We have seen an excellent start to Journey 2021. The weather in the Karoo has been perfect with sunny skies and gentle, cooling breezes making conditions for all the various activities pretty ideal. So too, the evenings have been beautiful with a half-moon and a myriad of stars visible. The groups have generally had very early starts as they have taken on the challenge of the Nadousberg. This is to escape the heat of the day and to get into camp at a reasonable hour. Most groups spend between 10 and 12 hours hiking up and over the mountain, depending on their start and end point. Once again, the groups have shown great fortitude in ensuring that everyone has completed what is undoubtedly the toughest challenge on Journey. It is never without a few tumbles and one or two turned ankles, but the groups have rallied around and made sure that everyone has got safely into camp during daylight hours.
Groups 2, 3 and 4 have all had a good day of whitewater rafting on the Fish River, with Groups 1 and 5 getting their river rafting experience over the next two days. Group 1 left Petrusdal on the first of three days of mountain biking yesterday morning and spent the night next to the roaring river cascading over a big weir. On Monday they cycled to Sanctuary Guest Farm, some 10 km outside Cradock. Group 2 spent the day working at the Vukezebenza Street Shelter, cleaning and painting floors and walls before heading out for five days of hiking in the mountains south of Cradock. They will spend a night in the Solo camp during this time. Group 4 will carry on with the work at Vukezebenza, before a day of running. Group 3 ran into Sanctuary Farm on Monday before linking up with the cycling team for three days of cycling south of Cradock, including a tough climb up the Swaershoek Pass on their first morning.
The groups have all started to develop a strong bond at this stage as they get to know each other better in their new environment. They continue to work through shared experiences and challenges and spend time together chatting and reflecting on things without the distraction of their devices, social media and the internet.
The happy sound of laughter is pervasive in the camp when they are not sleeping and resting, and it is amazing to see how quickly the boys and girls recover their mojo after a hard day’s work.
We all hope that the positive start to Journey 2021 continues through the next couple of weeks as the boys and girls forge their own individual Journey experiences.