Roché Schoeman is fast becoming a legend and a hero in many eyes. Especially those of the children at Up with Down’s school in Blanco for whom he has taken on the mammoth task of swimming the Orange River from source to sea.
Last Monday, 17 February, Roché finally reached the Gariep Dam were he met up with some of the children and teachers from the school. “They really spoilt me! It was such a treat to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, not even to mention the braai,” Roché said.
Although his trip has gone reasonably well, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for this brave adventurer. Two weeks ago his river board broke and he had to patch it up with what he could lay his hands on. After failing to plastic-weld his board together with melted plastic at his campsite fire, he taped the board with duck tape and made his way to the Gariep Dam where he met up with the kids from Up with Down’s. “If you can’t duck it, chuck it,” he said, laughing. He only received his new board last Friday after a communication gap caused the courier company to deliver it to Cape Town.
“I’m relieved that my new board has finally arrived. The Dam is behind me and I can look forward to the river again,” he said. “I still have a long way to go and don’t want to start celebrating yet.”
Roché has travelled approximately 140km in 11 days and has passed the 900km mark. He hopes to reach the 1 000km mark within the next two weeks. (Source: Eden Express)