The above video is so powerful. It shows the strength of what we are capable of as human beings. It also shows that support from others through our tough times – emotionally, physically or mentally – can help in our journey. This video is posted to remind us all that “we can” do what we set our minds to achieve and know matter what place you come, whatever the outcome is, when it’s done to the best of your ability then you are a winner.
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Now wipes thouse tears away it’s time for Sonia’s Tour d’Afrique update ……
After time off from being quite ill Sonia was hoping to get back on her bike again on this leg. There was 6 days travelling from Atbara to Gedaref and 6 days until a rest day so a very long and hard stretch by anyones standards but more so after recurring health problems and what seems unbeatable illnesses. The days consisted of distances around 100km but with rough terrain and minimal to no paved roads it was quite an epic sight before all the riders.
Day 9 – Riders coursed 103km with sunny skies and winds of approx 15km/h, North East. Only 6km of Day 9’s cycle was along a paved road the remainder was 35km of dirt road and then 62 km SAND! Soft sand – an incredibly tough terrain to ride on! A hard slog! Amazing effort on everyone’s behalfs!
Day 10 – The journey on this day was a 71km cycle through SAND! Yep more SAND! Try imagine riding through soft river sand in 32 degree desert heat? Makes you realise that anything is possible once you set your mind to it huh?! Just keep riding, riding, riding, riding ….
Day 11 – An easier cycle (as apposed to Day 9 & 10’s efforts) with 82km of dirt tracks! A nice warm 37degrees with NE winds at 15km/h and sunny skies….
Day 12 – Another dirt track travelled with the 91km ride! It was a partly cloudy but 39degrees and North Easterly winds at 15km/h. Four days down only two to go before the riders rested… The light at the end of the (very long) tunnel was finally showing some light.
Day 13 – 94km ride, 22km on dirt and the remainder pavved! 38 degrees with a NE wind of 25km/h.
Two weeks in …. Day 14’s 140km journey was travelled on paved roads! It must of felt like heaven after such a long stint on more difficult soil! This leg was the home stretch before they were all due a well deserved rest day!
***UPDATE FROM SONIA***
“Happy Australia Day everyone. Hope you all had a wonderful day doing the Aussie thing. I spent the day recharging body and soul, batteries and doing the washing….exciting ha? I did go out for coffee and donuts this morning but could only find the centres of the donuts but hey who’s fussy!!! And im wearing my Aussie headband.
Wow what a week. It just happened to be a Monday morning to start the next leg. Made a quick 100m dash to the horrendous long drops, held my breath and blocked my nose, these arent hygienic at all. I packed the tent and figured as long as I keep my butt cheeks clamped shut I should be right to ride. No bottom burps!! Wrong…the power that be’s from above had other ideas….. Sonia Dada please dismount, I am now striking you down with vomiting to go with your runny bum… In tears again and ready to throw the towel in, I crawl into the truck for the next 2 days.
Its a desert crossing of sand and bull dust.
Tuesday night, feeling so depleted, both mentally and physically I call on my angels and this time I am heard, I sleep all night for the first time in 3 weeks. There is nothing between me and the stars except a mossie net. I wake on Wednesday feeling awesome and ready to ride.
I lasted to lunch, 44km through bull dust and sand. Great ride but had an asthma attack for my efforts and was unable to ride the rest of the day. The chest infection is still playing havoc on my lunges. Thursday was a tough morning with 50kms to lunch through bull dust and 30+ km headwinds. I was bearly alive and the wheels were bearly turning at 8kph I crawled to the lunch truck. The arvo saw less headwinds but the temp reached 43.6 degree. Camp was by some canals so the first bath was under numerous bottles of water the second saw me sprawled out in the canel having a canel spa. Very nice and deserved I must say.
Still feeling great. Friday we left the desert and attempted to negotiate the canels to a Cane farming village. Sonia Dada is lost…onya Sonia… followed by a car of locals that kept stopping became a little frightening as I was alone and only 2 days previous our camp nurse had been attacked quite badly. Luckly I kept peddling and they became bored with my rudeness after a few kms and left. It was a great ride especially when I found an orange marker, these have a tendency to dissappear when the local kids think its great to wear them as head bands or neck ties. Another hot arvo of 42 degree and another 100km down. Tonight we sleep in a Cow Throp patch and still have to walk ages into the wild younder for some sort of privacy for a twinkle. We wait till after dark to do the other one.
Saturday was a pretty boring road ride of 140km, though did pass some camel and goat markets and escorted into Gadaref by a cop on an bike, I felt like a movie star with right of way any everyone looking at me.. tummy had been good up until Gadaref when all hell broke loose again. So far about half the group has or has this tummy bug. Only 2 left in EFI. I sat out side last night and shared a bucket with Ian. It was a case of being close enough to a toilet and a bucket as we weren’t sure where we would need to dash first.
Feeling ok today with the odd flush of queezyness. Fingers crossed for a good night and ready to cross the Ethiopian boarder tomorrow. 166km, 39 degree.
Talk soon mossies are biting and past my bed time xx
Sonia Numbutt Dada
Lol this camel nearly had a numbutt”