I can pick a ripe avocado from my bedroom window!

Celia_and_the_avocado_tree

It’s true. Look! (Celia the Lapierre had to be in the photo too just to make it believable). This tree is right outside my digs and I have just bought a hammock to sling from it’s branches to aid the r&r in the afternoons. Today I rode £5000 worth of posh bike through the middle of Pietermaritzburg to get to a rendezvous. As I rode along through the hot air and traffic, avoiding cars and kamikaze pedestrians, I wondered to myself if this was safe. Then I began thinking that that is a word used a lot here. As is exclusive. Both these things get in the way of seeing the people and their culture and country. If you stay safe and shop and dine only in exclusive places you limit the risk, yes, but you also lose the adventure and the challenge. Nothing happened to me on my commute through town except attracting a few beaming smiles and high spirited comments about the beauty of Celia (it’s true, she is a peach). That’s not to say I m going to let my guard down. Don’t worry mum. But I think there is a way to be careful without being exclusive and anxious out here. Risk is necessary for growth and by being alive we experience it whether we like it or not so there’s no point in trying to avoid it completely. What sort of mountain biker racer would I be if I thought otherwise. I ll take my time and figure it out. I ll get the right balance. It might take some pondering in the hammock with a ripe avocado…

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