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Ford Ranger Odyssey Africa – I’m in!!!

The 10 finalists for the inaugural Ford Ranger Odyssey Africa 2013 have been announced at 12 today, just minutes ago as I start to type this & I cannot believe my luck but my name is there, I made it!!!!

I kept refreshing the page to see if it’s a mistake (this has actually happened to me in another competition) but it’s the real & deal I’m in! If you frequent my blog you’ll know that Africa travel is a huuuuge dream of mine, in fact it was my motivation for entering (we had to write one as part of the entry) & I’ve basically done none although I have travelled to other corners of the world. Yes, I’m ashamed, but not for too long…

I came across the Ford Ranger Odyssey Africa 2013  by chance online & if the deadline hadn’t been extended, I would have missed it altogether. A few days ago I had never camped before in my life or driven a 4×4. When I ran (and partly walked) the obstacle course challenge on Saturday I got a splinter half the size of a toothpick in my hand & decided to bite it out. Only when I got back home last night I saw part of it was still there & fished it out with a tweezer. Yes, really, me… Oh & I finished that race second last of 17, but I decided right at the beginning that for me just finishing was the win.

Last week Thursday the 30th May I arrived at De Rust in Harties & met my fellow 16 contestants team mates. We stood around awkwardly, doing introductions cracking a few jokes & trying to remember everyone’s name. Yesterday afternoon we left, hugs abound, sincerely wishing each other well not just in this challenge to make the final 10 but in life, promising to keep in touch &  of course hoping to see each other again later this month to embark on an incredible journey.

I don’t feel any more deserving than anyone else but let me not lie, I’m over the moon & this high won’t be wearing off anytime soon but I know that right now 7 people are also very disappointed as I would have been. I hope to keep in touch with you all & thanks to social media, that’s very possible, so know that I *will* be stalking you all (in fact if I’ve already started!). The truth is EVERYONE wanted this really badly & I’m sad for those who won’t be joining. Yes, I’ve only known you for 4 days but I am going to miss you & our team spirit will not be the same without the full team, that I  know for sure.

To just say thank you just isn’t enough. To everyone I interacted with along the way; the dream team of 17, our trainers & staff at De Rust the team at Ford, my friends, & readers for unending support & my husband who was kinda jealous I got to go 🙂 you all helped me along more than you know, I’m seriously indebted. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I can’t really describe how I’m feeling today. It’s a mixed bag for sure, mostly good as I stand on the cusp of an incredible adventure. This is the definition of a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The details… We fly to Kenya on the 21st/22nd June where it all starts & we’ll be putting the Ford Ranger through some pretty tough terrain (from what I hear) as we hit the road on the 24th & make our way through Tanzania, Mozambique & Zimbabwe. There may be one more country added as Malawi was recently pulled from the route.

You can follow the adventure on Ford South Africa’s Facebook page and on the Ranger Odyssey site. In the interim enjoy these pics from the weekend…

I’ll post more details on the trip ahead once I catch my breath…




On my way to Harties for the boot camp, I had to pull over for this pic…


Day 1 – after some classroom theory we hit the road with this machine.


We camped in the most beautiful spot on a hill overlooking the dam…


Did I mention the view from our camp?


The luxurious & lesser spotted bush toilet. Like someone said “find a shrub no one can see & just go!” 🙂


Wading (checking the terrain under the water before we drive through)


Holding on for dear life… (source)


The Harties  area is so underrated, I can’t wait to go back soon. How’s this for a lunch spot…


My team. Such a cool bunch of people I can’t explain it…


Loads of laughs at the fire every night 🙂


A 6am rise & then a hike/run isn’t so bad when you have this view….


And action…


These socks were white when the day started, promise…

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