Besides a few of you who I have met on the road or who have been on one of my tours, very few of you really know what it is I do on a daily basis and most of you hold the misconception that I am on holiday most of the time!
Having just got home after a 25 day overland tour from Johannesburg, through Botswana and Namibia, to Cape Town, I thought this would be a good time to give you an insight into a normal day of The Shoestring Golfer, and while this may not be any one day in particular, at least you will get a feel for what I do!
06:15 – Wake up, pack away sleeping bag and mattress.
06:20 – Light the gas stove, Put the kettle on. Set up for breakfast, put the cereals out, make sure everything is ready.
06:50 – Try find a few warm embers from last night’s fire to make some toast.
07:15 – All the tents and mattresses are packed away and breakfast is served.
08:00– Kitchen is packed away, teeth brushed, all aboard and we are on our way!
Depending on the day and where we are heading, we often have about 4 to 6 hours on the truck, with a stop on the side of the road for a toilet break and in whichever town we may be passing through to pick up supplies for the next couple of days. And on the most recent tour, with 26 hungry mouths to feed, that was at least two full trolley loads at the supermarket, including about 5 dozen breadrolls; 10 litres of milk; 8 blocks of cheese; a small garden of fruit and veggies; and at least 3 to 5 kg of meat per meal! Oh yes, and don’t forget the Veggie Sausage and Schnitzels for the vegetarians!
12:30 – Pull over on the side of the road for a picnic lunch, a shady tree is good, but not always possible!
13:15 – Back on the road!
15:30 – Arrive at Camp, set up camp and tents, pay camping fees and arrange optional activities (if any).
16:00 – See the group off to any afternoon activities (Game Walks and Drives, Boat Cruises, Swimming)
16:30 – Catch up on paperwork and balance finances from previous days and plan menu and schedule for next few days.
17:30– Start preparing dinner, get a fire going for cooking.
I try to vary my meals as much as I can, keeping it interesting and healthy at the same time, but over 25 days it is hard not to repeat yourself a couple of times. On this last trip though we used what was locally available to add an nice twist to some favourites, like a traditional South African Potjie (stew) made with Impala meat, or Good Ol’ Cottage Pie with Game Mince, and some damn tasty Kudu Steaks on the braai (bbq)! It’s always hard to judge though, do I need 2.5kg or 3kg of rice to go with it!?!
19:30 – Serve Dinner (Pray you made enough)
20:30 – Pack away all the dishes and clear up to make the following morning a bit easier.
21:00 – Chill around the camp fire or at the bar, talking shit and listening to stories about the day’s happenings, animal sightings or crazy activities.
22:30 – Set up my mattress on the floor in the back of the truck, do a few exercises, listen to some music, read my book for about 3 minutes, then fall asleep!
So as you can see, the days are pretty full, but I do get some time to chill, take part in some activities with the group and occasionally even get to go to a restaurant and have someone else make the dinner! On this last trip I was lucky enough to join some of the group for a great afternoon of Quad Biking in the dunes around Swakopmund and then the next afternoon in jumping out of a plane at 10 000 feet for my first ever Sky Dive.
Time for golf though is not easy to come by. I had to wait until I got home again before I could play and had a very enjoyable round yesterday at King David Golf Club, where I am affiliated through the Play More Golf SA online golf club.
When I arrived at the club I saw my handicap had gone up from 9 to 10, back into double figures, but slightly more manageable with the amount of golf I am playing at the moment. On the course, my driver was doing funny things, but I managed to shoot an 86 and I was quite happy with that.
I should hopefully be able to get in another round or two in the week before I head off again, this time heading up into East Africa for the first time. I am going to try take my clubs with me though, or a selection of them anyway, in case I get the chance to hit a few balls. I’ll also try keep you updated how the new route is going and if I am able to find time to play!
Until then, Keep smiling, Keep Golfing and Keep it on a Shoestring!
The Shoestring Golfer