I woke up at 6, about half an hour before the alarm I had set. With an 8am class I didn’t want to oversleep. I‘d known there was no chance at a shower in the morning, confirmed when the line was already 10 deep by 630. but I wanted to have time to eat and review my slides before presenting.
I had a small audience for my review session, which I assumed would be about the same size as the actual audience when I was presenting. I had reached my tent just before 11 the night before, and from what I’d heard the party was going on in several parts of the event. 8am seemed very early. And I was going to be in the Overland Theater, where later in the day Austin Vince would be premiering his new feature Mondo Sahara. Big room. Small crowd.
I reached the room about 10 minutes early to find two people there. So, twice what I’d been expecting then. I set up my computer and remarked it was going to be more like a conversation than a presentation, when a few more people trickled in. I started talking at 8 to about half a dozen.
I went through the slides, I was talking about my time in Ecuador and Peru, told stories about people I met and places I stopped. Answered questions (I like questions). By the time I was half way through the closest seats were full and more people were still trickling in. I rather like my ride report, just fun without the pressure of imparting information the Going Small talks have.
Soon it was 850 and time to stop. The next people were setting up some sort of easel off to the side and we had been told not to go long. I thanked everyone for coming, realized I should’ve had a tag slide at the end with my info on, and packed up.
Back at camp I ate second breakfast, now that I was done talking. I had to give Going Small again at 4pm, but in the mean time I could go and look at some stuff.
Lois Pryce moderating a panel on the philosophy of overland travel – hence the barrettes. Entertaining, if not automatically informative. Ted Simon through his barrette into the crowd at the end, like a rock star and his guitar pick.
Walking back to Base Camp for lunch I took a side track to look at some of the trucks. I am always fascinated by them, all the stuff they carry and amenities they offer. It’s definitely a different way to travel.
Charlie Boorman tours were there as well, sort of.
Later in the day TVs were added with the Long Way shows on loop. Occasionally people were there too.
Standing near a later panel with Alison we were yelled at from passing Ural, and taken for a quick spin around the grounds.
No that isn’t me. And there were about 30 more people piled on at the time. But Carla was piloting.
I watched the Adventure Trio give a healthy cooking talk right next to where we were all camped. I have to admit, I don’t normally like most of the ingredients she uses but the finished products were all fantastic. I will need to re-examine my eating habits. Again.
After lunch I had time to look around some more before packing Curiosity for my class.
then it was back to work.
My last class for the weekend was definitely the largest, and people arriving late missed things they had to ask about at the end, and I ran long. I was the last talk of the day, though, so I didn’t think it mattered.
I rushed back to camp and got my tent back in order then headed over to the Happy Hour. I was in line waiting for some food when I was told I needed to get back to camp. While I was hungry, and there was a lot going on that night, I did as I was told. It was a good move.
I knew J Brandon from OX11, and have chatted online with a guy called D Brent Miller. Brent wasn’t able to make OX13, but J was there so Brent had sent him a bottle of 45 year old whiskey to share with all of us. It was as smooth and dangerous as….well it was really good but a couple sips and I was ready to lie down somewhere. I don’t drink much or often, and had only asked for a tiny bit in my cup. Alison, always helpful, had dumped a bunch more in.
Not long into the toasting we broke up to see Simon and Lisa Thomas give a teaser presentation for their two hour talk on Sunday. It was supposed to be 30 minutes, but unsurprisingly ran long. Simon and Lisa were celebrating 10 years on the road.
Leaving later than planned, and hurrying, the small group I walked with still struggled to find seats at what promised to be the main event of the weekend – the world premier of Mondo Sahara. Austin Vince isn’t ready to release the film quite yet, so I don’t really know if it met all the qualifications for ‘Premier,’ but I wasn’t going to quibble.
Yes, I probably could’ve bootlegged part of the film. No, I didn’t.
After the film was over all the American Riders (and one other Brit, in addition to Austin) held a Q&A about the trip, filming, how expensive adventure travel should be, and the usefulness of understanding wives. The Q&A went long, and I liked seeing Austin’s passion for travel come out. I heard it was lubricated some, but didn’t mind.
It was very late, and very dark, when I finally went to sleep.