As my fourth Comrades Marathon is fast approaching, it's time to have the luggage bags sorted out for. Though the packing has started last week, the planning started months ago. Nothing much especially in numbers has changed from last year, with the exception of adding in some hiking essentials this time round as the holiday seekers will be heading towards Namibia post Comrades.
Usual packing list.
What's new tagging along this time will be the new Osprey Shuttle duffle wheel bag that's replacing the aging and slightly damaged Hush Puppies version. Damn... I got to stop buying bags! And with winter now in South Africa, the under privilege will be in need for some clothing and hence like last year, I will be bringing along some unwanted but still new shirts I've gotten from races. I will also be donating off my trustworthy Saucony Ride 7 that has served me so well to a lucky but needy fellow there.
The trip will officially begin on the wee hours of Wednesday, 27 May 2015. I will once again be flying on board Emirates heading to Dubai for transit before heading into Durban. Pretty similar flight path as last year but I will miss the company of my friend as I will be flying alone. Once arriving at Durban, I will pick up my ride for one night, the Hyundai i10 before heading to check in at Belaire Suites.
First ride, Hyundai i10.
Zijill, Chee Kong, Mei-Ee and Selva will arrive the next evening and hence I got the whole day to myself for some light running on the beach side in the morning before heading to the Comrades expo. Will be returning my ride in the evening before welcoming Zijill for her first trip to South Africa. Will wait for Selva and Chee Kong's arrival too before heading back to the hotel on board our next ride, the trustworthy Nissan NV200 from last year. Yeap, it's a van again for Team Malaysia!
Nissan NV200 for Team Malaysia!
Next day will be a short morning run with Team Malaysia before the usual expo and route tour towards the Comrades house at Pietermaritzburg. And in the evening, it's the Runner's World pasta party again for some loading up and last minute tips from Lindsey Parry, the official Comrades Marathon coach. And on the race day eve, it will be free and easy for all though I guess everyone will end up at the expo again before a light lunch, rest and an early dinner as per previous years. Won't be participating in the morning's youth run though but may just be a spectator there or at the nearby Park Run.
Hope the race will go well for everyone as the usual post race dinner will be at Jiran Cafe before a well deserved rest as I will be leaving early the next morning for Windhoek, Namibia with Chee Kong and family.
Upon arrival at Windhoek, we will pick up our vehicles, mine and Chee Kong being the Ford Ranger together with the highlight, the camper which is our moving "house" for this part of the trip. A night at Windhoek before a long drive to Sossusvlei where we will stay put at Sesriem campsite for 2 nights there. And this is also where we will rendezvous with Jack and Chun Hock and family who will be driving in from Cape Town on their very own adventure.
From Sossusvlei, it will be another over 400KM drive the next day to Swakopmund where we will rest in the caravan for the night before resuming the journey to Damaraland the next day, a close to 500KM drive.
At Damaraland, we will visit Mount Branberg before driving to Etosha National Park, about 260KM away where we will camp Gondwana Etosha campsite for 2 nights. And from there, it's back to Windhoek for a night there before our flight to Johannesburg the next morning.
We will part with Jack, Chun Hock and family there before continuing to stay at Johannesburg for one more night. Flight back home is scheduled on the next evening which leaves me and Chee Kong plenty of time to catch up with friends there!
It will be a truly different trip this time especially the post Comrades part. Still safari themed, but a more adventure like one. But certainly for sure, this trip will certainly be missing someone.