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My amazing, jovial, excitable and most wonderful father John Goldsmith passed away several years ago.
He died from cancer, a terrible disease that affects many thousands of families, The Garvan Institute of Medical Research is a world leader in biomedical research, pioneering study in the areas of cancer, diabetes and obesity, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and other immune disorders.
This August, Nico and I are taking part in the Sydney City2Surf a 15 kilometer run from the centre of Sydney to glorious Bondi Beach. We have a fundraising page and hope to raise (more than!!) $1200 to donate to the Garvan Institute so they can continue working towards their goal of prevention and cure of these major diseases.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please click here to donate online to our fundraising for the Garvan Institute.
We miss you John ♡
Ahh El Bolson — we were so sad to leave you — but the deluxe coach whisked us away leaving no time for regrets.
Eighteen short hours later, we had arrived in Mendoza, Argentinas largest wine producing region well known for its excellent Malbecs. At the first opportunity we were on the bus to Maipu to go and see Mr Hugo about a bicycle to ride around the vines. With our pop-up cycling group made up of us and two Spanish guys who rode on the bus with us, we made our way to Familia Di Tommaso, the oldest vineyard in the area. After a few glasses of red we made our slighly wobly way to the next stop on the tour, Tempus Alba where we shared a bottle of most excellent Rose. We finished the day with a glass or two of Absinthe which was akin to drinking windowcleaner and seemed to sear off our nasal hairs.
We hope you enjoy these photos of Argentina while we are gone.
Clearly I did not live up to my wide eyed and optimistic enthusiasm of earlier this year, this post comes to you from glorious and sunny Punta Del Este in Uruguay.
But back to India…
On the overnight bus from Bangalore to Hampi, we finally got a ‘convenience stop’ (in the bushes by the side of the road) at around 3:30am, being long over my fear of peeing in nature and not to mention busting, I ran headlong into a patch of very vicious thorns. When I eventually found a place with no thorns and suitable cover, Nic, concerned for my welfare (rather than calling into the dark) shined his very bright torch on me, so everyone on the bus who cared to see my shiny white bottom could do so without having to strain their eyes. So when we decided to more on from Hampi rather than go through such a long bus ride (with no toilet) again, we instead made some pretty bad logistical decisions.
We decided to take an overnight train to Goa.
Obviously we have been in India for ages. Sorry for that but we have been busy, super busy in fact. Nic and I are now officially yogis in training and have been bending ourselves in unnatural ways once a day (almost) every day for the past two months.
We arrived in Bangalore from Morocco (straight from the frying-pan into the fire), after bribing the customs official to avoid (possibly, probably not) paying larger import fees on the bikes we made our merry way to Mysore – the birthplace of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and our home for the next little while.
Okay so we have been here in India for quite some time and it is glaringly obvious that I have become the worlds laziest blogger — well, one of them anyway — so glaring in fact, that being a better blogger has just become one of my New Year’s Resolutions.
So lets begin with that, shall we? They say that if you write something down you are much more likely to actually do it, so lets see about writing something down for all (of my family) to see.
After a few days in Rabat we left the bicycles behind and boarded the 1:30pm train to Marrakesh, marvelling at how simple it is to catch a train without two fully loaded touring bicycles.
Our taxi dropped us off at Djema El Fna Square, and with the help of several shopkeepers and our trusty iPhone we made it to Riad Layla Rouge without too many problems, no mean feat in Marrakesh which, similar to Fes, is a myriad of criss-crossing alleyways and dead-end streets. And of course Layla Rouge doesn’t have a sign.
Perhaps a little bit marred by our dusty few days along the coast, we opted to give ourselves a break and take a bus from Al Hoceima to Fes, boarding the sketchy vehicle at 6:15pm for an on time 6:30pm departure. It perhaps took an hour to realize that this vehicle had some serious mechanical issues, its life force seemed to ebb suddenly away without warning, leaving us all sitting stationary in the silent darkness of the mountains. Thankfully we eventually did arrive in Fes and rode around the cool quiet midnight streets to our hotel in the Ville Nouveau.
For the first day of our coastal cycle, we had planned an easy day of 29km to the town of Stehat. We headed inland for a kilometre or so against the flow of people, goats and donkeys arriving in Oued Laou for market day – veering left through fields and across the fertile river delta, then once again back to the coast. The road for the most part was patchy asphalt with gravel in some areas and no shoulder to speak of — we had to take care to avoid the maniacs that so often inhabit these roads.
We weren’t more than 5km into our ride when we came upon the first major road works of the day, where the construction of a large concrete bridge was under way. There were a number of huge trucks, a crane, at least one steam roller and an earth mover or two, Nic asked someone in passing how much of the road was under construction, not considering the impact the answer to this question would have, “300km.” was his unhesitating response – “300km? He must mean 30km, right?”. Blissfully ignorant we struggled on, up a slippery muddy slope that clogged our mudguards and spattered our legs. The truck drivers moving endless piles of yet more mud were encouraging and mildly baffled that two, seemingly sane people were riding into major road works ON BICYCLES(!).
I had made this seventy kilometre journey before, 11 years ago in a blue Mercedes taxi with Kirsty and Amelia, I remember the road being hills, dust and gravel…