My African Adventure by Lane Davey

In 1999-2000 I did the Asp World Tour. I traveled from the Northshore of Hawaii to the U.S. mainland as well as Australia and France, but my favorite stop on tour was Africa.

Africa is almost exactly 1/2 way around the world from Hawaii. 12:00 midnight here is 12:00 in the afternoon there and the best way to describe the flight from Hawaii is to say that I saw the sun go down twice before I got to Africa. I flew from Hawaii about 8 hours to the east coast of America, then flew to another 12 hours to France, then another 8 hours to Cape town, then about a 1/2 hour shuttle to Durban. With lay overs it took me almost 40 hours to get there.

Once I arrived in Durban S. Africa, it was like a home that I had never been to with friends that I had never met. My husband photographer Sean Davey knew Jeremy _________ of Zig Zag Magazine who was able to hook me up with a cool local girl named Marriane Postma to stay with and as soon as she picked me up at the airport I knew we were going to have a great time. Marriane was to Durban much like I am to Oahu; she was like the local girl who everyone knows, even though she has lots of girlfriends she also considered to be like one of the boys.

That night they were having the night surfing event and she took me down and showed me the break where we would be surfing. I did not know how daring the contestants were until a couple days later when I heard about a shark attack in Cape Town, and that they had actually found a few sharks between the beach and the extra nets they had put in for the contest. eeekkk! Marriane was especially proud of the Gunston Pro which was held in her hometown and the next day when I went down to check it out I could see why. The contest was just like a huge festival in the city on the beach. It was all so exciting; there were more people at that contest that I had seen at any other contest. I felt very honored to be in the event. I practiced at the break which was better than any of the other beach breaks I had surfed on tour because it had a little more power and shape to it. The water was warm and the ocean was clean and beautiful. I surfed my heat and made it through the trials to the main event so I practiced again that evening as the waves got smaller and smaller. By the time my heat was the next day, the waves were only about 1-2 feet and which made girls like Serena Brook in my heat who were very strategic about those kinds of conditions extremely hard to beat so I didn't make that heat and placed 17th overall. I wasn't so bummed that I lost because I knew it would give Marriane and I time to do some other cool things in Africa and that is exactly what we did.

That night I met Marriane down at one of the booths where she was working at the contest and hung out there until she finished work. The streets were like a big party every night by the contest, people every where just having fun. We went out for a spin around town. Again, what made it so fun was the fact that Marriane was such a local and she took us to the happening spots and knew all the cool people. First we went to the pub/dinner that Marriane worked at which was like the cool hang out in town. After dinner we went to a night club and went dancing, at a couple clubs actually and they were packed. I was tripping out because I never really thought of Africa as a city with a nightclub scene. Marriane and the girls brought the house down. They had every guy in the city after them, but of course chose to come home alone.

That night I also met Marrianes sister whose name was almost the same as mine She was free spirited, kindof like Marriane. It was cool to meet people on the other side of the world who seemed so much like me. Marriane and a friend of hers would take me to surf Cave Rock that day. It was such a fun wave which came straight out of a clift. It was a lot closer to the style of waves we surf at home kindof sucking up over a reef. I wished the contest could have been there. Marrianes sister told me of many surf spots around the island that were like Cave Rock, but that they had a high shark risk factor. I guess those places are pretty desserted to. The locals seem fearless about the sharks, but the sharks seem fearless of the people. In Hawaii, we mostly have hammerheads and tiger sharks not great whites like they have in Africa. I am hoping to one day go back and surf a few more spots there. Being from Hawaii, it is hard for me to get inspired to go on surf trips, but Africa definitely seemed like a place worth pursuing for quality waves.

That night we managed to hold a house party at Marrianes apartment right on the beach. Some of the surfers from the contests came over and hung out for a while. The girls went out for another night on the town, but I needed to stay in that night and catch up on some jet lag especially since I would be leaving in just 3 days to go to another contest in California.

Even after a long night Marriane and I had planned a trip to Shueslue Animal Park. We left really early in the morning on the bus with a really cool guide. " As we left the hustle and bustle of Durban which was as modern as any other city in the world we seemed to go back in time. The further we drove into the breathtaking mountainess dessert we began to see natives walking with water buckets balanced on their head in tribal clothing, real African style huts and a true dose of African culture. In Africa their is still a misunderstanding between blacks and whites and they don't seem to get along. Our guide was a black man who was very modern, much like us, but the Africans in the country were still very tribal which was really quite special, I thought, however I could see how the two had trouble co-exsisting together because they just seemed so extremely different. When we arrived at the Park some mini Zulu dancers came to greet us; they were really cute. The first thing we did was go to this restaurant which was somewhat exotic. Marriane and I tried the crocodile (which was a first for me because I didn't even now people ate crocodile) It tasted like really chewy chicken and was kindof weird, but fun. In Australia, I experienced an outside animal park, but this one was something else- wow. We saw zebra, a pack of baboons bouncing by our bus, hippopotamus, a rhinosarus and her little baby. giraffes that were so tall that we could see their necks peeping over the trees. These animals are actually running around your tour bus which is kinda nuts if you think about it since some of them are deadly. My favorite part though was when our guide actually took us into an area where it said "no trespassing" and we ran across a huge elephant. Obviously he was not as happy to see us as we were to see him, so when he started flapping his ears we got the heck out of there. Just as we got back onto the main road however, there was one elephant with 2 babies crossing the road. The bus in front of us got a scare when the elephants stopped right next to their car for a big squeal before moving on. We left and got to see the sun go down again on the way back to the city.

I couldn't leave without a bit of shopping. In Africa they have the best artwork, wood carvings and trinkets for so cheap. I guess it helps when the American dollar is 7-1 yippie, however with the plane ticket at over $2000 US I felt like I needed to take some things back to sell to help pay for the trip, but I didn't, just a couple things for myself. I bought a beautiful painting of an African Lepoard and a wood carved table that I still have to this day.

Though my frist trip to Africa was back in 1999, I still remember parts of it with a crystal clear vision as if it were yesterday. I hope one day I can return to Africa, but I guess I am still waiting for Marriane, to come meet her Hawaiian family.

by Lane Davey