Thursday, 31 March 2016

Jeffreys Bay - Port Alfred (ahead of schedule!)

Today was the earliest we've woken up this tour - 12.15am. Leaving Jeffreys Bay we set off aiming for Alexandria, half way, at 117km cycling distance.

Mid-morning the girls opted for a caffeine kick, gulping down some 'juice' to 'give them wings' to fly up the hills.

The girls pushed hard and reached the HALF-WAY mark of the tour a momentous 1115km cycled - very exciting.

With this boost, they firmly decided that today was the day they would break the previous cycle record of kms cycled per day - previously 152km. And THEY DID IT! The girls cycled an amazing 167km today smashing the previous record by 15km and cycling for well over 12 hours. What an achievement!

This could not have been accomplished without our trusty driver, Ms Willows, who used any breaks to have a quick power nap. She has stayed focused the whole tour and is definitely a beat-building DJ, keeping the girls pumped.

We also had a surprise visit in Port Alfred from retired TWC Librarian, Mrs Pattenden, who now lives locally!

Although tired and slightly sunburned, the girls are still smiling and laughing. The TWC family is extremely proud of them, I am sure. Tonight we look forward to being hosted by Port Alfred High School where I am sure we will all sleep soundly.
Blogging by Isabella

Jeffreys Bay - rest day

Yesterday we had a rest day in Jeffreys Bay. This being their last free day, the girls spent most of the time on the beach, soaking up some sun.  Jodie attempted to teach Andrea, Gemma and I how to surf. After Andrea's bump on the head with the board (she is fine except for a slight scratch and bump on her forehead) we quickly decided that surfing was not for us.

For lunch, some us when to the Brodie's for a braai while others joined the Lawson's for lunch at a beach restaurant where the tables and chairs are in the beach sand and your food is cooked on a giant braai - so unique!

Any extra time the girls had was spent visiting the factory shops and spending their pocket money on bikinis, shorts and slops - our black boxes are officially FULL.

Then it was early to bed by 7pm for the next day's extra early start at 12.15am.
Blogging by Isabella

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Crags to PE (nearly)

We were excited to leave The Crags as J'bay was our next overnight destination. The girls faced quite a few hills, especially a long gradual uphill just outside J'bay. The Lawson family provided wonderful support on the way.

We stopped cycling for the day about 20km outside PE to avoid heavy traffic, with the cyclists having completed 97km. We then loaded up and drove back to J'bay to enjoy a hot shower and slip into our soft, comfy beds at The Whitehouse. Early in the evening we ambled down to the beach to enjoy wraps for dinner while watching the beautiful sunset.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Crags (Plettenberg Bay) to Bloukrans River Bridge

Day 10 - finally hit double digits!

We began cycling at 3am finishing off at round 9am and doing a total of 108km. During the cycle, wind turbines canvassed the countryside, sticking out from the soft natural bush.

At the end of the cycle we headed straight for Bloukrans River bridge BUNGEE where three brave souls - Tess, Andrea and Gemma took the 216m bungee jump off the bridge. The rest of us took the 200m walk through a tunnel underneath the bridge to the platform to support them. This took Savannah and me about 15 minutes to cross - heights are not really our thing! But luckily Ms Willows was a pro at distracting us.

Adrenaline pulsed through the girls both before and after the jump. They couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the afternoon and continued to say that they can't wait to do it again! An exhilarating experience they will never forget.

After the jumps, we had a delicious lunch of burgers and wraps at the restaurant with the BIGGEST milkshakes which Mr and Mrs McIntyre kindly bought for us.

We headed back to our caravans for a much needed nap and then dinner and bed again. We never seem able to get enough sleep!
Blogging by Isabella

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Knysna - The Crags

There was a slight delay for the start yesterday morning in Knysna due to heavy rain. As soon as it calmed down, we were on the move, cycling fast to accumulate as much body heat as possible.

We finished at The Crags garage at 5.30am so all snuggled in the bus until just after 6 when we could check into our caravans for the next two nights - a unique experience so far.

Later in the morning, Mr Willows and a few girls (who had the energy) headed into Plett for the morning to watch a sea canoe race and soak up some golden rays.

During the afternoon the Lawson's stopped over for a visit, bringing us each a wonderful surprise 'goodie bag' with chocolates, hot chocolate and cappuccino sachets, etc - YUM.

Just before the sun set Mr Willows received a much anticipated call from the Easter bunny - while hunting for the eggs the girls were instantly transformed into 8-year olds again!

The day finished off with a lovely meal of chicken casserole with rice, salad and a new group favourite, pumpkin fritters, for dinner, and it was off to bed with full stomachs.
Blogging by Isabella

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Knysna - rest day

We spent a lovely day in Knysna resting, ambling to The Heads at 9.30am to marvel at the spectacular views. Along the way we explored the rock pools, playing with some star fish and finding colourful shells.

For lunch we were warmly welcomed by the Lovemore family to their home. We stocked up on roast chicken, veggies, homemade bread and ice cream with the MOST delicious chocolate sauce that we had EVER tasted - we even had to ask for the recipe....shhhhhh!

At the end of the day we were all so sad to leave but knowing that we were one step closer to home with each peddle provided us a boost.

Blogging by Isabella

Oudtshoorn - Knysna

The cyclists have now arrived in Knysna having cycled the 120km from Outdshoorn - tired but happy. There is a beautiful view at our 'home' at the Yacht Club for the next two days. We have another welcome rest day in Knysna and the weather looks promising for a visit to the Heads tomorrow and then maybe a swim before lunch.

'Breakfast' in George
Half way at the Ultra Station outside George

Going down the hill just before Wilderness

Riding past the lakes near Sedgefield

Ice Man gel keeps the tired muscles going!

View from our Knysna 'home'

Blogging by Isabella & Mr Willows