It is often said that when one door closes, another opens.
On Sunday 5 May, as many of you know, I smashed the front tyre of my motorbike on a pothole outside Kokstad, and fell badly. Almost ironic, given 2000km of riding over the previous 5 days with 12 friends over some fairly challenging Eastern Cape mountain pass routes.
Given the age of my old Honda Africa Twin, the insurer decided sadly to write her off, to my horror. Ever since University motorbikes have been an integral part of my life. Doors close.
My injuries were of great concern, given contracts to work on a cruise ship off west coast of Canada/Alaska only 7 weeks after the accident. Our May UK lecture tour had to be cancelled at one weeks notice. As a Speaker this is something one dreads most. Orthopedic maestro James McAllister who so expertly repaired my smashed leg graciously accorded me permission to proceed to the ship, along with his letter to that effect. After marathon flights from Durban to Dubai, Dubai to Seattle (14 hours), and Seattle to Vancouver, I find myself typing a few lines from Juneau, capital city of Alaska. We had a young assistant running through Seattle airport, with me in a wheelchair Express Transfer card in hand, trying to make the connection to Vancouver. We just made it, our luggage did not!
Turns out the hotel we booked in Vancouver is situated in a somewhat insalubrious part of the city. Dear friends well aware of our exhaustion levels, my leg throbbing, sans luggage kindly met us at the airport, and taking a look at our hotel immediately booked us into an hotel of their choice. What a very special gesture indeed. We slept 12 hours straight, enjoyed breakfast and anxiously awaited our luggage. Alaska Air were good as their word, and our luggage arrived, much to our relief.
Whilst still adjusting to the time difference, and moving around the ship on crutches, I have done my first talk. Digging deep within my repertoire, I spoke about enigmatic Alaskan wildlife. Karen’s son Rhyder had kindly prepared magnificent Power Points, and I relish the challenge of being taken way out of my comfort zone.
Doors open..We are onboard this exquisite Crystal Symphony for two months. A more gorgeous environment in which to continue recovering is impossible to imagine.
Despite the accident, the loss of my bike, time in hospital, deep introspection and seven workless weeks, exciting new chapters beckoning..