Bond of Brothers- and Sisters

May 29, 2014: 024We’re back in North Carolina and I feel empty inside. For me, it started three days before we flew home from Cape Town, parting from this group of men and women  that we shared so much hardship and beauty with. 026

Among the participants, there was a very competitive group who wanted to win, but there was not one person who would not stop beside the long rough road to help a car in distress. And there was distress. By the end, five cars had dropped out for more  than a day and four were unable to finish. There were tire and wheel problems, 027

a broken front axle, 071engine failures, running out of fuel and more. Some of the bonds that were created will never be broken. Bonds that only come from shared hardships. People from all over the world.

We have been home less than 24 hours and already the e-mails have begun describing emptiness and depression. This morning for the first time there was no alarm clock, no start time. I kept looking at my watch but there was no reason, no concern with fuel supplies, tire condition, oil level. Empty, empty, empty.

Many of these people rally together often. But I may not. Eighty is approaching and already Jan is picking up more of the slack, especially at the end of long days. One participant, a year younger than me said it was his last one. I have not quite said that. Not quite.

021We will not see some of these people again. But some we will. We will be in Paris for September and October, and we are planning contacts. My eyes are wet.


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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2 Responses to Bond of Brothers- and Sisters

  1. Arnie Zann says:

    Don’t stop, age does not matter. Heart and passion trump age any day!!

  2. TBC says:

    I know that feeling, leaving special friends made behind, some of whom, as you so well note, you will never see again. As to another rally, don’t say, “Never,” rather, “We’re looking at something a little easier on us.” As they say, “Never say ‘Never!'”

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