It is incredible to see what can be carried on a bicycle. While filming “Getaway to Africa” in Malawi we met a mad hatter named Kenny Shane, a Canadian who had just about cycled right around the globe over a period of 25 years. He was making his way southwards to Cape Town and then northwards through West Africa and finally to Europe where he said his trip would end.
Kenny had something special, it may have been his crazy laugh, the way he was able to connect with people wherever he went and how he made friends in the blink of an eye.
Kenny learned to travel with very little, but always made sure to document his travels in a little book he carried with him. It contained a map of the world and Kenny had drawn the routes he had taken, and collected photographs, stamps and other memorabilia. He also had a little green Kermit the Frog that travelled everywhere with him, I suppose the long roads got lonely at times, and I am sure it appeared less crazy to talk to the frog when out on the open road than to oneself…
It seems some people search their whole lives to find their purpose. Kenny had found his and his book was a perfect record of this magical journey. His best saying was the following: “sometimes you have to have more guts than knowledge when cycling around the world.”
I think Kenny was right; the same is true for any walk of life.
Malaria, one of Africa’s biggest killers took Kenny’s life recently in West Africa, the last leg of his journey. I think Kenny’s soul had found its place, to be on the road in Africa. Kenny’s journey was his destination, and I am sure if you sit quietly on a gravel road anywhere in the world and listen carefully you will still hear the gentle crushing of gravel under Kenny’s tires and the swoosh of his bike as he passes by, moving, but perfectly in his place.
Travel safe Kenny, you have the knowledge and the guts dear friend.