Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Boston to TWC - HOME TIME!

After 24 days of hard cycling and completing over 2200kms, the girls have made it! 
2200 kms
22 days
11 cyclists
2 crew

We woke up at 3:00am eager to start the day. Our last cycling day officially began at 4:30am. With music blasting and hearts racing, we set of on our last day of riding. This was an emotional start, the girls knowing that they'll never have this again. Our smart kit, unified us to be the family we are.

The day was a blur. With anticipation and anxiousness filling our bodies we lost track of time. We had many long breaks because Mr willows had to stick to his very precise schedule - with all these breaks we could have had another 1hr sleep in, at least! 

Our first surprise was by our incredible grade. They lined the Rotunda off ramp, cheering as the cyclists climbed the hill, this put tears in our eyes. It blew my mind know that we have had this monstrous support! 

We continued through to Cowan House where we were greeted with a more support, the pupils cheering us on as the girls peddled down to the bottom field where cheerful music was playing and refreshments were set up for us. Mr Willows told our story and the headmaster congratulated us. We couldn't stay very long as Mr Willows had his schedule to stick to. 

The final hill to conquer- Villiers Drive from Zwartkop Road up to school. This had been the dreaded hill on every practice ride but the girls bolted up it in 7 minutes. This proving to them how much stronger they had become, managing the hill with no problems. 

We then took a breather just outside the school waiting for the much anticipated phone call from Mrs Harries to give us the go to enter the school. While waiting we remixed and sang songs and drenched ourselves in deodorant. We sat and reflected on this life-changing journey and the strong bonds we've formed with each other. I've got to know some truly wonderful girls who I'm honoured to now call my friends. You ladies have been the best. Always smiling and never failing to make me laugh. Thank you for everything. I've felt like a valued team member and extremely appreciated by you all.  Your support has meant the world and you all hold a very special place in my heart and my memories! 

At 11:30am sharp the girls hopped into their bikes for the very last time and proceeded into school. The charisma and screaming support overwhelmed each one of us - we didn't expect such an amazing welcome - every pupil was there, from the smallest to the tallest. 
We can't thank you all enough for your generous support - we couldn't have done this without you.

Thank you parents for the endless support, both for your own daughter and the other girls. You never failed to show how proud you are of us all. You all spoilt us, whether with rusks, hot chocolate, biltong or a warm motherly hug! 

Thank you to all the academic staff for understanding us and all the support.
Ms Tasker, Mrs Harries, Mrs Aldum, the TWC Management team, thank you for all you effort and time put into this. For all the organisation and precise planning from beginning to end! 

The biggest thank you to Mr Willows. We girls can't express what you have done for us. You've opened doors and taught us about hard work and determination. You never gave up on us, always full of encouragement and support. Mr Wills, the Dream Team loves you! 

Andrea Tratschler: 
I just thought it was an absolute life changing experience! It really made me grow physically as well as emotionally and I really enjoyed it as a whole x 

Jodie Alport: 
I felt absolutely honoured to be apart of the team and to have done such a mind-blowing adventure such as this one. It was a great privilege and it has taught me many lessons that I can put to good use in the future. It's something I will remember for the rest of my life, and the girls in the team are now nothing less than family to me. Thank you to everyone for making this tour an indescribable and unforgettable experience 💛

Gemma Lawson: 
This tour has been a life-changing experience and I have learnt that I am capable of much more then I think I am, if I put my mind to it. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone better and it would not have been the trip it was without any of you. Thank you so much for the best month and I'll see you all tomorrow 💕

More comments to follow.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Underberg to Boston

1 more sleep then it's home-time! 

The girls were full of energy being reassured that this morning was our last early morning wake up - 2:30am. Today and tomorrow we have Mr John Alport as our driver and he passed his first day with flying colours! 

We set off covering great distance and the girls are more and more excited with each peddle. This was by far the most up-beat day, everyone was bursting with energy! We had food galore with rolls, chicken, muffins and Chelsea buns, the girls had a feast at every break. Any extra food, leave it to the cyclists. 

Overall, it was a smooth easy day for the girls except for Lundy's Pass. This was the first major hill in a while but this didn't stop the girls. They pushed harder and harder conquering it in no time! Mrs Brodie and Gogo surprised Katie with a visit while going up the hill, pasting a broad smile over Katie's face. 

As soon as we arrived in Boston, Mr Willows brought us all an ice-cold cooldrink which was a lovely refreshment from the heat. 

We packed to bicycles into a garage for the night then headed to the Mackenzie's farm. We relaxed on the deck over looking a magnificent dam and mountains. The girls took a dip but quickly retreated from the cold water to a hot shower. 

We enjoyed a lovely chicken pie for dinner and steaming apple crumble for dessert. Our plates were cleaned! A huge thank you to the Mackenzies for hosting us, it was a real treat! 

Falling asleep didn't happen too easily as we're full of emotions. Excited to see everyone but also reluctant and sad to finish. We've grown bonds with everyone around us and made memories that will never be forgotten. We are definitely going to miss this! 
Blogging by Isabella

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Swartberg to Underberg

We started off the day at 3:00am, thankfully it was slightly warmer then our previous days. This soon changed as the sun began to rise. The mist was thick and heavy, making the girls damp and cold. 

They kept on cycling and were rewarded with a surprise breakfast by some of the parents. The girls indulged in mouthwatering bacon and egg rolls with steamy hot chocolates with Easter eggs for dessert. This was the best surprise the girls have had... Anything to do with food and, of course, parents. Huge thank yous to the Tullys, Tratchlers , Groenevelds and Gilsons! Although tempted to hop into the parents cars, the girls continued on. 

The supporting team grew as we neared Underberg. The Fordes and Heather Lawson brought us refreshments of chocolate milk and fruit juice. This gave us the final sugar rush we needed to push through. 

The girls grew in excitement as we entered Underberg, being greeted by TWC girls in a car covered with red balloons - this was our escort to the country club. Sarah Forde has made boards with all our names on the welcome us, making us all feel super special. We were greeted by screaming 'fans', balloons, and even had music playing. 

Sadly we had to say goodbye to our incredible driver and DJ, Miss Willows as she had to get back for work on Monday. This wasn't done without a few tears as our team instantly felt empty, missing a crucial member. We couldn't be more grateful to have had her as an awesome team member. Thanks for everything Miss Wiltch, you're the best. We love you! 

The support of this small community made some of the girls emotional as this is confirmation the end is near. We were spoilt by Spar with Chelsea buns and fruit juice. We headed to the Forde's farm we we were hosted for the night. We enjoyed a hot home cooked meal with delicious Camel Peanut Brittle ice cream for dessert - Karoline/Mrs Forde won over everyone of us!

We headed to bed after tea and crunchies, all excited for the day ahead, one peddle closer to home!