Cycling World Magazine July 2017 - Page 61

July 2017| 61 There are no fences around game areas in Botswana. Cows slowly disappear from the roadside until suddenly they are replaced by their larger, prehistoric and tusked counterparts, the elephants. There are very few, if any, experiences that I can compare to the feeling of vulnerability and exhilaration of cycling through a game reserve. Two hundred and fifty kilometres of uninhabited land, ruled by lions, elephants and buffalo, through which one would normally pass with the protection of a large Land Rover, or for the few brave cattle herders, a large calibre ri e. One such herder that we came across told us, grinning from ear to ear, There are loads of lion! Yes, I just saw them on the road down there!” We reached a camp in the middle of the reserve by early afternoon and spent the day observing the comings and goings of tourists who, descending from their air- conditioned bus, would be chaperoned along protected walkways so as not to risk running into any game, fed to the eyeballs with steak and desert, then rammed back on the bus to go and experience the great outdoors. While feeling a little smug about the freedom of bike touring, it dawned on us that being behind a glass window probably is the more advisable way of viewing twenty-foot-tall bull elephants. Our suspicions were confirmed the next day. We d been told different advice by ust about everyone on this trip, from ‘make yourself big and shout at it’ to ‘treat it with respect and back off to run for your life, you will die anyway so you might as well try and call your loved ones’. We chose the ‘look straight, clench and pretend nothing is out of the ordinary . This, it turns out, is a pretty good policy, but in this particular case something about our appearance, it may have been my wif ѕȁɸ̰)eЁͥЁѽݕݥѠ)Ё́ݔݕɔͥ)ѡѕɕ́݅䰁Ցɹ́՝Ʌ)ѽ݅ɑ̰́́́յѥ)Ёѡхݔٔѡ́аЁ݅)䁄܁͕̰ЁЁѱ䁙Ёѕɹ丁!)ձ͕Ѽ́ձаѡɕѕ́ͥ饹)́ЁѡͅѥЁɹѡ)аͅɥЁѼѡ͠)]ѕȁչɕ䵭ɔ䁽)ɥѡɽ՝ѡɬЁ́Ё݅́ѥɬQ)́͠Ёͽݡɔԁ݅ЁѼЁљLЁ)ѡչѥȁݔݽձͥѥՍ̸1Ս)ٔ́ɕѥݔ)܁յ́ѼɅє݅ɔ͡)Ʌ䁍Ʌձѕ͕ٕ́ȁͥ)ѡɽ՝ѡɬո͍ѡ]ݽє͕)ЁݥѠѡ́՝Ёѡݥ)ЁɔЁ݅́ЁչѥЁѡЁݔ)ݕɔɕѼٔȁѡЁ܁ɕ)չѥݔչѼ́ݔݕɔ٥)ɽٕȁѱݸѡɽѽ݅ɑ)̸%ЁձѼЁѡѕа)ɹ+qeԁٕeЁЁt͡፱qeԁɕ͔)ѡЁЁ́չɕɕ́չѥѡЁѕ)ɕЁ́t)Mи)]ѼٕȁѡЁхȁ̰ȁݔݽձ)ЁЁѡݥѠɽѕѥ)х䁉͠ЁѡɹQѵɔ)щݔЁɅЁѡ̰)٥ѡ͡ݡɔݔ՝Ё́ȁչ)ЁѡɽЁ݅́хݔѽٔєɕ)ѼݸѥեЁ̰Ёͥɽѡаݔ)͕ٕ́͡ѼѡЁѽЁݼ)Ѽѡɹ䁡ɐ͡ЁɽQ+q1t))݅́ݕ䁵ɕ́eЁչх)ȁ́ȁѼэݥѠ̰ȁ)ɕ͕ѕեєչх䰁ѽѼ)ݡɕ䁅ЁɕиQ̰ݔ͕ѡ)ݥѠ)ͽѕѕɱչ݅ɔ́ɕ͕)ݥѠȁ́ȁѡٕ́́͡ɔ)ȁݕеͽ̸)Mݔ͕ȁ5ѕ́ɥѽɥ)ȁɝѽ䰁ݥѡЁ͍Ʌэ]ͅչѕɕѼ)-չձݥѠɥ́́́ѡ䁡ٔɥ)ɕݕЁѕɱ䁕ᡅѕ%Ё݅́Ёѡ)ЁѡЁݔѕ5]危ѼݥѠ)ɥ̰Ѽ͡ɔݥѠȁٕ)݅ɸѡ́ѡЁ䁅)%Ё݅́́ѡݽɱ݅́ѽ她ݥѠ̰ݥ́ѡ)͕͔ٕЁѡЁ́ݥѠͥѡɽ՝)ѡɥ́ɕ͕ٔЁѥЁեєх)ѼѥٔݥѠ5éձ䁵յхɹ)ѡɽ՝ѡѡ䵙ٔչɥ́ѡЁٔɽ՝Ё)ɽ9܁eɬѼ ݅]䁹ٕȁɥ)ѡЁѕѡЁ5)ɕѕȁ͕Ёɕi٥ ݅e))Ʌͥɬ́՝ٕЁȁ)QIQ!݅)Q ɽ)́$ͥЁѡ1Iٕȁȁݡѱ)ѡɽ՝!݅9ѥAɬiݔѡɔ)ѕȁѥѼɕ͍ݡЁٕ́)ѡЁݕ]͕ٔѡɕչɥ̰՝Ё)̰ѕɅѕݥѠݡєɡ́٥ͥѕ)ѡMٕ]́ѡ]ɱ)Qٕȁ́ɍɔݡЁɽͥ)Ёɥ䁽ɽ䁍ɅѼɥ)ԁЁѕɥ她ѡЁѡݡѡ́)ѼЁ%ѡѡɥٕȰԁɔЁ)Ёݡɔѡչɥ́ȁչɥ́а) ݅iݔ9i)ݔݕɔɕ䁕፥ѕѼѕȁѡѕȸ)=ȁЁЁɽ՝Ё́Ѽ͵ɴٔ)ɕ́ɽ-酹ձ]Ѡѡո͕ѥե)]ѕ͵ݽЁѡͥѡɽ)ݕЁѼɽՍ͕5ѕѡ)ݕ́Ѽ́ݕ)́Ѽэȁѕ́ȁѡиѕȁѽȁ́ɴ)ݔɅͽȁ́ͽ)ɽչѡɔ)%ӊé饹܁ͽѥ́ѡЁɕمЁ)ѕɕѥٕͅѥ́ЁՔ)ٕ-酹ձ݅́ᅍѱѡиѕȁ͍ͥ)ȁѽݥѠ5ѕ%ݔɹЁͽ)ɕͥ́Ѽѡ́Ё)ٕ܁Ё݅́ɕѱ䁥ѥѡȁչ)]ѠՍ܁嵕ЁɅєѡչɔɥ