Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Finish Line

Hello everyone! Just wanted to give a very brief update to let you know I DID make it into Cape Town on May 10th! Hooray! It was very exciting and emotional and GREAT to have family there waiting for me. We came into Cape Town with very cloudy skies but great spirits. It was a short riding day with a police convoy from 15 miles outside of the city center. We arrived on the waterfront where a band was welcoming us down the finish line. Champagne was splattered everywhere as we slowed down to ease past the final banner. It is very hard to believe that we are here after 4 months of riding our bikes through Africa. A surreal feeling indeed. Lots of hugs and kisses were thrown about and our male and female American consulates/ambassadors were there to congratulate us! We were eventually directed to stand behind our country's flag and then we proceeded in processional style to the stage where awards were given out. I was the only female to receive the EFI award. It is not that I am too attached to awards but it was pretty special. It was so great to have my parents be a part of the celebration.

After the awards ceremony, we were invited to a champagne reception, lite canapes, and then we returned to our hotel to get ready for the evening's festivities. We all dressed up that night since it was kinda fun to do so after seeing each other in our biking clothes for the last 4 months. That night was tons of fun too. We had a great meal at the Rugby Club and the wine was flowing. Cape Town's best DJ was there from 10:00 pm on to help us boogie. And, that we did!

Now my parents and I are enjoying the sights of Cape Town, a tour of the winelands, and a safari before returning on the 24th of May. So far, I find Cape Town a town that I could live in. It is unbelievably pretty with the mountains as the backdrop. Currently, we are in Franschoek-one of the wine valleys and it is super-scenic here as well. It bills itself as the gastronomic capital and I would say that our palates agree with this. We are also looking forward to hopefully seeing the Big 5 in a few days.

I will post pics of S.A. once I am home or if I get another chance to be at an internet cafe.

Thanks again for all your support, encouragement, and love! I couldn't have done this trip without you guys.

P.S. I achieved my goals of Phase 2 of my research-I successfully interviewed every person that answered my survey. Looking forward to analyzing my results this summer!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Crossing the border into South Africa

Hello everyone!
This post is being written by Kerri's mom b/c she called me this afternoon (10pm her time and she was soaking in a tub!) and doesn't have an internet connection. They were actually camping at a spot that had showers and one bathtub. For those of you who know Kerri, she does like taking baths! She wanted me to tell everyone following her blog that she will be posting pictures of Namibia at a later date when she has good internet connections.

They arrived safely in South Africa today and she reported that the landscape looks alot like Phoenix with the rolling hills. The weather is beginning to get a little colder, as it is the beginning of winter over there. The surroundings are very beautiful and she is looking forward to seeing the ocean. They will be staying at a campsite on the ocean called Eland Bay. Each day they will be slowly decreasing the distance they have to bicycle, but, she also said she is expecting some headwind and rain which will make the riding a bit more difficult.

She has mixed emotions that this "expedition" will be over, but, also is looking forward to the end of grueling biking days! Her dad and I will be traveling to Cape Town to see her cross the finish line and I am getting very excited, as you can well imagine a mother to feel!

She wishes to thank you for all of your support and encouragement along the way, and I have to agree. I read all of the comments left on her blog and she has wonderful friends and coworkers! I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Sue Finlayson
(Kerri's mom)