Today has conspired to remind me of home. Perhaps is a fluke, perhaps it’s because tomorrow is our last day and home is on the horizon. The day started with a nice sandy ride past a small fishing community that reminded me of the east coast of Canada, a place called Glace Bay in Nova Scotia. Then a few minutes later as I cycled alongside the Atlantic, the smell of saltwater and seaweed reminded me of visiting my Aunt as a kid out in West Vancouver, BC. Later, I passed a road sign that said Aurora was up ahead… what the hell!? No word of a lie, I grew up in a town called Aurora. So here I am ten thousand miles from home and its memories are all around me.
Our last full day of riding was a bit different today. After spending the morning in my usual solo mode, we were forced to group up into larger ten person+ groups so we could be police escorted along the highway (R27). It was a bit silly since the section of “highway” we were riding was just a two lane road, no different from any other road we’ve been riding for the last four months. It’s only difference being it had an “R” designation and I guess the rules say “when a group of cyclists are on a R series road they must be accompanied by a police escort. The funny thing is the road had a double wide shoulder that made for extremely safe riding, but I guess some bureaucrat somewhere felt the urge to fill out a form. Who am I to deny him/her the pleasure of approving form 307-F7-994C and duplicating it in triplicate. Sometimes you just have to give of yourself.
Tomorrow is our last day of the tour. We are now less than 100km from Cape Town! Everyone is excited and sad that the journey is at its end. Tonight before dinner we had nice little “Jersey” ceremony where all the riders received their “Cairo to Cape Town” cycling jersey. The TDA staff personalized each one with and “award” tailored to the cyclist receiving the shirt. For me, I won the “Coca-Cola” award (I definitely consumed the most Coke on the tour). The awards were all either humorous, like “the slowest rider” award for one rider who beat everyone to camp almost every day, or heartfelt like “the Wonder Woman” award for a woman who started the tour very green but pushed hard and became a much stronger cyclist by the end. It was a really nice way to end the evening. Now all that remains is one more night in the tent and 93km of road, then the finish line awaits!