Sunday, June 12, 2011

Luwawa Bike Race

Now for a little time traveling, as we jump ahead six months from Dean's birth to this past weekend...

Yesterday Jorge raced in the Luwawa International Bike Race, an annual mountain-biking event that takes place a few hours north of Lilongwe on the Viphya Plateau, a wooded highlands. It was our first time to Luwawa, and I was looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet in the forest. What I got was quite different - noise, hyper-active children, and not enough sleep...the story of my life these days.

The race itself was extremely well-organized, and Jorge had a great time. He came in solidly right in the middle of the pack, which was fine with him, as his training for the 30-mile race had consisted of a couple of weekend treks through the maize fields behind our block (those of you have read about many of Jorge's past sporting exploits will not be surprised at his willingness to take on extreme feats of athleticism the way other people agree to an evening stroll).

When Jorge heard I was blogging about the race, he wanted me to make sure you all know what a hero he was, as well. There were many stretches of the course that were too steep to ride, and the racers had to push their bikes up the steep hills. Jorge, being the tireless runner that he is, figured he could make up some time be simply throwing his bike over his shoulder, and jogging up the hill. Halfway up one long stretch, he came across a woman who was struggling to get her heavy load up the hill. So he picked up her bike as well, and carried it to the top. My husband is such a gentleman.

Of course, he also apparently bit it so bad at one point that he ended up doing a flying somersault into the woods, where, in his words, he left a perfect "snow angel" impression in the bushes. So it wasn't all "Lawrence of Arabia" sophistication in the wilds of Africa.

Milo also had a great time. As he always does, he made some new friends about 3 minutes after walking through the door, and spent the weekend racing around on his bike and running off into the bush.

Hey look - even I was there! Here's photographic evidence!

The Lodge that hosted the race was packed full, and after the race, they organized an evening of local and international music acts. Which would have been really exciting, back in the days before I had two small children. As it was, I spent last night with a pillow over my head, willing the band to stop playing so that I could get at least 30 minutes of sleep before Dean started his nightly routine of waking up every 3 hours (alas, I only got 10 minutes of sleep before I had to get back up).

This morning, our friend Peter, who has been going to Luwawa for years, took us on a hike through the beautiful countryside. Milo loved it, and wanted to collect one of every wildflower he saw.

Of course, now I'm exhausted, but in one of those good, fulfilled ways. Still, I'm really hoping our next trip involves just a bit more sleep, and hopefully a lot more lazing around on the beach doing nothing!


Miriam said...

I love the picture of the boys with their bicycles and the one of Dean in his sweater! Just wanted you to know that someone out there is still looking forward to reading your blog!

Gwyneth said...

Yay! A comment! You inspired me to write another post. Thanks, Miriam!