Giraffes, Elephants, Lions and downhill riders

Welcome to another continent I want to introduce you in a world of richness and poorness, electric fences, household ladies, hospitality, good Downhill riders, (zentralveriegelung), huge spiders, poisoning snakes, security men, permanent sunshine, the fabulous mangos, a pudding called clusted…
I am here since 3 days now. I flew in to Johannesburg or Jburg, with British Airways which I can advise. One bike is for free and if you take two it still cost you less than with Egypt air or South African airline. The time difference to Austria is just one hour so I don’t have problems with the jet lag at all. But I couldn’t sleep very well during the flight. I was arriving about 7 o clock and Alexanders’ Dad picked me up. I stayed in a wonderful house with a big garden and a swimming pool. I had my own room and bed . The family had 4 dogs and 2 cats and they were all so funny. The biggest dog, a Schäferhund called Oliver, jumped always in the swimming pool when he got excited about something and the other small one a Jack Russell Terrier tried to catch rats and spent the whole morning to get under a cupboard or climbed up trees to run on the roof of the house to reach the mouse/rat whatever. I didn’t see much of Johannesburg but what I realized from the first second everybody tries to protect his house with high electric fences. I guess it is because of the high criminal rate. The family told me not to got for a run in the neighborhoods because it is too dangerous so it comes that the parents are driving their children everywhere and they stay all the time in their secured houses. I think when you grow up with that it’s normal but I would never want to live like that. But apart from that Johannesburg is a very clean city or the neighborhood I saw was very clean compare to other countries I have been so far.
I went for a walk with Alexs father in big park and there you could ride a xc lap and walked with your dog without any fear.
Alex studies in another town and he came home on Thursday night and we went on a road trip the next day heading to Pietermaritzburg. It was a nice journey and I could see a little bit of the backcountry and black culture. The poor black people are living in small round houses made of mud in a weight spread areas. The landscape from Johannesburg to Pietermaritzburg is most of the time flat with massive straight mountain blocks, because of the tectonic earth movement.
We arrived in the evening and I met Patrick Morewood on the same evening to get parts for my bike from him. It was good to see the founder of the company I am riding for because before I was just in contact with Richard Carter.
And no I am staying with Dinkelman family in Pietermaritzburg. Just about 5minutes away from the World cup Downhill track. It is awesome and I am so happy about that. The family is so friendly as well. They are 4 kids. Two of them are riding downhill. The younger one (Simon 16) wants to become a professional. I haven’t seen him riding yet because he cracked his clavicular a bite again but he will be back on the bike soon I guess. The older one called Dave and Alex, Calvin, Mark and many others went for a ride on the DH course. I must be honest I didn’t feel very good. The new bike, new fork, new shock and new brake discs and the fact that I haven’t riding downhill since end of October turned the first run to big a challenge for me. The first part of the track is more technical the middle part is quite pedally and the last part is flowy. I like it. It is again much different to the tracks I have ridden before and I am sure I will find my line and rhythm soon. I also met a lots of riders and I think I can train a lot here with the locals they are all quite motivated.
So no I will get ready because we are going so again to ride on the track. BYE BYE LENE