And so it begins

August 27, 2013

Have you heard of the Mongol Derby?

The world’s longest, hardest, horse race across the Mongolian Steppe?

Well, I got rather excited about doing something as wonderful as riding for 10 days on crazy little Mongol ponies, and I applied for the race in 2014. More info on Mongol Derby-related stuff here. 

I have no idea whether that will come off or not, and if it does I’ll worry about how I raise the mahusive sponsorship fee required to join the starting line.

However, in the midst of my investigations and resulting excitement I also emailed a past Mongol Derby competitor – Sophia – and asked her a few questions about the general hardship of the race; the GPS map reading across wild open plains, the buckerooing, run-off-with-you wildness of the ponies, the physical hardship of the hours in the saddle, the dodgy sounding sour milk drink favoured by the Mongolians and the sleeping in the wild open or confined Mongol yurts with granny, grandpa, mum, dad, kids and a goat. She replied with the enthusiasm of someone who’s forgotten the sweaty smell of not washing for a week, the blisters and aches, sunburn and exhaustion, and encouraged me to, “just do it!!”

She also added that a bunch of crazy adventure riders were doing something in 2013 that I might be interested in, in Africa, the Lesotho Rescue Ride.

Oooooo.

Never one to balk at a crazy travel opportunity, especially one involving riding horses in remote places, I was on it in a jiffy.

  1. Negotiate using all my remaining annual leave in one go; check
    (thanks to my wonderful boss Tracy and employer Williams Lea)
  2. Talk to my boyfriend about going on holiday to Africa; check
    (honourable mention to Noojella-yes-do-it)
  3. Buy some flights; check
    (no special mention for AirFrance/KLM, unless they upgrade me… crosses fingers)

So what exactly is this thing?

It’s a horse ride for a bunch of enthusiastic, adventurous, horsey-manitarian (humnanitarian-but with horses) folk from around the world, who will endeavor to ride from somewhere outside of Durban into and around the country of Lesotho.

The aim of the trip being to raise awareness of the plight suffered by horses (and other animals) in the government pounds which are used to look after horses which have been stolen and ridden across the border.

It was 2006 – 7 years ago people!! – when I went to Ecuador. I am clearly overdue another mad adventure.  So I’m paid up and waiting for the kit list.

More info to follow…

And if you can’t wait until my next lunch-hour when I can update this blog, then here’s a map of where I’m going…

Location of  Lesotho  (dark blue)– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)– in the African Union  (light blue)

And here’s a mini low-down on Lesotho; a little country dropped into South Africa. I’m not quite sure how it’s managed to maintain its status as a country in it’s own right and not be consumed into South Africa, but it has. Wikipedia gives you all the stats here.

Finally, the detail of what I’ve let myself in for and which other crazies are going along is here Lesotho Rescue Ride

Lekker Ry people!
(I think that means good riding or something like in Africaans – thanks to Cameron for nifty translation)

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