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!