Do you remember the day’s of watching The Amazing Race? Sitting on the edge of your seat as your favorite teams, went toe to toe, who would get to the finish point first?
And as you recall, anything could change the outcome, a broken down car, a fear of spiders, or heights depending on what the challenges were. This could either delay or accelerate a team’s chance at winning immediately.
Thankfully, I’ve never had to take part in The Amazing Race, while every traveler secretly dreams of doing it, the amount of stress,and panic that comes with it is a no-go area for me.
So I was very intrigued when I was notified a few weeks ago by Lyle, that I had been selected as one of the 5 Durban Contestants to take part in this years #DurbanChallenge. The Durban Challenge is hosted by Travelstart.co.za in conjunction with Wohza, also known as Go Pro South Africa.
Yeah, pretty much I skimmed the email, my brain highlighted the words, Travelstart, Durban and GoPro and I was in. And we were all lucky enough to be able to bring a partner with for the challenge. It only made sense that I brought along my business partner, friend and photographer himself, Al Nicoll.
There were other words that stuck out from the brief, like FUN, ENJOY, FRIENDS, and again FUN! So stress and competition were out the door and I started packing!
Funny enough we were leaving literally the day after that for the #SCBF2017. I’m not sure actually how many days in April, either Al or myself have spent in Durban,but what a way to spend the day that we were.
The day had come, our engines were revving…….more like the day had come and we got lost a few times and then had a coffee and re-started. Giggle. It was my kind of “challenge already.
Once we had all settled ourselves, we made our introductions and of course said hello to old mates. Taking part in the #DurbanChallenge, was AskAshe and her partner, DigitalStreetSA and his partner, Sandile Nene and his partner, and Sean CockCroft with Lyle . It was on like donkey kong!
There were four challenges in total that we had to get through, during the day. Each team would also need to stop, somewhere along the way for a famous Durban – Bunny Chow. Al & I’s first #DurbanChallenge was to go find the Treasure Chest within Ushaka Marine World.
And who likes looking for treasure? Pirates of course, so I became one for a good thirty minutes (until the eye patch started bothering me).
Yes, pirates have updated their style too. We find Tomy Takkies and shades are an essential part of our commandeering ways. Giggle. By the way, in case you thought the above photo was taken in private, with special lighting, let me snatch that idea from your mind. This photo was taken while “a gazillion” school kids, teachers and parents walked around Ushaka Marine Aquarium. I am quite sure some thought we were part of the attraction. It was so hard to keep a straight face while Al took a photo and I tried to look all “Piratey”.
Next we were off to discover the famous Durban beach front, with a rickshaw ride and some fun at Fun World. As a child I was never much interested in fun world, but mini town HAD to be stopped at, on every occasion. The amount of work and design that went into building mini town would hold any child’s and architects attention.
Fun world, turned out to be exactly that in one sense, fun. Funny may be a better term. As Al laughed his head off at me, while I did the exact opposite.
While I can climb mountains annually, and go on daring adventures, including the fact that I am dying to sky dive and I love floating around in helicopters, me and direct height do NOT agree.
All excited after building myself up that I was going to do something I haven’t done before, we bought our tickets and headed off to the cable cars.
Getting on was bit extreme in my opinion, the guy doesn’t exactly STOP the cable car or explain to you how it works, so I was kind of shoved in, after tripping over my own foot and then strapped down, with my back pack shoved against me.
Not the greatest start but in true Cee fashion within seconds I was enjoying the ride, the breeze, the view. Until the view started getting a bit more intense. I didn’t need my GoPro set on wide angle, I could see just far enough as far as I was concerned. In fact, I had seen enough and decided that closing my eyes was a great way to experience the rest of our climb.
Luckily if there is one thing Al and I do well, its laugh. You can not fault us on being able to turn any situation into hours and hours of laughter. And so that’s exactly what we did. We took the fact that I was completely convinced I was about to fall out of the sky to my death, and we hosed ourselves.
It’s what we do and its exactly what I needed. In all fairness I was trying to recorded an awesome video of us in the air, then Al threw something about Titanic my way, and it all went pear shaped from there. It’s hilarious.
Also apparently it seems we have enrolled in the school of “Its not a selfie unless one of you is pouting”. Judging on the below photo’s I think we will graduate with flying colors.
Next we were off to do something I have been wanting to do for years. Segway! Me and wheels, I have had an obsession since I was a young child. I am sure people who know me today have NO IDEA just how much I love anything with wheels or the ability to accelerate. Cars, bikes, boats, planes, rafts, quads, you name it, I’ll most likely try it.
Ha ha ha let’s just say most of the photo’s from this challenge are upside down and the wrong way around. Learning how to handle a Gopro & a Segway systematically should have been one of the #DurbanChallenge challenges.
I will admit though, once I realized it was all about balance and pressure, my feet muscle memories quickly came back from my ballet and tap years, and viola within no time, I was ready to cruise! Vroom vroom!
Finishing the ride part was the hardest, I don’t think anyone wanted to leave or end this challenge. Al and I of course were at the VERY VERY VERY back of the group, you know the ones who “are a bit slow”. Giggle. It’s like when your parents take you somewhere you don’t want to leave,and suddenly there is just this ONE MORE thing you need to do.
With that done, we all took a few moments to collect ourselves. As much as fun as you’re having, you’re also burning off steam and energy. One has to re-fuel and what better way than with a Durban Bunny Chow?
Bunny chows are no joke now! With the legendary history and many versions of the tale of how they came to be in Durban, South Africa. Its become quite the serious business. From who makes the best to the hottest, to the biggest. Eaten strictly with your hands only, and maybe a napkin or three thousand, that is the way of the bunny chow.
Now. One does not simply walk into Mordor, much the same can be said about eating half a bunny chow, or leaving anything on your plate. A bunny is to be consumed from start to finish. It can take over a hour between conversation and laughs, and discussions about said bunny chow, but when all is said and done, you will have done that bunny right!
Now before I get calls from PETA etc, for those of you NOT based in South Africa or Durban for that matter, know this. I did not suddenly over night, develop a taste for fluffy pet rabbits, nor will I ever. There is a long history behind the name, we tend to say and write the word Bunny but in fact it is a translation from the name BANYA. There are a MILLION theories but they all agree on one thing, the meal originated in Grey street, Durban South Africa during Apartheid times.The rest, can be debated.
Anyway, one can enjoy said meal pretty much anyway they want, as long as its with their hands. Firstly you have a choice of fillings, chicken, beef,lamb, and vegetarian(beans). I always go with Chicken, I love the spicy filling and the taste of the chicken done in this way.
Apparently so does Al Nicoll because, for this part of the #DurbanChallenge we seemed to be tick for tack. See what I mean below…..
Our bellies, were full.
Next stop, the biggest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere anyone?
Yup! Kzn is home to Gateway Shopping Mall as well.
The final #DurbanChallenge was to take 5 random selfies with people in the mall. This proved to be another point, where Al and I kept each other going, total team work. People seem to get a bit freaked out when a random pair of people walk up to them, with this robot like arm stretched out, asking if they could please have a photo. The looks we got were something classical. My encouragement, smile a while people.
Luckily there were a few people who treated us like we weren’t some odd reinvented version of The Terminator and happily took some photos with us!
After that we had to find something South African to talk about and suggest to fellow viewers. I immediately pounced on the Parlotones tent, knowing that they are one of South Africa’s longest standing and most respected bands in this country. Not only that but we had just previously worked with and watched them play at Splashy 2017 which is always a treat. They’re masters of their arts!
Unfortunately the boys weren’t in for sound practice but I did get their carbon cut outs in on the action! A little Usain Bolt direction and all was well with the world again.
Wow. And to the think the day had started at Ushaka Marine World, with us hunting for treasure?
I had no idea what to expect for this challenge, I had no idea what to expect from our colleagues and partners and the Travelstart an GoPro Team. What I can tell you is that it was an amazing day!
It was possibly the best day I have had in a long time. I am after all, all about Travel and the more I get to explore, even at home, the more I grow and the more I feel like I am doing exactly what I was born to do. I guess we all feel this in some way or another but in all honesty, if money wasn’t a factor, I would have been travelling this globe many a year ago, and for many to come.
Travelling on a South African passport is not easy, especially when you are young and self sufficient, we need (costly) visa’s to walk out our front door these days. It makes me sad an angry because we could grow so much as a country if our people had more change to travel, grow, explore, learn and the come home and teach, educate, share what they’ve seen of the world. Its important.
So thank you to the team at Travelstart.co.za for making things little easier on us travel lovers! With their amazing deals and cheap flights to Durban, there is much to explore. You can see more of their amazing deals by clicking THIS highlighted link.
A huge thank you to GoPro – Wohza! We’re going to do some amazing things in the very bear future, and I am excited. The new Hero 5 Black is life. Seriously its amazing and as Ceeces Travel moves over to a more video and LIVE based platform, first choice is obviously to have a Hero 5 by my side on my travels.
Thanks to Sean Cockcroft as well. Our Durban based GoPro Hero who patiently sat down with all of us and taught us the way of the pro. That should be the new motto “The Way of The Pro”.
And a huge hug and high 5 to my #DurbanChallenge partner Al Nicoll, between hyperventilating in mid air, pretending we were Tony Hawk on Segways and just generally having a laugh, you were a star! Glad you could be on-board! Where do you think our next adventure is taking us?
You can find me on my following social media accounts, in order of most active: Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook Page, Snapchat, Pinterest. The handle is the same for ALL accounts: @CeecesTravel
And As Always……