Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blue Swalows, Wild Horses, and a Rescue

Feeling good Iwoke at 04h30 and got going just after 05h30. Riding through the Blue Swallow reserve, along the narrows on the edge of the escarpment I came across the wild horses of Kaapse Hoop. The sunrise was spectacular in bright orange and cyan and the temperature perfect. I got all the tricky navigational issues correct and the body felt real good after the "easy" day before. There was one last little portage to look forward to and then it was plain sailing all the way to Pietermaritzburg. Then my foot slipped and with the weight of the back pack and Merida on my back my left ankle turned the wrong way. The ugly sound of ligaments breaking was overwelmed in milliseconds by pure pain...
I kept very still for a while and then carefully got up and tried the foot. ABSOLUTELY NO GO it told me.

Fortunately I had cell signal, so I started assembling the troops and pretty soon a full scale recue mission was launched from Pretoria with Ilette commanding the platoon (My brother and Swarry). I realised pretty soon that this will take 3-4 hours for them to arrive and phoned Glenn (Freedom Challenge Tandem Glenn) who is close by in Waterval Boven and knows exactly where I went down, but he was testing his FC Bike at Groenkloof in Pta. Kevin Record was more than willing to detour on his way back from the Kremetart should it be necessary.
Taking the fitness level of my rescuers and the height of the hill I was stuck on into account, I decided that I will try and use the next 3 hours purposefully and lighten the task at hand. Using the bike as a crutch I started hopping down the mountain to the stream. The road to rescue was just opposite the stream.

It took me the full 3 hours to reach the stream and I submerced the ankle into the ice cold bergwater. My recuers did have a bit of trouble finding me as they were scouting the hillside for the fallen wounded. Eventually I thought I heard the hooter of the car and blew my whistle. This had the necessary effect and pretty soon I was made comfortable in the back of the Prado and on my way to Pretoria.

Great to have family and friends to call when in need...
Tomorrow morning first thing we will do the Xray thing and determine the damage, but for now the way the ankle feels, the prognosis is not to promising...

Whatch this space...


  1. Awww Jaco! So sorry to hear/see about your injury. All the best with the recovery process. Keep us posted.

  2. Bummer - I hope it's not serious. That would be too cruel.

  3. All the best for op today! We're thinking of you.