Our send off yesterday was absolutely amazing and we are so grateful for everyone that came to support us. Jeep kindly let us start our journey from their Fourways dealership where we were greeted by friends, family, sponsors and fellow cyclists who rode a portion of our first day with us. We were led out by ER24 and had a convoy of Jeeps follow us out the dealership which created an awesome atmosphere.
We then rode out past Lanseria Airport to Stornoway Lodge where they had setup a water/coffee stop for more of our supporters that came to wave us goodbye. After a short stop most of the cyclists that joined us left and then reality set in as there were just five cyclists left – the four Joburg2Kili cyclists plus a supporter, Deon Bester, who rode with us the whole way to ATKV Buffelspoort along with his wife, Sonja who followed in her car – thanks so much Deon & Sonja for the support!
The rest of the ride was quite tough as we had a fair amount of climbing until just past Harties where it flattened out. We had a quick stop off at the Steers on the N14 to get our energy levels back up and then rolled into camp mid-afternoon. Our total distance for our first day was 100.8km which took us 5hrs27 in ride time. We were all pretty exhausted from an awesome first day of our Joburg2KIli journey.
This morning was quite a slow start to pack up but I think we will be pro’s at packing up camp in a few days time. We were very grateful to have Anthony and Giovanni from Qhubeka come through to see us off this morning which really gave us much needed motivation for a tough day on the bike.
The first half of the ride included 18km along a rutted dirt rode which was brutal on our bodies. We then hit the tar rode to Sun City and thought things could only get better but unfortunately the wind picked up making the last 50km of our ride really hard but thank goodness we had Racefood Farbars to keep our energy up. We were all very happy to roll into Bakgatla Resort in Pilansberg this afternoon which is where we are spending the night. Our total distance today was 86.58km which took us 5hrs34 in ride time so longer than yesterday due to the wind.
Tomorrow we off to Marakele which is a 93km ride – please help pray for no headwinds!
This past weekend we decided to head off on a training camp with the team to the Pilansberg National Park to test out all our camping equipment and to have some time to get to know the team better. However, Bobby was unable to join us as he will only be flying in from the USA next month just before our departure on the 30th July 2016.
We drove up last Friday afternoon, in the Jeep Wrangler with the trailer in tow, up to Bakgatla Resort where we had booked a campsite for two nights. Bakgatla Resort is where we will be spending our 2nd night of the #Joburg2Kili expedition so it was great to be able to familiarize ourselves with the place and note where the best campsite spots are along the fence to the Pilansberg Game Reserve.
We arrived in the dark which made setting up the campsite more challenging especially as no one had ever setup the trailer tent before but we all worked together and managed to get it all setup relatively quickly. Throughout the weekend we took note of things we were missing to make our camping experience more comfortable for the expedition such as making sure we have enough camping chairs and cooking equipment etc.
Being situated right by Pilansberg Game Reserve, we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to drive through the Park to try and see some of the Big 5. We had some great sightings during our drives including seeing two cheetah, a brown hyena, a marsh owl, jackal and a pride of lions.
Bryan also taught us about geo-caching, which is the world’s largest treasure hunt. We managed to locate one of the geo-caches in Pilansberg which was very exciting. Geocaching is something we would recommend our #joburg2kili supporters look into as its a lot of fun and allows you to explore new places in or around your city – there is a great video introducing the concept which you can visit on www.geocaching.com. Watch this space as you may hear more about geocaching on our journey.
All in all it was a very successful weekend away in preparation for this exciting adventure we will be embarking on in 43 days. Check out some photo’s from the weekend in the gallery below: