Day 121 - Final Stage
A quick note...
So, after my tablet which I'd been using to write and send out my blogs, had decided to stop working a few weeks before ending our TDA tour, and coupled with poor connectivity (especially in Namibia) my daily blogs suffered (as I am sure you all noticed) and so you have all had to endure late after-the-fact accounts of each day's ride... And if you haven't noticed... I have been putting a few out on "the interwebs" every so often now that we are back in Prince Albert.
Now, as far as the TDA chapter of the blog goes, we have finally arrived at the very last TDA Stage after 4-months of cycling. Thank you to everyone for your amazing show of support and for reading along thus far. It is much appreciated, and even a tad overwhelming to think that so many of you were interested in our bucket-list journey from Cairo to Cape Town.
As it sits right now, we have have 19'862 visits to the Treloar Herald blog, and so I hope that there are at least a handful of newly-inspired souls among those nearly 20-thousand visitors!
Life is short. Don't sweat the small stuff. Get out & live your bucket list.
|Cape Town, at long last, with my best girl by my side.|
The "Final Count Down", the day we had been riding towards for these last four months had finally arrived, but also a day of very mixed emotions. Happy to be at our destination, happy to see family and friends again, but very sad that it had all come to an abrupt end.
Packed up our tents for the last time and readied ourselves for the last ride of the Tour. Judith and I left Camp relatively early together, as she didn't want to arrive late at the Lunch position, where after lunch, we would form up into a convey and proceed to the finish, escorted by the Cape Town Traffic Police.
On the way to Lunch a group of us had an impromptu photo shoot in our new TDA 2017 Commemorative Cycling Jerseys, with Table Mountain in the background. This was followed by the opening of some small bottles of champagne by Judith and I to mark the memorable occasion.
|Riders dishing up their last TDA Breakfast|
The long and the short of TDA 2017
|Our first proper view of Table Mountain from the Koeberg Countryside|
|Forming up for our first group photo with Table Mountain in the background|
|Informal group photo at the first proper sighting of Table Mountain|
|The arrival of the South African Police investigating the reports of lycro-clad TDA riders invading the Koeberg Countryside|
I rode a leisurely 59km to lunch with Judith and we arrived at the Lunch Truck, which was parked on the beach, within the allotted time period. We were treated to cheese & biscuits and other delightful snacks, accompanied by sparkling grape juice (no alcohol). Had the first of our official TDA photo sessions, all looking so impressive in our new 15th Anniversary TDA Cycling Jerseys.
After lunch, we formed up into a convoy, with Judith placed in the front (no pressure!) and headed off into a headwind for the final 20km ride to the finish at the Lagoon Beach Hotel in Milnerton.
|Lunch consisted of cheese & biscuits at Blouberg Strand|
|Getting stuck into the delicious snacks and cheese|
|Photo session with friends for life Andje, Murray and Philip|
|Michael and Judith finally within reach of Table Mountain only 20 km to go|
|TDA Staff also pose for a group photo at Blouberg Strand|
|"The Originals" - The Tour Riders who completed the full TDA from Cairo to Cape Town!|
|It's a Public Beach so TDA had to organise toilet facilities for the Riders...|
The finish at the Hotel was a bit chaotic, we crossed the finish line (flag) on the beach, but half the people who were waiting for us and other riders were at the front of the Hotel! But all's well that ends well, and they came down to greet us once we were in had figured out what was going on.
It was fantastic to be met by our family - our son Kenneth, our daughters Jo-Ann & Mary-Jean, Judith's Brother Gregg, Cousins-in-law Jill & her son Craig. While Friends -
Richard & Denise; Bruce, Sonja & son Thomas, were also there to welcome us home.
There was much joy and jubilation, and the sudden realization that our roller-coaster ride from the top of Africa to the bottom of the continent had come to a sudden and abrupt end. All I could think about, was what were we going to do tomorrow, if not riding our bikes?
Our arrival at the Finish was followed by another official photo shoot, the final one for the day. Then it was time for the presentation of the Tour Medals, first to the Sectional Riders, then the Original (Full) Riders who had all started in Cairo, followed by the Four Riders who obtained EFI Status. These being Alex, Charles, Mark and Liz, only four out of the original twenty seven who started.
|Medals & Champagne await the finishers!|
|Arriving at the Finish on the beach outside of the Lagoon Beach Hotel|
Our son Kenneth (who brought some beers to the finish!)
and our daughter Mary-Jean in attendance at the Finish.
|Some of the Family and Friends with Michael vd Berg, Judith and Mike T |
(Kenneth is away fetching more beer!)
|The big group of TDA Riders get into the pose|
|And there we all are!|
|Denise & Richard from Prince Albert were there to greet us|
|Final Destination - Four months of cycling to get from Cairo to Cape Town|
|Judith with Daughter's Mary-Jean & Jo-Ann|
|Mary-Jean, Mike T, and Judith with all-smiles at the finish festivities |
(thanks to Kenneth for the pic)
|The EFI Finishers are awarded their special medals for riding every stage, all the way down from Cairo to Cape Town|
|Mike vd Berg Collects his medal for his well earned trek from Windhoek to Cape Town|
|Judith gets her hard earned Medal|
|Mike T opts for his signature 'secret handshake' before accepting his finishers medal.|
|The three South African Riders Liz, Judith and Mike T receiving their full tour medals|
|Having a beer with Brother-in-law Gregg, who flew down from Joburg (along with Jo-Ann)|
We then spent the rest of the afternoon having quality time with family and friends, as well as some of the other Riders, as the realization of our achievement finally got to us.
Later that evening we attended the Official TDA Dinner, accompanied by immediate family members, and it was a truly a memorable occasion to mark the completion of the 2017 Tour!
|A clean shaven Peter and wife Deborah with Murray at the TDA Dinner|
|Andy and Kenneth enjoying their dessert at the TDA Dinner|
|Daughters Mary-Jean & Jo-Ann enjoying the TDA Dinner too|
|Toasting the end of the Tour with Michael vd Berg at the Dinner|
|Mzungu shenanigans at Dinner|
Until the next adventure...
(which may come sooner than you think)
...skip the grapevine, and read it in the Herald!