Hunger in the Bones

We were required to pack up and trek yesterday - all the way to the foreign land of Cape Town (which does require some planning, and packing, and doing to get there, us being the Country Cousins). It was my nephew's 2nd birthday party, and boy, did we party! There's nothing like an over-catered feast, a hint of warm sunshine after days of cold, and a get-together with maniac family & friends for a good time.

But on the way there, we hit traffic (no, not literally, silly!). Snaking through the Mother City we found ourselves stopped at the traffic lights leading to our world famous Waterfront. The place of shopping malls and history, the launching point for catamarans to Robben Island, the home of berthed rich-folk yachts, and ending point for any journey from Cairo to the Cape.

Which is what we found sitting next to us at the red light. Three vehicles of foreign registration-plate, lead driver consulting a city map, dust covering them from top to bottom, stickers from places far, wide and exotic, and every essential piece of equipment for the Modern Traveller strapped onto and into their off-road high-wheeled goodness. Turning off in convoy to end an epic journey in style.

And I started to drool. To feel that hunger in the bones that my daydream of a trip through Africa first initiated. A jealousy and to-hell-with-life breath of new air that says "Hey, what happened to our Big Plan?"!

Those itchy feet started up again. The urge to travel and explore and see the middle of nowhere. To spend a day crossing a river with difficulty and digging your car from the mud, to camp out with the only light from stars and fire. Damn. I still want it so much I can taste it.

Life, however, took over in the year since I got all excited (and started yet another petered-out blog). My son's application for the local high school has been submitted. My business plans are falling into place. I'm looking for a fixed address in the area for next year... All the usual, expected, mundane life stuff. Damn again.

While my son and I were ogling the adventurers, I asked "what if we did that instead next year?". And the boy, the horribly unadventurous turned-into-a-technology-geek boy said, "But what about The Hub*?" and "Would we have to move?"! Damn a third time. The kid has become a couch potato! A rut-dweller! Which is probably more than a little my fault, as I keep bringing on the computers, the games, the internet wonders.

Yet my itchy feet persist. My visions of what can be go on. My desire for adventure and exploration will never fade. Nor the hunger in my bones...

So I'm thinking options. A friend from the USA daydreams of a bike trip through Africa, a whole lot of us together, with supporting Landrovers. Perhaps we should pool our dreams?

* "The Hub" is a local computer network between users in this community. Chat and all that are pretty addictive, as is a constant internet access line...