends can deliver, such as “I’ll be back,” and “Yippee ki yay,” resulting in an awesome, fun-filled, 103-minute movie. In summary this movie is a definite must see for all. And with rumours of Expendables 3 already doing the rounds with the return of Mickey Rourke and stars such as Nicolas Cage, Wesley Snipes, Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford joining the list of action movie legends, this one promises to be even bigger and better.

MOVIE TITLE

Total Recall (2012) Director: Len Wiseman Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bokeem Woodbine and Bill Nighy

HIGHLIGHTS • Action scenes Recommended for: Action adventure fans

VERDICT

Inevitably, if a film is based on a book there will be a comparison, or at least certain expectations. If the film is not a faithful adaptation, or does not at least pay proper homage to the source, it should stand on its own as a film. Based on the short story by Philip K. Dick, 'We Can Remember It For You Wholesale', this second rendering of the book (the first being the Arnie version of 1990) is heavy on the action and as such stands alone as a good slice of Hollywood entertainment. It is sad, however, to see a fascinating story and pertinent socio-political themes go to waste. There is so much potential to take the audience on a real mind bender, which is sadly never realised. Everything happens quite abruptly and some of the editing is a bit random, causing the story to lose its flow and making you feel that you may have missed a scene. The whole premise of the film is meant to be about questioning reality, which is never brought to the fore, and so you don't really speculate too much about what is real and what is a construction. Nevertheless its relentless pace, ceaseless action and endless chases are enjoyable and will keep you riveted.

144 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


GAME TITLE

VERDICT

Sleeping Dogs

Taking place in a fictional, but near authentic version of Hong Kong, players jump into the shoes of Wei Shen: a San Francisco police officer sent to Hong Kong where he is assigned to the Organised Crime/Triad Bureau. There, his assignment is to infiltrate the Triad organisation known as the Sun On Yee and bring them down. But as the game progresses, Wei learns that it isn’t as easy as it seems and he’s forced to prove himself to both the police and the Triads. The blatant brutality and unethical activities that he’s forced to participate in while undercover contradicts the codes the badge swore him to follow, and it’s this conflict which tears him up mentally and the lines that he once knew become less and less clear. Throughout your 20+ hour experience, you’ll meet many interesting characters brought to life by stellar voice actors, who all add weight to the campaign in some form or another. Wei himself is a complicated character and this combined with an incredible and fresh story leads to a very engaging experience that every gamer needs to partake in.

CD TITLE

The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten

VERDICT

What follows a dream fulfilled? Late June of 2009 must have been a surreal experience for The Gaslight Anthem. While touring for their stellar second album, 'The ’59 Sound', they played at England’s Glastonbury festival. It was a big enough achievement in its own right for four guys who never envisioned their music reaching beyond the basements and bars of New Jersey. By then the band had garnered praise as the heir apparent to Bruce Springsteen, and no further confirmation was necessary after The Boss joined them on stage for the album’s title track. Sure Bruce got some words wrong, but the moment stood out as generations celebrating a kinship. These men were no doubt cut from the same cloth, and you heard it through The Gaslight Anthem’s first three records that each offered variations on soulfully drenched rock. 'Handwritten' is their major label debut. It’s a stunning effort that sees them ease off on the Springsteen buffer and attempt to write some history of their own.

inCOMING: Movies to look out for Taken 2 Genre: Action Thriller Director: Olivier Megaton Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace Date: 12 Oct

The Campaign Genre: Comedy Director: Jay Roach Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis and Jason Sudeikis Date: 2 Nov

Skyfall Genre: Action Adventure Director: Sam Mendes Starring: Daniel Craig, Helen McCrory and Javier Bardem Date: 30 Nov

Wolwedans In Die Skemer Genre: Afrikaans, Thriller Director: Jozua Malherbe Starring: Andre Roothman, David Louw and Desire Gardner Date: 5 Oct

The Cold Light Of Day Genre: Action Thriller Director: Mabrouk Mechri Starring: Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver and Henry Cavill Date: 16 Nov

The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2 Genre: Fantasy Director: Bill Condon Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner Date: 16 Nov

www.doitnow.co.za | Lifestyle • 145


inCLOSING

inside the next issue ...

Quote: “I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realised who was telling me this”. - Emo Phillips Don't miss these and many other great articles in the Dec/Jan 2013 (Issue #20) of DO IT NOW Magazine.

Silk Road Cycle Tour Catharina Robbertze joined a group of 20 cyclists in their quest to cycle the Silk Road, an East to West network of trade routes linking various Central Asian Kingdoms. They crossed deserts, mountains and humid valleys; ran into sub-zero temperatures and heat so intense that coke bottles almost exploded; and were held up in a small-scale war. Four months and seven countries later they can proudly say they have retraced the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Marco Polo, all the way from Shanghai to Istanbul.

Mauritius, a Water Sports Mecca Are you planning a relaxed getaway with the family? Don’t! Instead, take your next holiday to the max in the water sports mecca of Mauritius. Find out more about the amazing windsurfing opportunities this famous holiday destination has to offer, as well as some not to be missed events, in our next issue.

Tai Chi: The Ancient Path to Stress Free Living One can hardly pick up a newspaper or magazine, or watch TV without seeing or hearing some reference to STRESS. Why all the sudden fuss and fascination? Is it because there is much more stress today or because of the nature of contemporary stress is somehow different and more dangerous? Or is it because scientific research has increasingly confirmed the crucial role stress can play in causing and aggravating different disorders. The answer to all of these questions is a very resounding "YES!"

On the Lighter Side We’re taking it up a level! Scan here for this issue’s joke and enjoy!

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146 • DO IT NOW Magazine October | November 2012


DO IT NOW Magazine #19 - Adventure, Sport & Lifestyle  

Cover stories in this latest issue include the Spur Adventure Sprint Series, definitely one to look out for on the adventure racing calendar...

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