Tour D’Afrique Update: Risotto and Rain

Our CEO, Gerald Corniel is participating in the Tour D’Afrique (a cycle race from Cairo in Egypt to Cape Town in South Africa over 12,500 km). He’s currently working through the stages in South Africa’s neighbor, Namibia. Before Namibia, the tour passed through Botswana. For the latest on Gerald Corniel’s progress, check out his blog.

This is the latest update from Gerald on his progress:

“I am not inspired by Botswana. There is very little to report on, except that we are all bored out of our minds and that our legs are sore from the long distances we are now doing each day. To add to the morosity, we have had awful weather conditions ever since we entered Botswana. I can’t remember seeing so much rain in my life. It has been pouring with rain days and nights. Thunderstorm after thunderstorm. Needless to mention that our tents are all soaking wet, that our clothes are soaking wet, that the trucks and lockers are full of mud and that everybody is pretty much pissed off with camping. Camping is not fun in such conditions, but it is even worst after long riding days when you are smelly, tired and would pay anything to access a hot shower…. Instead, you get to pitch your tent under the rain in a muddy field…. Sleeping inside this leaking and smelly piece of fabric is getting on every rider’s nerves. By now, most tents have been put up and down so many times that they are not completely waterproof any more. Oh, and did I mention that it is freezing cold? Yes, 2 weeks ago we couldn’t sleep because it was so hot, and now it is full scale winter here. This weather is not nice, believe me.


So we fight back in whatever way we can. To lift up the spirits, Gabriele decided to cook a risotto for the whole camp. Jos and I offered our help as assistants and we managed to produce a very good risotto for 80 people in the middle of the Botswana bush with basic cooking equipment. We also had some great locker 9 gatherings between rain showers and enjoyed some magnificent Swiss Italian salamis, home produced by the family of Tsiciano, Gabriele’s brothers friend who joined us at Vic Falls for this section. I must add that the 36 months matured parmesan cheese he and Ricardo brought along with the salamis was the culinary highlight of this trip!

Botswana / Namibia Border

Today was stage 79 and a feared one as it was the longest of the tour, a mere 209 km. It went much better than we had all expected. If it had not been for the rain and some head wind towards the end of the stage, we would have clocked in record averages. By now, we are used to long distances. This was actually easy since there was no climbing. The legs are a bit stiff, but that is because we have done so many kilometers over the last 8 riding days (about 1200 km). If nothing else, we are definitely building powerful legs… The good news is that we are finally done with Botswana and have just entered Namibia this afternoon. We are now 2 riding days away from Windhoek where we will be given a 24 hour break to rest those tired legs. Before that, 2 more big stages to cover the 300 km that separate us from the capital.”

We wish Gerald Corniel the best of luck in the final stages of the Tour D’Afrique.

Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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