You what? 😂

You what?,

I’m going  on a horse trail.

Why?

Good question, and one I ask myself not infrequently.     And my answer always seems to be vaguely unsatisfactory.

Certainly, not because they are there, as with Everest.

Rather, I  want to. No idea why 😂.

OExcept perhaps because Kate Pilcher has inspired me (www.globetrotting.com.au) 😃

“Do you have any idea of how sore you are going to be?”

Yes.

“For 5 days?”

Yes.

“Who are you going with?”

No one.

And so the conversations peter out, always with the same look of incredulity and pity!!!!

Which begs the question, why am I in Cape Town, getting ready to go on a horse trail tomorrow and what am I in for.

To both, I have no idea except perhaps there is something about ‘the stars conspiring’ (https://leepowrie.com/2017/01/10/horses-stars-and-me/#)

and life is too short not to take up opportunities.

And so, the opportunity to visit Dee’s Saddlery was too good to miss.

Lovely Dee

An enchanting store filled with stirrups, saddles, caps, jackets, jodphurs, boots – an alladins cave for riders.

People popped on, to buy, to chat

think I should get my horse a toy,

why?

Not sure😃, maybe she would like one,   Perhaps she is bored

I gave my horse a ball and she looked at me and never touched it.    Have a glass of wine, forget the toy 🍷⚽️⚽️

We had such fun, jodhpurs, chaps (so very kindly lent), advice, warnings, and encouragement: topped of with wine to celebrate – madness, adventure, joy, horses, life.🍾🐴

Clearly our attitude was good 😜
Practising 😂😂😂



Am I organised, do I have the correct gear – make sure you wear the pants you always ride in, the instructions say, don’t try to ride in new clothes.   Ha ha – I don’t normally ride, so that is one I have already messed up on!!!!!   But committed now.  With brand new pants I have never worn before 😩


Flying in to Cape Town is always special, such a blessed city.  Is it a good omen that the tv cameras at the airport have a series on horses I wonder?


Being met by family is also special and a dinner to celebrate, family, babies soon to be born, and the same questions – why, why, and why.

Although, there was some support this time, – thank you cousins 😜and a quick Google of where I am riding to raised the anticipation considerably.

She likes crazy
They think I’m mad 😂
He gets it 😜

If my body holds up, if the horse holds me up, if my spirit holds, this will be a special special time.

Time will tell……

 

Trains and tears….

gautrain3

Melbourne, weep.

A city as sophisticated and elegant as Melbourne Still does not have transport from its airports into the city.

Here I am, on a Friday evening in third world Africa, saying good-bye to my ‘baby’  Jessica, at the main Oliver Tambo Airport.    Painless the travel was, 30 minutes from home to airport, and when I was ready to go back, 35 minutes from airport to my front door

There is a distance of 33km, as the crow flies, from Sandton, where we ‘live’ to the airport. This can take more than an hour on the freeway, and longer if there is a traffic hiccup, which of course sounds quite familiar to my Melbourne ‘family’.

Except there is

The train;

the Gautrain.

gautrain1

Conceived in 2000 and completed in 2010 (imagine Melbourne thinking that far ahead!!).   I visited during the construction and there was disruption, no denying that.   In some of the busiest parts of the city  where large, sophisticated stations were built.

Big disruptions.

And we quietly muttered and grumbled and navigated our way around construction sites where there should have been roads.

And it cost heaps, estimated at SAR 3.5bill it ended up costing in excess of SAR25bill.

And it created jobs – heaps of them; more than 120 000 jobs and 15 000 courses for unskilled and management were made available.

It has 80km of dual railway line, 30km of tunnels and includes ten new stations.  11km of new bridges.

Other interesting trivia is that it involved about seven and a half million cubic meters of spoil [ph] and the tender papers took 7 hours to deliver and took up 18.5cu metres!!!!

A really a massive project –

As I said, Melbourne,

a big commitment.

But oh, does it work.   For a fair cost, one can park in the parking provided (and there is enough) get on a spotless, quiet train that leaves every 12 minutes and takes less than 20 minutes to deliver you right to the airport.

Why, oh why can a cities like Johannesburg and Pretoria plan and work together to create a state of the art commuter system to their major airport and Melbourne has a gridlock drive, hugely expensive parking and slow unreliable buses into the city and then perhaps if you lucky into the suburbs.

Melbourne weep.