Round the World cyclist visits Rhodes and Lesotho on the MDR

Walkerbouts Country Inn in Rhodes, on the Maloti Drakensberg Route, recently hosted Hiromu Jimbo, a Japanese cyclist who, since 2009, has cycled through Europe and Africa on his own.

After graduating with a degree in political science Hiromu Jimbo was working for a travel agent in Japan when he read a book, Yatta! ("I have achieved it") by Tatsu Sakamoto, describing a round the world cycle trip.

He decided to emulate this feat despite opposition from his parents, his brother and his fiancée. In May 2009, to take advantage of the European summer, he left Istanbul. His bicycle carries his tent, sleeping bag and mattress and cycle spares such as tyres, tubes and cycle chains.

He cycled to Gibraltar, crossed into Africa and zigzagged his way down the continent. His guiding mantra from the book by Tatsu Sakamoto was that people always respond well to a smile and he says it has served him well. He has always been well and hospitably received, particularly if he first visited the local chief. Once permission was granted he was assured of a safe journey through the region.

He said his journey through the Sahara desert was particularly taxing where he experienced strong wind and sand storms. He said it was essential during this part of his journey to carry lots of water. In Mali he experienced temperatures of 50˚.

His only moment of danger came in Namibia when he was attacked by three dogs and he was kept in hospital under observation for a few days in case the dogs were rabid.

He spent three months working in Cape Town and was full of praise for the city’s cycle shops which he said were exceptionally well stocked and he was able to buy spares and re-equip his cycle for the rest of his journey. Mr Jimbo said that he slept at police stations and garages or in the veld during his journey.

After leaving Cape Town, he cycled along the Garden Route. Completely smitten with the beauty of the alpine offerings on the Maloti Drakensberg Route, from Rhodes he will cycle through Lesotho and onto Richards Bay, excited at what lies ahead in the Kingdom in the Sky. Mr Jimbo said he had heard that Lesotho was one of the most charming countries in the Southern Hemisphere, known for its spectacular natural diversity and friendly people and the magnificent mountain splendour was something he was keen to explore.

He will return to Japan after visiting India, a trip that he anticipates will take 4 years in all. Jimbo’s journey can be accessed through his blog: http://kotambola.blog.fc2.com/

By Ed Herbst & Nikki Tilley

For more information please contact: Nikki Tilley – The Media Mogul Co. 
nikki(at)themediamogul.co.za 082 441 5795