Tim and Bruce have just passed the 6,000km mark in their cycle race from Cairo to Cape Town to raise funds to build 2 rural classrooms in the Eastern Cape. Here is there latest report back:
Highlights Nairobi to Iringa, Tanzania:
8 March to 19 March
Highlights: R126,000.00 raised so far!!!
Wow, have the last 11 days been a roller-coaster of an adventure! Trucks broke down, the rain and mud came, riders crashed on what can only be called the Tour’s Black Wednesday, and the beautiful country of Tanzania captivated us.
Two day’s riding out of Nairobi saw us cross over into Tanzania where we relished three day’s of rest in the tourist town of Arusha, which is also the halfway point in time of our journey from Cairo to Cape Town.
It was a magical three days spent sightseeing and touring the surrounding area and town with the Gane parental unit and their somewhat underpowered rental car. A night was spent in a lodge on the rim of the Ngororo Crater, a world heritage site, and a place so beautiful and packed with such an abundance of wildlife that the unforgettable gamedrive the next morning really felt like the old sayng of “shooting fish in a barrel”. We saw it all… Herds upon herds of sturdy Buffalo, Lions, Cheetahs, Elephants, Rhino, and the list goes on and on…. For anyone that doesn’t have the Crater on their to-do list, put it on now!
After our wildlife buffet at the Crater, we spent a night in Arusha, eating bacon for breakfast and then exploring the vibrant market life before pushing on to the town of Marangu, which nestles in lush banana plantations on the foothills of Kilimanjaro. After days of not seeing the mountain as we rode from Kenya, that evening we were treated to a first-class view of her snow-capped Uhuru Peak as the clouds lifted while we sipped on ‘Kilimanjaro Lager’ – naturally of course!
After a beautiful morning walk to the Ndoro Waterfalls in Marangu we headed back to Arusha. Here we readied ourselves and our bikes for seven days of off-road riding which took us from Arusha to the capital city Dodoma, and then finally to our rest stop, Iringa, a beautiful and peaceful town surrounded by thick green bush and rocky outcrops.
In that week of riding, it rained on four of the days, turning many of the dirt-road sections into fun, muddy sections. The rain, however, also makes camping not-so-much-fun, and after a few consecutive days of packing up wet, smelly tents and clothes, you tend to get a little “over it”.
Smelly tents and swarms of mosquitoes aside, the riding from Arusha to Iringa has been absolutely spectacular and we were actually very lucky in that the rain was never monsoon-in-nature as it so often can be at this time of year, and if you’re ever in Tanzania, we’d highly recommend you take a 4×4 and do the exact same route just for scenery sake.
While we were lucky to an extent with the rain, the Tour hit an unlucky patch. The one support truck suffered breakdown after breakdown, which meant on some days we sat in the middle of the bush waiting for our bags and food for as long as six hours on some days, making a long day in the humid heat an even longer one.
This bit of annoyance however was nothing compared to the day of unlucky accidents in which four riders had to be patched up to varying degrees. Bruce took a spectacular fall on loose rocks, leaving his right-side and arm pretty banged up but not bad enough to end his day’s ride.
Paul Porter, also an EFI rider and a helluva competitor was not so lucky. He fell in a similar manner to Bruce and also injured his right side and arm, however, luck was not on his side that day. We patched him up as best we could with our first-aid kits on the road, but it became apparent quite quickly that the blood would not stop and he would need proper medical attention. He was rushed to hospital in Iringa in the runabout Landrover and we discovered that evening his Tour was finished and he would need surgery to repair a broken arm and deeply lacerated vein in his arm.
It was an incredibly sad moment to hear that this seriously tough man, who had been through so much to keep his EFI status, was now making plans to return home for surgery, all because he just fell awkwardly after seeing a ditch a bit too late.
Bruce’s and Paul’s crash in particular also brought home the realisation that after 6000km in the legs, we still have a long way to go to Cape Town, and we simply need to enjoy each day at a time.
By the time you read this, we would have pushed on from Iringa and headed for Malawi where more adventure no doubt awaits us! Thanks to some large donations we have now raised R126 000 of the R180 000 needed to build Hebron School in the Eastern Cape two much-needed classrooms, and we thank all those who continue to spread the word to friends and family about our fundraising drive. View our website here.
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