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Africa Geographic Travel

Meet Tessa Melck, our newest blogger to join Safari!

In January this year, Tessa began her most epic adventure yet – competing in the Tour D’Afrique, one of the longest bicycle races and expeditions in the world. The race began in Cairo on the 8th January 2013 and will cover a distance of almost 12,000km, finishing  in Cape Town on the 11th May 2013.

If you’re interested in finding out how the journey has gone so far and how it’s going to progress, stay glued to Safari as we’re going to be filling you in on all the details, beginning to end!

Tessa Melck
Tessa

Date: 1 January 2013

“You must be nervous?” “Do you think you’re ready?” “Aren’t you scared?” “Why would someone do this?”

These are the most frequent questions as the day for my departure creeps closer. YES, of course I’m a little anxious! Cycling across Africa is no walk in the park. However, I see this trip as a journey of a lifetime. Even with all the suffering, there is still something truly magical about this continent, the darkest thing about it being our ignorance. I’m extremely excited about learning first hand at the speed of cycling and I plan to document every step. It’s going to be a long, hard road – my greatest physical challenge yet, and a true test of my character.

THe Tour D'Afrique, Tessa Melck

tourdafrique
The route from Cairo to Cape Town.

THe Tour D'Afrique, Tessa Melck

I’m SO ready to go. If I could, I’d leave for Cairo tomorrow. With a week to go, I’ve reached the hurry-up-and-wait stage. The past two months of preparation and organization have been chaotic, but fun. Everything fell into place without too much effort. My sponsors have been incredible; The Cycle Lab providing me with an amazing bicycle, Cape Storm kitting me out with top quality cycling clothing, Herbalife Sports Supplements  helping to build up my strength, and Fotacs sponsoring quality MINOX equipment to document my experiences, namely the Minox DC 1422 Digital Camera and the very useful ACX 100 HD Action Cam.

I have met wonderful people, giving me overwhelming support. Their encouragement has been a tremendous motivator. I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.

My Herbalife 24 Endurance Sports Range
My Herbalife 24 Endurance Sports Range
Tony Fornali and I at the Fotacs warehouse collecting Minox equipment... Christmas came early for me...
Tony Fornali and I at the Fotacs warehouse collecting Minox equipment… Christmas came early for me…
The amazing Vanguard brand providing me with a handy backpack
The amazing Vanguard brand providing me with a handy backpack
THe Tour D'Afrique, Tessa Melck
A big thank you to my cousin Kim for introducing me to the wonderful Alison Lea, who has kindly become my nutritional sponsor.

This process has exposed me to completely unfamiliar territories and I’m just so incredibly pleased I took that scary plunge into the unknown, because as I reflect over the past few weeks, I know all the difficult decisions and choices I’ve had to make have been absolutely spot on correct.

Life is just too DAMN short to procrastinate and linger on the someday, one-day and next time’s… I could bore you for ages with stories of life changing experiences and hopefully inspire others to make the changes in their lives, but what it actually boils down to in the end is asking yourself the right question… I asked myself the simple question: “What if money didn’t matter?”

Lastly, “Why would someone do this?” Well my answer to this question is purely, “Why wouldn’t someone do this?”

THe Tour D'Afrique, Tessa Melck

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3wwnqLvLDI

Ndumu River Lodge
Tessa Melck

Born and raised on a farm near Velddrif on South Africa's Cape West Coast, Tessa Melck is made for adventure. After spending five years working on luxury Super Yachts in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, she has taken her life to the next level, competing in the 2013 Tour d'Afrique – a cycle race from Cairo to Cape Town, covering 11 different countries over a distance of 12,000 km in just four months. Adding heart to her endeavour, she is doing this in aid of the Make A Difference foundation, a charity that gives financial support to deserving young people to pursue an education. Follow her on Twitter, donate to her charity (tdatessa.givengain.org), or find her on Facebook.