Back to the Moleskine again where my hand writing seems to have become more indecipherable every day:
"Ye Gods…up at 5.30! To cycle 99km! Yikes. Breakfast at 6.00 [my gut did not take kindly to this at all!] – fab buffet of all sorts of cooked things, plus fruit, bread, cake and coffee + tea. The coffee was AMAZING. Here we all are, I must say we look amazingly AWAKE!
Out to start warming up at 7.00. A publicity shot with Safaricom, who paid for our cycle shirts. They were lovely – most impressed with us doing the cycle. And really INTERESTED. Hoping to get the shots the chap from the newspaper took.
We cycled off at 7.30, stopping for breaks and to eat popcorn, crisps and biscuits every now and then, and most importantly to fill up with water. I've never drunk so much water in my life, and was very grateful for the Camelbak, even though it weighs a bit. Today was a rush, as the planning went slightly awry, and some of the girls were bundled into the bus to catch up to the rest. They were MOST put out about it, and un-bundled themselves as fast as they could. No-one wanted to be in the bus unless they HAD to. There were hills, and more hills. No WAY I am going to describe it other than to say it was UPward all the way. And hot. And exhausting.
Lunch was brilliant – our ground crew cooked it for us on Calor gas bottles. Then we had a visit from some cute little school kids so we could offload some of the TON of stuff we'd all brought for them. Eventually I think it was split between 4 schools instead of the original one which was planned. Thanks to everyone who donated kids things – they were delighted. They did a song and a little dance for us, everyone in wellingtons due to the rain. Here they all are shooting back to school, hopefully to get their little hands on some goodies!
Second half of the day was gruelling [the first half was too, but I started to run out of hilariousness after lunch!]. The altitude started to give us headaches [lots of delving into the drug supplies we all brought] and the exhaustion was making us all very emotional. The hills were unbelievable, long hard elevations, and HOT. Africa is drenched in our sweat and tears. But we made it! But no amount of UK training could have prepared us for those hills.
We crossed the Equator quite a few times! The FH thinks they plant those signs randomly on the landscape to trick tourists ;)
Thank God I did the training I DID do, or it would have been awful. Thanks to the FH shoving me out on the bike at regular intervals, I was astounded at myself, because although it was hard, I managed. And that's all I needed to do.
Tonight we stopped at Thompsons Falls Lodge. Again, long pre-dinner chat to buck us all up, great buffet meal and early to bed. Yet more packing, unpacking, losing things, finding them – REPACKING them – shriek! Never, ever mention the words 'duffle bag' to me again. Bloody horrific piece of luggage that eats one's belongings. Put out our cycle gear for the morning and collapsed.
Another 5.30 start tomorrow! groan."
At Thompsons Falls. Me, Michelle, Lou, Vick, Nicky, Maz [the maker of hilarious animal sounds], Anita and Helen.
The Falls before breakfast the next day.