Thursday, 30 July 2009

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 16 - The Concept

Stewart Reed explains exactly what it is we're doing up here... :)

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 15 - Cattle Herding 'Yearlings'

So yesterday Daf left us saying that today we would be herding 'livelier' cattle..
Well, he wasn't kidding - shall we see how they got on?


Waking up at Snowshoe Lodge

Today we had a lay in, 8:30 was the call. As we were already up in the mountains an early start was not required. Today Stewart tells us that there are 487 'Yearlings' out that he needs to drive to the right field.


From what we've learned so far, it would seem that herding/driving Cattle is quite like crop rotation. You move the cattle to one field where the grass is fresh and ready and, once that is gone, you move them on again. Each time allowing the previous field to grow back again.

It must be said, after yesterday's drive, we're feeling pretty confident. However, there is a huge difference between the two tasks. Yesterday, the beasts were Bull. Old, slow and docile. Happy to be poked and prodded in the right direction without much moaning or attempts to runaway.

Today's beasts are one year old heffas - 'Yearlings'. We're told that it won't be as easy and... as we pull up along side the first set we find, it's clear that they're very alert and very easily startled.

Our first encounter went a little something like this:

Yeah. We lost 19. End of session one score: -19.

Damn. This is harder than it looks.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Winner Announced

Congratulations to Kenneth, our third challenge winner! He and his friends, James, Stuart and Wullie are getting ready to leave this Saturday to start their exciting adventure!

Read just a bit more about them below – we’re sure you’ll get to know them better as you follow them here on the site through photos, videos, tweets and Facebook status updates.

Kenneth MacKay
Age: 22
Job: Student (just graduated)
Hobbies/Sports: I do a bit of running (ran a couple of marathons) and go to the gym regularly. Enjoy doing a bit of travelling when I have the time and the money.
Interesting Facts: Used to play American Football for about 10 years before giving it up at the start of the year.
What are you looking forward to on the challenge? I mostly look forward to the pure adrenaline rush when we hit those rapids!
Biggest Fear: Anything that lurks under the water!

James Wright:
Age: 21
Job: Student (just graduated)
Hobbies/Sports: I LOVE playing football, get a regular get for the local side. I do a lot of gym work and running and am interested in most sports related activities.
Interesting Facts: Recently cycled the distance of the Tour de France in the gym.
What are you looking forward to on the challenge? I mostly look forward to THE WHOLE THING!!!

Stuart Reid:
Age: 21
Job: Student (just graduated)
Hobbies/Sports: Enjoy playing rugby with the team in town. I hit the gym in my free time, which I was able to do a lot lately. Also love movies and TV series.
Interesting Facts: Plays golf.
What are you looking forward to on the challenge? I mostly look forward to the Safari which will surely be very cool!
Biggest Fear? Crocodiles!!!

William 'Wullie' Cullen:
Age: 22
Job: Student (just graduated)
Hobbies/Sports: Like football, whether its playing it (outside or computer) and watching it.
Interesting Facts: Can't live without my TV shows and going to the cinema!
What are you looking forward to on the challenge? I mostly look forward to The Safari!
Biggest Fear? Drowning!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 14 - Driving Cattle!

Challenge 2 - Driving Cattle


We arrive at the foot of Shell Valley, and unload our cargo. First the horses and then the Bull.

"Keep behind them..."
is the only advice Stewart gives us.

'Livelier cattle' - yeah, we'll see about that shall we?
Thankfully, after all that driving, it wasn't too long until we arrived at Snowshoe

Aaaaand relax.

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 13: The Slow Burn


You might be sat there at home, or in your office or even in fact on the train reading this and thinking:

"Hey, this is no 'Energy Challenge', these guys have it easy!"

And to an extent I can see why you might think that but, the lessons that we've had throughout the few days we've been here have been no walk in the park. Also, our guide, Stewart is dropping the winners straight into the deep end with this training regime.

Normally it would take weeks and months before anyone on the ranch lets you do these kinds of things. But Stewart knows these guys have to be fit and ready before we head up into the Mountains and he's not taking any risks. If any of the winners fail at the tasks laid out, they don't go up. It might seem like a walk (or ride - heh) in the park, but trust me - these guys are pushing themselves hard.

This post is called 'Slow Burn' and here's why:

Over breakfast this morning I asked Daf how he was feeling about the impending mountain drive.

"Slightly apprehensive, a little excited... it feels like we've been building up to something and now.. well, it's here."

Slow burn indeed. The winners in Namibia were able to start throwing themselves down sand dunes almost on day one.

This time round, the winners need a constant and *consistent* supply of energy just to condition yourself for the days ahead.

Today the real challenge is just beginning.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 12 - LET'S MOVE OUT!


6:30 Wake up call

Today we're leaving The Hideout and we won't be returning 'til Friday. We're spending the next three nights out in the Big Horn Mountains at elevations of around (and above) 8,000ft... We're packing all we need for the day and our bags are being driven ahead up to Snowshoe Lodge.


7:30 Breakfast.

Peter, the Ranch Manager, explains to us our route across the mountains of where we'll be driving cattle and where we'll be staying each night.

We discover that we're only spending the one night at Snowshoe Lodge, the other two we're away we're up at The Upper Hideout, at 8,900ft about sea level - you can kinda see how the lodge got its name.

8:30 Time to leave.

Stewart picks us up with the pickup and we all manage to cram into the cabin. Our horses are in tow and it's time to head off. Stewart tells us we're to drive to the foot of the Mountains, saddle up and then travel the rest of the way on horseback.

But first, we need to round up some Bull to take with us.

These bad boys are BIG.



Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 11 - Catching Cattle


"So, boys... " - says Stewart - "...time to test your rope skills. Go on... GET!"

We open up the gates and let some cattle into one of the larger pens. Stewart equips us with different rope this time. The clips on these come off easily so - as soon as we lasso ourselves a live one, the rope breaks free and the cow can walk away without distress.


On that note, it must be said that everything at The Hideout is done with the welfare of the animals involved at the top of the agenda. Cow, horse, bull or even dog. All the animals here are loved and cared for.

These guys know their stuff and it's good to see.

Speaking of things that are good to see - check out this roping photos:




Love that Llion's running away in this one... Heh



Put your back into it Wayne! ;)
Excellent work all round lads...

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 10 - Looking Ropey

Post walk/rideabout on horseback, we headed back into the Barn to lasso us some (wooden) cattle...

It must be said, Wayne was a natural.


Rope work is hard work, so after lunch - Stewart took us on a ride down to the local saloon, 'Dirty Annie's'





We were there, out on the porch and Stewart mentioned using our new rope skills to catch some *real* cattle...

"Yeah, it could be fun..."

We're getting used to Stewart's low southern drawl..

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 9 - How to unsaddle your horse, with Stewart & Daf

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 8 - Saddle Up!


First time on horseback for all of us. Jon, Wayne, Daf and then Llion (aka The Lion)

Today the training begins.

Yesterday we picked our horses, today we learn to ride them. Stewart, our resident cowboy guide and instructor for the week, shows us the ropes (shouldn't that be 'reigns'?). We practice mounting, trotting, stopping and then dismounting.


One by one we trotted around the barnyard, practicing all that we'd been taught.
Most of us got there in the end, others... well, they just stood there. Fun to watch though ;)

I've been made to promise that I won't mention the one fall that happened that day. No one got hurt, Stewart just got some dirt on his hat. That's all.


Believe it or not, that was only half the morning, but before we move onto anything else, we need to learn how to unsaddle our horses...

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 7 - Rockin' on down to the Rodeo

After the epic shopping trip (those boots took forever) in and around the local town of Cody (I say local, as in - it's only an hour and a half's drive away. Yep. This is Big Country out here). It's time to see how the pros do it and rock on down to the local Rodeo.


Cody is a small town founded by Buffalo Bill Cody himself and suitably enough is "The capital of Cowboy Rodeo."


Handy that, given that's why we're here :D
They even look the part too, isn't that right Wayne?

Wayne @ The Cody Rodeo

Settling down in the stalls, the Rodeo kicks off slowly at first with cow chases, then lasso compeitions and finally, Buffalo riders.

Cody Rodeo

Cody Rodeo

Cody Rodeo

Cody Rodeo

Cody Rodeo

The level of skill involved to compete in some of these tasks is quite something and although there is a long week of hard work ahead, it's nice to see everyone relaxing (as well as secretly take notes) before we head off into the mountains later this week.

Also. Tomorrow? The hardcore training begins...

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 6 - Boots? Check (ish)

And what about the boots?
Well... Let's take a look shall we?

That was a Lucozade Challenge in itself!

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 5 - Horses? Check


The important four up there are Warhorse, K C Jones, Hulk and 2 Dogs

Picking them was relatively easy... actually catching them? Not so much ;)




Heh... They got there in the end ;)

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 4 - Hats? Check


The guys didn't *have* have matching hats, but it turned out they just wanted to look that way...

Looking good gents! :D

Monday, 20 July 2009

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 3 - Decisions, Decisions...

Today is our first full day at The Hideout Ranch.


Located in the small town of Shell (Population: 50), Wyoming - the ranch stretches across over 300,000 acres of the Shell Valley and sits at the very foot of the Big Horn Mountains.

This morning the group awoke on a glorious - and surprisingly warm - Sunday morning with three very large decisions to make.

Three decisions that will effect them for the rest of the Challenge.

Three decisions that no man (or woman) should ever rush.
  1. Hat.
  2. Boots.
  3. Horse.
Can you guys which one took longest? ;)

Challenge: Cattle Herding Post 2 - Welcome to The Hideout

Challange: Cattle Herding Post 1 - Meet the Winners!

Howdy folks!

Time to meet the Lucozade Energy Cattle Ranching Challenge winners, I give you

Jon, Daf, Llion and Wayne

Lucozade Competition Winners

Welcome to Wyoming!

Jon, pictured far left, is the lucky chap whose name was drawn from the lucky Lucozade cowboy hat just over a week ago and in a heartbeat, he picked his friends, Daf, Llion and Wayne as his cohorts to join him out here in the Wild, Wild West.


Big Sky Country

I took some time to catch up with them all on the flight over here to the good ol' US of A and it seems like 'Doing More' is something these gents are used to back home.

A quick rundown of the challenges they've completed to date reveals some amazing achievements:
There was I thinking the odd game of frisbee could get strenuous. These guys take 'hobbies at the weekend' to the next level!
Which in turn, certainly makes them right men for the job ahead: Cattle Driving through the Big Horn Mountains.

Good luck everyone, it's going to be a great week :)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Challenge 1 - Coming to the End

Challenge 1 - The End

We end the day racing up and down the slopes; boarding down and quad-biking back up again.


Again and again and again.

As dusk sets in the amount of energy we've burned through since we first arrived here in Namibia is simply unbelievable. Every day we set out to do more and every day, with the aid and assistance of our awesome hosts, we did.

The Lucozade Challenge Competition Winners

Manzoor, Foyce, Shofat and Suhel have had the time of their lives and have got memories to last them a very, very long time...

The following day we're up at 5am to start the long 24hr journey home...

Sunrise over Hartmann Valley

And as the Sun rises over the Hartman Valley, the lads pause for thought to take in the last six days of action...

Lads, it's over to you...

Challenge 1 - Sandboarding: Top Tips

As the trip was drawing to an end, I made sure I caught up with Raymond, our awesome Sandboarding instructor to see if he had any tips on how to be a good sandboarder...

Nice one Raymond!

Challenge 1 - Dries' first time

We mentioned before about out awesome guides right?
Well, on the very last day we finally convinced Dries to have a go on the sandboard...

This is what happened...


Challenge 1 - The Himba Tribe

Himba Tribe settlement

Lunch comes and goes and word is that we're not going straight back out to the dunes. Clement has spoken to some of the locals and thinks it might be ok if we swing by and visit a nearby tribe.

The Himba are a local tribe that have inhabited the surrounding areas for hundreds upon hundreds of years...

Himba Tribe

Moving between Namibia and Angola as the seasons change, international borders do not mean much to this nomadic people.

To be allowed into their 'camp' is a humbling and completely new experience. Clement briefs us on how to behave...

Learning about the Himba Tribe

"Do as I do. Always address the elders first and remove your sunglasses. Do that and you will all be fine..."

It's not really spoken of what will happen if we don't do anything Clement tells us but as ever, we listen carefully and do as we're told...

Himba Tribe

Himba Tribe

Himba Tribe animals

The Himba Tribe

From the camp we can see Eric & Raymond. They've found some good dunes and our boards are calling..

Hunting for slopes