Jolandie Rust, a South African woman who loves to ride her bike. I'm not talking about taking it for a spin through the neighborhood either. In the past, she has ridden through Israel and rode completely around her home country, but now she's off on an epic ride, in which she hopes to become the first woman to completely circumnavigate South Africa.
The journey began back at the end of April, with Jolandie setting out from South Africa and traveling in a clockwise direction around the continent. That meant that she went from SA to Namibia, and has now moved on into Angola. Eventually, she plans to cross through the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Congo itself, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and finally back home. Whew!
While this is a grand adventure, we all know that every adventure comes with its own unique obstacles. Jolandie ran into one of those obstacles. A few days back, while riding through Angola, she had her bike and most of her possessions stolen from her by a group of four youths. Fortunately, she wasn't hurt, and there are already efforts underway to get anew bike shipped her way and new gear to help keep her going. The search is underway for her missing equipment, but at the moment, there are no leads. The incident was a reminder that Africa can be an unpredictable place, and that travelers need to be vigilant at all times.
Hopefully, with a little African generosity and some luck, Jolandie will be back on the road in no time. She has already completed 3570km of her journey, but she still has many roads to travel before this adventure is complete, and I'm sure she's eager to get going once again.
I've made no secret of the fact that I simply love Africa. I think it is an amazing, wonderful place, and I can't think of a better way to see it then from the back of a bike. I hope Jolandie gets to continue on her way soon, and I'll be checking in on her progress.
Thanks to Graeme for sharing the story of Jolanie's trials and tribulations with me. Much appreciated!