Another two tough days for the boys and the heat has made things very hard for all. The scenery is amazing – field after field of grape vines and olive trees, but a mix of long flats then tough hills has again taken its toll.
Very enjoyably for all concerned (well, hopefully) is that we are now with a large group of friends from Birstwith who amazingly have coincided their holidays to be with us at the end. New faces to see and chat with has been great and very welcome. Put five people together for 2 weeks who have seen each other through very tough times, are very tired and occasionally now grumpy (admittedly hard to imagine, I know) then new faces become a welcome addition to the group.
So the penultimate ride is done and dusted! Another day and Arctic to Africa Phase 2 is complete!!! How has that happened so quickly. We were talking earlier and bizarrely it seems so long ago that we started this phase and yet it also seems to have gone so quick! Very hard to understand I’m sure but we know what we mean! Memories are now starting to dull a little and nervous excitement is there for the boys. The cycle ride tomorrow is 65 miles, climbing 9000 ft as we cross into France and finally Monaco. More friends and family will be there too – 21 people to see the boys in is amazing! We laughed that nobody came to Gothenburg with the wind, rain and snow but when Monaco was mentioned, it’s another story!! Seriously, it really means so much to everyone, both cyclists and back up! It will make it so much more memorable and I’m sure a little bit more emotional. A few drinks will definitely be had to ease the weary limbs of those amazing boys.
As we finish our epic meal in Limone Piemonte beneath beautiful mountains, before retiring to prep for the final ride, despite how hard it has been for us all and how ready we are for a proper holiday – it is only right to tell you now how proud we, the back up team (aka Kayleigh and myself) are of them – for cycling all those miles, for getting up every morning and sitting on their tiny little painful saddles, for pushing on through relentless heat, for being stupid enough to follow Sean on this whole challenge, for doing this for Dad and for raising so much money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Tomorrow they set off for the final time. Please let them know how well they’ve done and how amazing they are. Wish them well and pray for a nice heat and a gentle breeze behind them. They will smash this and your support will spur them on.
We will see you on the other side folks!!!