Training

Getting fit.


With the scooters rebuilt we adopted a rigorous physical training schedule and put into practice some of the maneuvers we anticipated would be necessary in the canyon. Using the old quarry off de Vaal Drive we hauled the scooter up and down the rock face testing out cables and winch and on Zeekoevlei we tested our raft.

We also had a 2 man exploration team leave Cape Town in April to undertake a one week investigation of the conditions we would encounter in the canyon.

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Physical fitness became the order of the day.
Physical fitness became the order of the day.
We pushed our scooters up hills to toughen our legs and back muscles.
We pushed our scooters up hills to toughen our legs and back muscles.
Scrambling up the slopes of Camps Bay…
Scrambling up the slopes of Camps Bay…
we realized we were not as fit as we thought.
we realized we were not as fit as we thought.
So we pushed ourselves even harder.
So we pushed ourselves even harder.
We learnt to use a firearm…
We learnt to use a firearm…
…to shoot straight and true.
…to shoot straight and true.
With only one firearm permitted, we would all know how to  to use it.
With only one firearm permitted, we would all know how to to use it.
We even walked to work leaving our scooters at home.
We even walked to work leaving our scooters at home.
Every weekend we trained.
Every weekend we trained.
Pulling and dragging our scooters through soft sand...
Pulling and dragging our scooters through soft sand...
...across rivers...
...across rivers...
...through dense bush...
...through dense bush...
...and through tangled undergrowth.
...and through tangled undergrowth.
We carried them up…
We carried them up…
…and across the steepest sand dunes we could find.
…and across the steepest sand dunes we could find.
We knew the scooters could take the punishment.
We knew the scooters could take the punishment.
We had to make sure...
We had to make sure...
...that we could as well.
...that we could as well.
Encountering rock outcrops...
Encountering rock outcrops...
...we clambered up...
...we clambered up...
...and over them as well.
...and over them as well.
It became a common site on weekends...
It became a common site on weekends...
...to see 6 men dragging 3 scooters...
...to see 6 men dragging 3 scooters...
...up and down the slopes of Table Mountain.
...up and down the slopes of Table Mountain.
In a disused quarry off De Vaal Drive...
In a disused quarry off De Vaal Drive...
...we tested out all our equipment...
...we tested out all our equipment...
...and most importantly our dehydrated food.
...and most importantly our dehydrated food.
Carrying our scooters over the rough terrain towards the cliff face.
Carrying our scooters over the rough terrain towards the cliff face.
We lowered a cable over the edge of the cliff...
We lowered a cable over the edge of the cliff...
...and attached Veni to the cable…
...and attached Veni to the cable…
…and started to haul.
…and started to haul.
She climbed the cliff face like a gigantic spider.
She climbed the cliff face like a gigantic spider.
Nearing the top progress was halted – she refused to budge.
Nearing the top progress was halted – she refused to budge.
Suddenly Peter shouted “Look out she’s falling”.
Suddenly Peter shouted “Look out she’s falling”.
Veni plumeted to the ground.
Veni plumeted to the ground.
Missing Terry by inches.
Missing Terry by inches.
Fortunately there was only minor damaged.
Fortunately there was only minor damaged.
But we wondered. Was this an omen?
But we wondered. Was this an omen?
Testing our raft at Zeekoevlei.
Testing our raft at Zeekoevlei.
Using the scooter exhaust we could inflate it in 2 minutes.
Using the scooter exhaust we could inflate it in 2 minutes.
Stabilizing the scooter on the raft.
Stabilizing the scooter on the raft.
We guided it out.
We guided it out.
It took the weight of our heaviest scooter.
It took the weight of our heaviest scooter.
In fact it took the weight of a man as well.
In fact it took the weight of a man as well.
With all our theories tested. We were now ready for our assault on the Fish River Canyon.
With all our theories tested. We were now ready for our assault on the Fish River Canyon.