This Twigger guy is an interesting character. A while back I stumbled upon an article he wrote on polymaths in Aeon with a knock-out first paragraph.
I travelled with Bedouin in the Western Desert of Egypt. When we got a puncture, they used tape and an old inner tube to suck air from three tyres to inflate a fourth. It was the cook who suggested the idea; maybe he was used to making food designed for a few go further. Far from expressing shame at having no pump, they told me that carrying too many tools is the sign of a weak man; it makes him lazy. The real master has no tools at all, only a limitless capacity to improvise with what is to hand. The more fields of knowledge you cover, the greater your resources for improvisation.
Later I found another quote of his that made me laugh because people often say they love Amanda’s enthusiasm.
We are lead to believe that all ‘top jobs’ are occupied by smart people. But really smart people don’t have jobs. I mean – why would they? Of course at times they work very hard. But this work is like the work you do on a hobby that really absorbs you.
And those ‘really smart’ people don’t often seem so very smart when you meet them, rather they appear enthusiastic.
He’s got a book coming out that I very much look forward to reading..
On the day before flying out of Bali we decided to participate in the Bali International Triathlon and 5K. Amanda signed up for the 5K run and I registered for the Sprint Triathlon.
I had reserved a tri-bike for the race but the reservation got lost in translation. We arrived to the event with no bike and were saved by Yanti, a lovely Indonesian women who kindly loaned me her folding bike.
While I was out on the course Amanda ran the 5K in her usual blistering speed and was the second woman overall.
On the bike leg I was passed by a fit guy with the number 69 scrawled in permanent marker on his left calf. I yelled, “I’m giving it everything I got and I’m getting passed by a #&$%@#$ 69 year old”. The guy immediately sped up and left me in the dust. Later I caught him on the run and we crossed the finish line together.
Kruger Park is the size of Israel with development limited to a few small camps and a few two lane roads. The rest is Africa as it was. The animals roam freely. Large sections of the park have been designated wilderness areas, mostly off limits to humans.
We had the opportunity to hike in one of these areas on the Napi Wilderness Trail recently.
The Napi area is teeming with both black and white rhino – we were fortunate to see more than fifty while hiking – but poaching is a major problem with 827 killed in 2014.
Hiking one area that had not been walked in more than a year we stumbled upon a rhino skull (see video below) that had been shot in the head and the horn had been removed.
We spent three days in the area with two rifle toting South African National Parks rangers and two South African birders who ticked off more than a hundred different birds from their siting list. We helped them by continually pointing out the same colorful Bee Eater and they politely indulged our ignorance. Together we walked more than 25 kilometers a day looking for the wide variety of game that call the Napi home and retreated to our primitive safari tent camp each evening serenaded to sleep by the cackle of hyena and the roar of lion.
Last week we celebrated twenty-one years of marriage. Whew! Milestones like that cause us to look back and take stock. We were surprised when we calculated that more than 1/3 of our marriage – a full seven years – has been spent traveling in foreign lands.
For years we’ve boasted about our frugality, in part because we’re rather proud in a shameless way of the fact that we paid for it all with money we earned ourselves. In an era of trustafarians, we are happy to show that it is possible for regular people to buythemselves freedom.
Turns out others like that message too. A few months ago an ad agency contacted us to ask if we’d like to be featured in a documentary-style vignette about our unusual lifestyle. I was reluctant but Amanda – as usual – insisted we give it a try. Thankfully I relented. Enjoy…..