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For the Love of Adventure Racing, the outdoors and all things beautiful! #itsallaboutlove


Expedition Africa: Rodrigues | Bella's Banter | 31 August 2019
31 Aug 2019.1.jpg

Bella’s Banter
Saturday August 31st, 2019.

It’s one of those mornings when you’re in a moment that you know will be recalled forever. 


Rodrigues is a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean which oozes enough warmth, spirit, colour, vibrancy and generosity to sink any ship that rolls into its shores. 
Last year Heidi and Stephan Muller of Expedition Africa took a step towards fulfilling their dream of hosting an Adventure Race on a small island. Rodrigues fitted that bill.
The folk of Rodrigues didn’t even know what Adventure Racing was, let alone have the infrastructure in place to host a race which would essentially host more than 200 athletes. 


But such is the way of a generous culture; they said yes. 


Planning everything; the route, the logistics, (getting the bikes from Mauritius was a story in itself) getting supplies like ample water and gas canisters and CO2 bombs. Sorting accommodation, counting boats. The list goes on.


It’s been full on action all week for the crew here behind the scenes, but today the stresses were momentary forgotten. This morning we absorbed the scenes at the Rodrigues Sports Ground of local school children playing football with footballs donated by the teams. 


Each of the 60 teams then held their country’s flag (or flags) high and walked in unison into the town centre for the Opening Ceremony. Homeland pride was immense, and the people of Rodrigues were so proud to be the hosts.  


Heidi, your words in Creole were received with great applaud; a speech that started in English, was translated into French, and then finally into Creole. To put it in perspective, Heidi doesn’t speak French, let alone this ancient language. So she wrote her Creole words phonetically, and practiced this language as much and often as possible with the local Rodriguans.  


And she looked immaculate in her locally-made dress. Of course there is always room for glamour, and she does it so well. 
By the end of the ceremony there was not really a dry eye in the house. 


After a morning of formalities it was time to take the well travelled bikes for a spin. It made sense to bike up a big hill, the final destination being tomorrow’s start line  - boasting kite surfing and scenic quality that makes you bend down and pick your jaw up off the ground. 
So here we go, just like that Sunday is upon us.


The history books are open and the pen is poised. 
Heidi and Stephan you live and dream your motto #itsallaboutlove, and now you’re making Adventure Racing history. 
#with_belles_on
 




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