Arctic to Africa

The End of an Adventure

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving
My adventure has now sadly come to an end and I would like to start this update by saying a massive thank you to every single one of you who has read my blog, prayed for me or given financially. I could not have completed the cycling without your on going encouragement and support.

As a team we have currently raised £6,900 ($10,700) for the children of Santrokofi Ghana and there are more donations still coming in everyday. I cycled approximately 4000 miles (6400km) in 56 days averaging roughly 90 miles (145km) a day. My bike had one broken spoke and a new rear wheel but didn’t have a single puncture the entire trip!

My team mates Ash, Chris and Tom alongside Raising Hope Foundation Chairwoman Kinza Mason cycled in to Santrokofi Ghana yesterday to a crowd of cheering children with party poppers and banners welcoming them to their community. They will now spend two weeks running a summer school for the children. I am so proud of what the guys have achieved and they are going to have a wonderful time teaching the kids. My finances just couldn’t stretch as far as Ghana so for now I look forward to hearing all about the summer school and I hope I will make it to Santrokofi another time.

In the meantime I have more stories from my time cycling from the Arctic to Africa and plenty of cycling tips and tricks that I would like to share on my blog. So check back regularly.

20130812-193055.jpg
Chris, Kinza, Ash and Tom arriving in Santrokofi Ghana yesterday.

Standard
Arctic to Africa

How it all began : The Video

I’ve put together a short video of myself and the team cycling the first few days of the Arctic to Africa trip. The video includes cycling the first 20 miles up to the Nordkapp. The most stunning scenery I think of the entire trip.

You can still show your support by donating towards the Raising Hope Foundation and help them finish an orphanage in Ghana.

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

Standard

We had a rest day in Barcelona a few weeks ago. I enjoyed getting lost in the Gothic Quarter, stumbling across the famous Gaudi buildings and eating paella. One of my favourite city’s of the trip.

You can give to the Raising Hope Foundation using this link.Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

You can help me reach Ghana by sponsoring me here.
Make a Donation Button

Arctic to Africa

Barcelona with Hipstamatic

Gallery
Arctic to Africa

Into Africa

I’m writing this on the ferry crossing over to Africa. I can’t quite describe how I feel. I am excited to be going to another continent, exhausted from all the cycling, amazed at what I have achieved and apprehensive about entering Morocco in cycling shorts as a female.

I can’t quite believe that I can say that I have cycled from the Arctic to Africa. 5 months ago when I started thinking about taking part on this trip I thought I was nuts. I didn’t tell many people to begin with because I knew others would tell me I couldn’t do it. I didn’t even own a bike at the time and I wouldn’t exactly say I was in good shape to be signing up for such a challenge.

I am now only three days away from Casablanca, my end destination. I have no idea what to expect when I get off the ferry and I have no idea how I will feel when the cycling is finally over. To be honest I’m not sure what I am going to do with my time, I’m so used to waking up every morning and getting on a bike.

Written on the 21st July 2013.

20130729-201244.jpgHere I am moments from cycling off the ferry into Africa.

You can help me make it all the way to Ghana by donating towards my daily food, travel and accommodation budget.
Make a Donation Button

You can also give directly to the charity and help them finish the orphanage in Santrokofi Ghana.
Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

Standard
Arctic to Africa

What was I thinking?

From Barcelona to Gibraltar is approximately 750 miles and we have just cycled it in nine days straight. The weather has been an average of 32°c and the terrain has been spectacular although deceptively hilly. It has been my hardest stretch of cycling on this entire trip.

What I didn’t realise when we left Barcelona was just how close we would be cycling to the Sierra Nevada mountains. We were trying to hug the coast as much as possible to make the most of the cool sea breeze and the flatter terrain. However once we reached day 4 out of 9 our chosen route started taking us inland and up and over so rather large hills. We soon lost the refreshing wind blowing in from the coast and it became insufferably hot. Standing still was excruciating, cycling felt like having a hair dryer blowing in your face. Going up hill was slow and never ending. All I could see for miles in front of me, to the left and to the right was more hills, the roads were long and open with no trees and no shade. The sweat literally pouring off of me, my hands so sweaty that holding on to the handle bars was becoming more and more difficult. I lost all concept of distance and it felt as though I was in the middle of nowhere when in reality I was only 15km from the nearest town. At one point I almost ran out of water and started seriously panicking. At this point I didn’t have the option of jumping on a train to the next rest day location, I had no choice but to keep peddling. The only way I was going to make it to the next town was to cycle. Fortunately what takes over an hour to cycle up takes mere minutes to cycle back down the other side. The ride downhill is exhilarating! Getting up to speeds of 42mph on roads with hair pin bends, breath taking views and the knowledge that at the bottom is probably a petrol station fully stocked with water and ice cream.

I’ve made it to Gibraltar but I still have Morocco to tackle. Starting tomorrow morning I begin the last leg and step foot on African soil.

Here are some pictures so you can see what I’ve been cycling through the last 9 days.

Don’t forget you can still sponsor me for a day or more of my trip using PayPal. I still need the finances to get me all the way to Ghana.Make a Donation Button

You can also give directly to the charity here.
Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving
 

imageimageimageimageimageimage

Standard
Arctic to Africa

Too much cycling

I spend roughly 12 hours a day out on the bike, at least 8 of those hours are spent physically in the saddle peddling, sometimes more. Then add in time to eat, sleep and get lost and you can see how I have so little time for blogging.

So this is a short post so I can share some pictures from my time cycling through the South of France. From Switzerland we cycled along lake Geneva on the north side and crossed the border into France just south of Geneva. We then cycled the Rhone Alps and into the Rhone Valley. Although it was hilly and very hot, the scenery was stunning. I even had the opportunity to cycle some of the same roads in this years Tour De France. I really never had much interest in visiting much of Europe before this trip but each country surprises me with just how beautiful and unique each one is. Next stop, Spain.

Help me reach Africa by sponsoring a day or more of my trip.
Make a Donation Button

You can also give directly to the charity here.
Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

20130709-103303.jpg

20130709-103342.jpg

20130709-103400.jpg

20130709-103411.jpg

20130709-103425.jpg

Standard
Arctic to Africa

Surviving the Arctic

I’ve made it to day 8 and I haven’t given up. My thighs burn, my back and neck aches, I’m mentally drained, I have more mosquito bites then I can count and I have ran out of clean clothes. But today is a rest day, which has meant blogging, laundry, writing to friends and family, eating lots of food and generally relaxing.

We are in Tornio, Finland, couch surfing with a very nice couple who have kindly put us up in their leisure building. I’ve got a mattress on the floor, access to a toilet and shower, a roof over my head and protection from the mosquitos. It certainly beats camping in the woods by the side of the road in the pouring down rain like we did the night before last. The owners have even been kind enough to bring us porridge and coffee for breakfast. I couldn’t ask for more.

I have cycled just over 500 miles in 6 days and tomorrow we set off to cycle an average of 90 miles a day for the next 8 days to reach Stockholm by the 13th. It makes me tired just thinking about it. My legs are getting used to the routine though and are putting up less of a fight when I get on the bike in the mornings. I’ve learnt that I need to eat roughly ever hour to keep myself going so I’ve discovered how to eat one handed whilst cycling. I can even peel a banana and eat it without stopping on the bike.

Keep me peddling by donating to my ‘Sponsor a Day‘ fund.Make a Donation Button

You can also give directly to the charity here.
Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

20130605-231627.jpg

20130605-231636.jpg

20130605-231642.jpg

20130605-231649.jpg

20130605-231655.jpg

20130605-231701.jpg

20130605-231711.jpgReaching the Arctic Circle line yesterday.

Standard