Day 6 – Chris’s Story
There was an amazing energy in the group the morning of Day 6. We were all coming off of the good vibes of Day 5, we were rejuvenated, regrouped, and ready to push the whole party to the finish. By this time, almost everyone on the team had experienced a low point. More importantly, though, everyone had experienced a team mate ready to pull them out of that low point. The spirit was alive, and it was time to push on, downhill from here. While the spirit was high, my body was feeling it. Above the joint pain, the ligament strain, the muscle soreness, I had more visible issues. I had worn a couple of holes in my skin where the seams of my bib shorts rubbed. During a chaotic morning, I found myself behind schedule, and sacrificed something I shouldn’t have, for the sake of time; I didn’t get any chamois cream on my skin until our first stop. By then, the damage was done. Having learned my lesson, I bandaged up, and kept riding. No use crying over spilt lubricant, or something like that. Like good little Hobbitses, we had an amazing second breakfast at a Caltex , and I realized how much food can feed the spirit. Later, we had a much needed burger at the Spur in Queenstown. Our days became punctuated by food. Eventually, after some particularly demanding climbs, we made it to Lady Frere. There we were able to meet the hero of Unogwaja 2015. The story goes that in 2015, several of the Unogwaja team left their duffel bags at the bus stop in Lady Frere. The team decided that it was not worth the long drive back to retrieve bags that were certainly gone. Unbeknownst to then, an amazing human, named Zephaniah, picked them up. This kind soul then woke up early enough the following morning to meet the team the before they started riding. This is a true show of what humans are capable of, of the crazy lengths they are willing to travel to help out another. This embodies what Unogwaja means, and this is why we are all here spreading the Unogwaja message. Yet again, I was experiencing the spirit of Unogwaja from the actions of others. It was beautiful to hear about, and something I carry with me here at home. After another great dinner, and all of our other nightly rituals, we were winding down. I spent some time with Brundle, working on bikes and preparing for the next day. Day 7 was going to be a tough one.