So, as you are reading this 2 South Africans are busy riding on sore and numb asses in the middle of Ethiopa after having already cylced through Egypt and Sudan. You see on the 10th January these 2 guys, Tim and Bruce, started to partake in the Tour ‘d Afrique a cycle race from Cairo to Cape Town.
They have support vehicles carrying their luggage etc, there are a couple other South Africans also riding and a mix bunch of people doing it to see Africa, do something different or just to have a nice 6 month break from everything.
So now WHY are these 2 guys cycling almost 12,000 kilometers over 120 days?
The answer id be to build 2 classrooms for a rural school in the Eastern Cape, just outside East London near Kidds Beach. And to do this they need R180,000 so far they have raised R72,000 jusy by asking people to donate R100 which would cost you 2 pizzas and a coke.
To follow their trip SA Rocks has kindly agreed to publish weekly updates sent it in by Tim and Bruce and hopefully together and with the online community of SA we can reach their target and make a difference to at least 50 disadvanted kids.
Their Facebook group currently has just over 550 people, we need a further 1000 to push the numbers to 1,800 people who all donated R100 and the target is met.
Their website has a weekly blog update (which will also be posted here) and daily diary entries together with photo’s of their trip. Below is their last couple of days on the Tour, enjoy.
7 February, Day 29
118km Gondar to Farm Camp
Today started poorly for both of us, Tim still had his bout of diarrhoea and I woke up with a sore tummy and no appetite. But once on the bikes, we got back into the swing of things and not only survived the day, but enjoyed it too.
The day’s ride route had an elevation loss for a change, so apart from two steepish switchback climbs, we mostly headed downhill. We were able to see some quite impressive views of the countryside as we twisted and turned round the mountains. The kids were dead on aim today pelting the both of us numerous times, in particular me on the helmet from front on – luckily I ducked my head or else I’d have collect the stone on the face..
It’s so difficult not to loose your cool with the kids as they scream aggressively ‘You, You, You, GIVE, GIVE ME MONEY!’ or my personal favourite ‘Whereareyougo… whereareyougo’ to which the answer, ‘Addis Ababa’ is met with confusion as they don’t actually know what they’re asking but simply repeating a learnt phrase. Ethiopia certainly has
it’s challenges – starkly different challenges than those overcome in Sudan, but we’re taking each day at a time and enjoying the experience - diarrhoea and all. Tomorrow is a half days ride then the first of the TDA organised parties followed by another rest day, this one on the banks of Lake Tana… whoo!
6 February, Day 28
Rest Day in Gondar
I’m shattered. At about 2am last night, diarrhoea and fever assaulted my body. It’s been a long and trying day for me, spent trying to rehydrate and keep anything down. This left to do all the admin that we normally do together on rest days – bike maintenance, laundry and internet updates. With a bit of luck, and of course some drugs, I’ll hopefully be up for the ride tomorrow…
5 February, Day 27
105km from Mountain Camp to Gondar
Nothing bonds people like hardship, we experienced this on the quite trying ferry ride from Egypt to Sudan and even more so after today’s extremely tough days ride. We knew from past riders and camp site rumours that day 2 of Ethiopia is arguably the toughest day of the tour and we can confirm this. The day started with rolling hills till a small village in a valley then the hill began… and what a hill. 800m ascent over 12km on a dirt road with screaming kids and people everywhere. At the top of the hill was another village where we stopped for a Mirinda (much like Fanta orange) and the first taste of Ethiopian coffee – it’s fantastic.
Following this we descended rapidly to lunch on thankfully a tarred road. We’d been told after lunch is tougher than the morning climb due to the slow overall elevation gain over many short steep hills, this might have been the case but luckily the sun disappeared behind the clouds cooling the day nicely.
The race ended at 95km and we knew it was a tarred road from then on however the steepest climb of the day was left to the hill upon which our hotel grounds we’re camping are situated. It’s was almost surreal climbing and switch back private hotel road – stopping at the top and knowing our proximity to beer was a fantastic feeling.
After setting up camp, showering (it was cold but oh so good) we grabbed a few beers and went out to the hotel driveway to welcome the other riders in. It’s was a specially moment in the tour to have those of us that had finish clap the riders in, day was tough and having the group encourage each other was great. The highlight was waiting for Lloyd to arrive. Lloyd is a Canadian in his mid fifties, he cruises along at his own pace and always has a kind word, never one to complain. He’d turned down the option of getting in both the truck and the Ethiopian runabout vehicle we have here instead he just carried on cycling. It was getting dark with the whole group gather Lloyd came cycling in after almost 12 hours on the bike smiling to a standing ovation – it brought goose bumps to your skin.
Tomorrow is a rest day and most needed after six very challenging days of cycling – I think we’re all going to take tomorrow very easy firstly to rest and secondly to nurse our hang over’s!
- Cycling from Cairo to Cape Town for charity – Days 33 to 36
- Cycling from Cairo to Cape Town for charity – Days 29 – 32
- Cycle2Learn – Cairo to Cape Town (Botswana leg)
- Cycling from Cairo to Cape Town for charity: Days 45 – 49
- Cycling from Cairo to Cape Town for charity – Days 38 – 44 (cracked ribs and all!)
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