No Matter How Old You Are, You’re Going to Break (little) Rules

​Sometimes adventure tours get struck with bad weather:

We went to Lesotho (the highest country in the world) and all we got were stamps in our passports.

We went to the Drakensberg Mountains and all we could see was a golf course that looked like it belonged in England.

It rained so many buckets that previously dubious damn levels are now above 100%. (Luckily we made plenty of rain day memories that far outshine any hiking)

And then finally, the rain stopped long enough for us to arrive in Swaziland.

We stayed at Mlilwane, a place where the animals (herbivores) graze freely and move around the kilometers and kilometers of hiking trails.It was real life Jurassic Park without the predators- and it was our playground. 

We went mountain biking and broke every rule.

Our guide, now familiar with my lack of coordination and adult-like sensibility sensed possible trouble. He frequently tells me “to hold on, becareful, please don’t climb that tree”. This time he started with “please use the back brake and use both hands on the handle bars” it is unclear whether he really thought I didn’t know how to ride a bike…

Ten minutes in, the three of us, only one in decent shape and none of us experienced bikers decided to take a path marked “Do Not Enter: Steep Inclines”

“What is a steep incline?” Asked my Swedish and Swiss compatriots. 

“Something we will probably have to walk the bikes up…” I replied. 

Having not had any exercise for the past four days made us eager and foolish….(also, we couldn’t really read the map)

“We made it to the top, but there is a slight problem” said the Swiss compatriot (and the one in decent shape)

 (note: made it to the top means that I walked the bike at least halfway)

“Did you say there was a slight problem?”

“we have to climb a fence” (map reading error)

“Okay, let’s take a vote, I’ll go with the majority” pronounced the Swede (Swedes are always fair)

And so it was that we heaved three mountain bikes over a fence, tresspassed onto a private residence, walked into someone’s personal space (an elderly man drinking a beer who looked like a crotchy character from a Hemingway novel) and asked for directions.

And then, at the top of the hill (I really want to say mountain)

“Oh shit, the rain is coming ”

And we booked it down got lost again, booked it down some more (using the back break the whole way, as per instructions and amazingly did not wipe out) and got wet enough to wash away the sweat and tell everyone our story as though we knew what we were doing the whole time.

Absolute pure happiness is getting lost with people you want to get lost with.

PS. This is the same group of people that also got kicked out of the ocean when we were in Durban because the lifeguard didn’t think our version of “body surfing” was plausible as a “safe method of not drowing”

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