Every day on the move Isabel will run a half marathon (21km); cycle 80-100km and, from Namibia onwards horse ride portions wherever possible. Assisted by Raphaela and Lloyd as support team and filmer she will cover an approximate distance of 10 000 km in about 5 months.
Lloyd has been training for this but an old injury has played up. After an MRI scan he was advised by an orthopaedic surgeon that it would not be a good idea to go on an extreme physical journey like this.
To view their route map click here.
Isabel regularly updates us about her journey and we would like to share it with you.
She is currently in Maun, Botswana, and this is how she is getting on:
Namibia has taken a very special place in my heart. It is hard to explain but the land resonates with me in a way that I can’t put into words. The land feels authentic, true and free and the beauty can only take your breath away. The time traveling through this land and meeting its people was memorable and it is clear to me that we will return one day.
10 days ago Rhino Knights took a drive to Victoria Falls so that I could participate in the Vic Falls marathon as part of the awareness drive for Rhino. The organizers Wild Frontiers, Wild Horizon and Adventure Zone kindly sponsored my entry and SuperSport filmed the marathon and is doing an insert on the campaign for much needed awareness!
It was my very first 42km ever and somehow I managed to come in as 10th woman of the race! This actually was a little miracle because the evening before the race I drew money from the ATM for food and the machine gave me U$ 50 short…!! Looking at the exchange rate US$ – ZAR this is a fortune and it really upset me deeply. I didn’t know, but the 10th woman won a cash price of U$50 and balance had been restored again.
Somehow I was expecting the Botswana border to arrive with a “BANG, YOU MADE IT” but to be honest it was just like any other day. We got to the Tsumkwe border post which is one of the smallest border posts I have ever crossed an international boundary through. There was a building with one office and two officials each seated on their own little desk. As we approached the gate/fence the few people that live in huts there came running to greet us! It must be an occasion when travelers pass through and the opportunity needs to be taken to sell their goods.
The Botswana government is taking precautions for Foot- and Mouth disease all over so we had to step in between the fences and my bikes and the vehicles tyre´s were sprayed with some kind of smelly chemical. One of the guys standing around asked me out of the blue to give him my bicycle…
After a deep breath I explained to him that this bicycle had travelled 5000km´s with me, that I still had a long way ahead of me and that therefore I couldn’t give it to him as I wouldn’t be able to carry on! He starred at me in disbelief and eyes wide open and after a moment he gathered himself, said that he totally gets my point and asked to have a picture taken of us with his cell phone to show all his friends!
The border post building on the Botswana side was literally a 1\4 size of a garage and crossing was not much more than a formality! The Tswana´s welcomed us warmly into their country and we left the border in great spirits…. only to be thrown into the deep end 200 meters thereafter!
The road was thick with heavy, deep sand and my spirits plummeted… It was impossible to get through this with the bicycle and after 500m of struggle and the seemingly endless sand road ahead I burst into tears… “I can´t carry on like that! I am going backwards here… I rather run all day, every day than this..!”
So after a short break that’s what I did, I put my running shoes on and started running through the sand… it was slow going but it least I was moving forward… After about 7km we came to a cross roads and to our excitement that’s where the road turned into a gravel road! Back onto the bicycle with wings attached to the side, that’s how fast I felt I was going!
As we entered Botswana it showed its warm, hearty and friendly side but also its harshness and struggles. The villages we passed through were filled with poverty but the people greet us with such a warm and hearty smile as if we had met before. We were on route to the Delta and elephant and lion tracks and signs were clearly visible all around us. Wild animals live amongst the people and their herds of cattle, donkeys and goats that roam the land freely.
I am writing this from Maun where we will spend two days for school talks, re-stocking our supplies and connecting with conservation groups and organizations for our survey. A scientist from Save the Rhino Trust Namibia has expressed a keen interest in the results of the survey and agrees that the information gathered can be used to find a module and solutions for rhino and wildlife conservation as a whole!
A few days ago a hurdle that has been a challenge for the success of the campaign from the start has raised its head again. 90% of Rhino Knights is funded by ourselves and financially we don’t know how we are going to make to the end it at this stage. We have even been talking about choosing a more direct route to shorten the campaign by 3 weeks. This write up is a call for help! If anyone is able to and would like to sponsor Rhino Knights to stay on the road, please get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org ! Our banking details are also viewable on our website www.earthawareness.co.za .
We are determined to complete this campaign as we believe in it and stand to 100% behind it! Where there is a will, there is a way, we just have to keep at it and something will come up!
By Isabel Wolf
‘Strength in unity’ creating global awareness to solve the rhino poaching problem in southern Africa
The current action and response to rhino poaching is vital and helpful but the poaching increases – rhino knights is connecting with stakeholders involved in the industry to gather information on the problems and possible solutions”
Date: 26 July 2013