Friday, April 23, 2010

Crazy Beautiful Africa...

I'm watching a handful of local boys kick around a ball on the beach outside my room, the sun is about to dip below the ocean, and one of the most beautiful African women I have ever seen just brought me yogurt and a banana. She didn't want any money or any praises, just wanted to give me something that makes me happy, (I've been putting a damage on the bananas, yogurt, and granola around here). The ladies that are in charge of house keeping are beautiful...they just want to sing while they work and always with a smile, I always tell them I'll help with the rubbish or my towels, in return I suppose they enjoy sneaking me yogurt from room service...

It's been a bit of a roller coaster being in such a lovely, calm place yet having a major race lingering over head. Even more crazy is when the bike and everything needed to compete is missing. For a while it felt like I was being served more lemons then I wanted and sugar was nowhere to be found. Being in a place I've always dreamed to walk kept me from going sour with all those lemons...it was a dream to be here once upon a time and in the frustration of my missing bike and bag I had to remind myself that sometimes life rolls like that and I better live it as best as I can so the moments don't pass me by.

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This morning I received a message that my bike was in Africa. A phone call later nobody had a clue what I was talking about so I asked for a ride to the airport and sure enough the shuttle man from the hotel and I found (then smuggled) my bike and bag out of the airport. It had arrived late last night and was finally within my grip-24 hours before I had to check it in for the race. My bike is still on ALOHA time I suppose...a little late but always there when needed most.

Yesterday I gave the lifeguard a scare. He thought for sure his day would include rescuing a girl from hypothermia for swimming laps in a bikini. He stood pool side just waiting for the rescue. Supposedly the pool closes May 2 and nobody has even been in it for a couple months because of the cold ocean that fills it this time of year. Today he was happy to see me return-with a wetsuit. We became friends with something as simple as a poolside blunder, Africa is like that, something really simple exchanged between people almost automatically makes you friends.

The pool was beautiful today, being warm I enjoyed it, a lot. In some small, special way it reminded me of ocean swims back home. The peeling of the pool bottom was my coral colored ocean floor, the bright blues were the way the sun dances on our ocean back home, both are very salty, and you could even see where the bright blue water meets the sky blue sky. It made me happy.

The ocean is filling with a swell. Today I watched dozens of surfers play on the waves. A few head high rollers came through right in the swim zone for race day. With a 2 loop swim we will have to battle out against the swells and thankfully get to ride them into the beach twice as well. I'm looking forward to that ocean swim...just like back home.

Pamela (my local South African friend) was nice enough to drive me around the bike course yesterday. This was my most favorite spot on the course...its full of wind, big surf, and views around every corner that make you want to ride faster and stronger so you can see more! It was a real treat having a local to explore with. THANKS AGAIN PAM! One of the best parts of traveling (in my opinion) is getting the truth about a place from someone that actually knows it rather than fully being a tourist all alone hoping to discover the secrets. Today I finally got to ride some of the course myself AND I love it....this course is brilliant!!! Truly a little adventure tucked away in South Africa.


Now that I'm checked in, the bike is here, the race meeting has been attended, it's beginning to feel like an Ironman is dangling in front of me. Excited is an understatement...I am THRILLED to be in Africa about to do something I enjoy doing with all my heart...

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2 more sleeps till the big day...

Bree

12 comments:

Regina said...

Phew! on the bike and bags. Man, it looks beautiful there. And the local folks sound so lovely. Good luck Miss Bree!

Christi said...

I am so glad that your bike and bags arrived. I am sure that is a load off your mind!

Ordinarylife said...

It was my pleasure! It has been great finally meeting you. Can't wait to scream my lungs out supporting on race day!

Caratunk Girl said...

YEAH! I am so happy you got your bike and gear! PHEW! That must be a relief!! Your pictures are always awesome. I will be cheering you on come May 1!

kerrie said...

have a great race bree! so glad that all of your stuff made it :). we'll be seeing you in just over a month at honu!!!

maija said...

Glad your bike and bags got there! Enjoy the trip and race!

CoachLiz said...

So happy to hear that all of your gear and your bike make it to Africa. Good Luck this weekend. You will do fantastic. When it gets rough, just remember how blessed you are to be there in the race.

Ramsey said...

At first glance, I thought your lifeguard was Barrack Obama.
Good luck!!

Marni said...

Good luck Bree...we'll be thinking of you!
-marn

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Super happy to hear the bike arrived! What a relief. Love the photos and that you continue to win hearts on all continents!

Trisaratops said...

Best of luck to you! I have always wanted to visit South Africa--thanks for sharing the pictures and so glad your bike made it there!

Isela said...

Awesome that the bike got there just in time. I just want to wish you the best of luck in your race.