Amazing fun is the way I would describe my week in Reunion Island! I would also say that for the most part it was a therapeutic experience. I say ‘most part’ because there was one thing that didn’t go down well with me on the trip. And so just to clear the bad air, I will start with that experience.
TRACE, the organisers, had called at 7am for all the contestants to meet at Rosebank to be at the airport at 7:30am, however, we were left twiddling our thumbs in the meantime as check in only began at 11:30am.
That aside, the flight to the island was great as I was travelling with a mature group of people who were my fellow contestants for the StarBlock Workout Challenge show and also individuals who I have respect for within the industry namely, Show Loves Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane, Rapper Ricky Rick of the ‘Sidlukotini’ hit song, Dj Speedsta, model Joelle Kayembe and face of TRACE and a true sweetheart, fashion blogger Thithi Nteta.
The first day we landed on the island we found ourselves on Boucant Canot beach, which had a lovely natural pond and where we were treated to a great dinner as well as the after dinner recommended island custom of enjoying a variety of rums with different ingredients in them such as banana, guava and yes, centipede rum, yum!
Day two was my day of shooting the show’s episode, which was done in the Etang Sale forest with lots of sand, grass and no toilet! Not quite my ideal setting. What we did as part of the show was compete using theshow’s host, British fitness trainer Terroll “Boost” Lewis’ Block Workout discipline which uses the body’s own weight. The challenge was how many of the six Block Workout exercises you could do and do well in one minute. I competed against Florent Kaouchi champion for France and Mua Thaì world vice-champion as well as Lucie Ignace world champion french karateka and needless to say I got a few scratches.
On the days when we were not shooting an episode we got to do some sight-seeing. Dj Speedsta and I hit the town which was quite quaint with one main road which had a make-up store and little boutiques. There was no Zara or McDonalds here on the French Island which I referred to as ‘little Euro’ with a population of only 800,000 people who enjoy the simple things of life like taking time to have a pasta at lunchtime as if it were a ritual.
On the final night of our stay, for dinner I decided to try something different, Kangaroo meat.
Overall, we were treated like stars the whole trip as we also got to meet the mayor who upgraded our flight home to business class.
It didn’t hurt that I got to see a part of the world on someone else’s dime and experience a different culture that’s not pretentious. We had no time for TV for four days as my team members and I took to taking in the scenery instead. And coming from the rush of Johannesburg city, it was a welcomed opportunity to just relax into life for a moment in time so thank you to Trace Sport Stars.