Approximately 76 kilometers
The final day of riding is always bitter sweet. The sense of accomplishment the group enjoys is incomparable, but the knowledge that our time is almost at an end is unavoidable. After a short few days of intense physical challenge and emotional bonding, there is no way to prepare for that impending trip home. And so we celebrate. A few kilometers before the end we stop and regroup, making sure we ride onto the ZimZam bridge side by side. (The bridge spans the river that divides ZIMbabwe and ZAMbia)
The ride onto the bridge was incredible, the views off the bridge were breathtaking. We hugged, we laughed, we congratulated ourselves and each other. So much work goes into fundraising, training rides and planning in the months leading up to our relatively short time together that it was fantastic to finally see riders know that they had accomplished what they had set out to do.
After posing for pictures and sipping celebratory champagne, we retired to a small bar/restaurant overlooking the Lower Zambezi and ate lunch while a few brave riders signed up for adrenaline activities. From the point we end our ride it is possible to bungie, swing or zip line, and a handful of us did just that. As usual, it was ride leader Henk who was most impressive, his signature swan dive off the platform calls into question his insistence that he’s scared “every time”. This was his seventh bungie off of THIS bridge. There have been many other bridges, no doubt.
After lunch and screaming it was off to the Victoria Falls Mist Trail. This unique experience allows riders to bathe in the waters of the Zambezi as it falls, bounces off the river below and becomes mist. This mist then falls AGAIN and “rains” on those walking the trail. Luckily, we walk this trail in spandex bike clothes and dry out rather quickly once we were out in the sun again. The mist creates rainbows that one can ALMOST touch, and was so heavy this year, it was often hard to see the falls themselves. After a quick hike to the top of the falls and we waded in the Upper Zambezi, relaxing and trying really really hard to not get choked up.
The enormity of the falls, the satisfaction of what we had just done and our huge love for each other was a bit overwhelming. No doubt we’ll remember this trip, this day and each other for the rest of our lives.
After a set of hot showers, we gathered for dinner at Prana Zambia. As it was our final evening with Henk, we took the time to make our thank you speeches and our fearless support mother Claire handed out tokens of love, Zambia and our time together. A couple riders had put together a list of superlatives for each rider and member of our support team and we all had a good laugh. All in all, it was a perfect evening to end our amazing ride.