Honda Quest Boot Camp

Our man, Angus from Cape Town, had the time of his life participating in the Honda Quest True Adventure Boot Camp which was staged this past weekend near Ceres in the Western Cape. It appears that the Organisers put the ladies and gents through their paces with tests ranging from general knowledge all the way through to first aid and riding skills… Check out Gus’s report below!
“Here’s a quick run down of the weekend’s Boot Camp…
Friday dawned and without a clue about what to expect at the Honda Quest Boot Camp itself we were instructed to be at the Kaleo Guest Farm between 11:15 and 11:30 am… The Engen Winelands N1 was the meeting spot for some of us before we hit the road to the venue. From there it was off to Ceres for breakfast. Thereafter all the contestants met at the top of the Gydo Pass and proceeded to the venue in one mass convoy. With formalities and registration out the way the Organisers bombed us with a general knowledge quiz! “Name all the countries and capitals in Africa” was the initial test… There are 55 nog al! “Then we want you to name all the contestants from 1 to 40”.

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The Seat of Learning! Although… it could also be said that the real Seat of Learning is the seat on an Africa Twin! Then again, perhaps the AT seat is the Seat of Experience…mmm. Photo: Andrew Johnstone
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Participant #4 running back to his bike after assisting another participant. It’s no wonder that the guys and girls enjoyed the Boot Camp – look at the gorgeous environment in which the event took place! Photo: Angus Welch

We then went on a walk after which we had to put down and lift 2 bikes. It was then off for a heart rate check up. With the day’s activities over it was time to shower up , dress tactically, and enjoy a dinner of T Bone steaks and salad. After dinner we were all expecting to have to grab our gear and head out to pitch tents or something crazy! But as it turned out we were split into 4 groups of ten, each group to be allocated duties. Our group had kitchen duty first. Our top 10 worked like a well oiled machine and we had everything under wraps and spick and span in no time.

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Team members celebrate success after dealing with another obstacle. Photo: Angus Welch

The venue hall became our dorm with 40 stretchers laid out. We were given instructions to put all of our gear under the bed. I guess that the Organisers were assessing everything we did… One by one we were called in for results on the theory quiz… A few boffins cracked it but most of us were humbled by our lack of “general knowledge”. There was a short briefing by the Organisers on the next stage of the Quest in Namibia with a few “scare tactics” thrown in to keep us on edge just before the lights were dimmed and it was off to bed. I don’t think anyone slept well… Personally, though, I rested well but don’t remember actually sleeping! Thank goodness for ear plugs – silence. It was also flipping freezing so I realised, as did most, that the next night’s sleeping arrangements would need better planning.

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Barbara Muszynski tackling varying terrain on the Honda Africa Twin DCT. The word is that this bike with its automatic gearbox performs brilliantly in all conditions! Photo: Angus Welch

Saturday was bike skills day with practical exercises, some basic First Aid and then a point scoring exercise on teamwork with the bikes.

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The Honda Africa Twin being put through its paces on some tricky stuff in the “Rock Garden”. Slow and easy is the way to go! No bikes were injured during this exercise! Photo: Andrew Johnstone
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Team members assisting each other while negotiating a steep downhill ramp. Photo: Andrew Johnstone

All I can say is the Honda Africa Twin DCT blew me away. Being thrown in the deep end in rather tricky conditions the bike made it easy for me. Okay I do own a scooter which may have helped but I was smiling ear to ear and I had to phone a friend to share my first impressions!
Lunch and dinner were basic but tasty affairs handled by the organisers. Kitchen duties were shared amongst the other groups.

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The team being lectured on basic First Aid procedures. Being able to deal with minor injuries along the trail is vital to the success of any adventure. Photo: Andrew Johnstone

A few senior officials from Honda SA were there and they mingled with the participants in the evenings, chit chatting around the fire we made in the lounge area. A bottle (or two…) of wine was shared as we celebrated the great team spirit that had been forged between everyone. Although it was not too early to bed, a better night was had by all. We were assured we could rest till 8:30. Better bed preparation along with a space blanket made all the difference!

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Angus assisting a fellow team member in the art of repairing a punctured tyre. (He’s had tons of practice!) Breaking the tyre bead and re-seating the tyre after tube repair is no easy task. Photo: Andrew Johnstone

Sunday was a clean up and pack down day. There was more kitchen duty for Team 10 which was followed by an interview… Boom! bang! Quick fire questions, only 20 seconds to answer, next one! “Who would you take with you? “And what if he wins the Africa Twin?” “A lot of people don’t want to go with you! WHY?” “Are you greedy?” Rapid fire questions indeed, I hope I handled it okay…
Lunch was a cook-it-yourself do – Jaffels with mince, very yummy! After a bit more chit-chat it was goodbyes all round before we headed off back home.
Let the challenge begin. Who knows who the top 20 will be that go to Namibia for the finals. I say “all of the best to you guys”. I am certain the main event in Namibia will be a memorable one. We wait with bated breath until Tuesday for the official results! Holding thumbs…”

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When one finds oneself in this kind of environment there’s every reason to jump for joy! Here Tjoppie, one of only a few ladies participating in the Honda Quest Boot Camp, shares her delight with us while taking a break on the homeward journey. Photo: Angus Welch & Tjoppie

Gus – thank you for the Honda Quest Boot Camp report. We are also holding thumbs for you Boet!

STOP PRESS! Hold your breath no more: Our man Angus from Cape Town has been selected to participate in the finals of the Honda Quest True Adventure in Namibia in September! Well done Gus, what a great achievement! We wish you and the rest of your team well on this fantastic adventure – go get ’em!

Keep the rubber side down!

Bruce Houghting

 

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