So what does a Gadget boy do when faced with the prospect of 1, yes, just 1 single 2 litre ice cream container for every support station ? I must confess I felt a little like an addict going through the phases of a recovery process: Denial, disbelief, acknowledgement and finally acceptance. I did consider asking Big D in Capetown to please allow me one for snacks & treats, one for coke and another for tools, maps and equipment but was reliably informed that I would lose the case.
Well the contents of support station boxes has been an interesting road of discovery. I have had numerous chats with Queen Bee, Badger, Limp Wrist, the Nutty Prof and of course a few others about the essentials of a Freedom Challenge Box and not surprisingly have had a different response from each and every one, from the sublime to the fantastic ! The Monk gets a 100L crate for every night of his adventure to Rhodes and I must admit again that I did consider going back to the Rhodes ride just so I could get a bigger container for my stuff. Oh well...spilt milk and all that.
Badger's boxes are a no nonsense inventory of staple dehydrated/regular carbo's, protein, vitamins & mineral powders and the other all important fare of butt cream, chain lube and few other bits and pieces at alternate stops. It's basically more austere than an army rat pack on a cold day in hell, but it will keep him alive and satisfied if nothing else.
With careful phrasing I politely enquired as to the contents of Queen Bee's boxes and was subsequently completely blown away by the sheer contrast and variety of goodies in that girls inventory. She could show the QE2's head chef a thing or two about luxury catering away from port - bloody hell and then some ! I would've needed a computer to record the variety of items, but will try and recall just some of the many goodies from my shattered memory: Smoked mussels, salty cracks, cheese wedges, cuppacino and milo sachets, cup a snack soups, mini bar bottles of plonk, chocolates, biltong bars, chips, salty snack packs (various), tuna sachets, two headed tonics, goji berry juice and the list goes on and on... This is all in addition to creams, chain lube, plastic utensils and maps & narratives etc.
The worst part in all this is that Admin will not under any circumstances let me change my start day so the thought of enjoying cheese, mussels, crackers and wine at the top of Black Fountain will be nothing but a gleeful sms from Queen Bee and Limp Wrist to me, The Monk and Sean (Queen Bee he needs a name) one day ahead on the trail.
There was much amusement at the fact that I had a coke in every one of my 26 boxes and the group will still not accept that coke is an effervescent ! Only my other riding buddy Sean sees the wisdom and value in this, mostly because we drive each other completely round the twist with descriptions of slush puppy bottles of coke on those hot dusty rides around here.
There's one other critical item you had better not forget to pack. This basically follows one of natures fundamental laws of physics: What goes in must eventually be turned around so don't get the sh..s with us if you haven't got any because you're getting fair warning: White Gold !!!
Without it you'll be left to roam the plains and valley's alone for the rest of the day and God help you and all his furry little creatures if your immodium isn't working !