Cycling world record attempt hindered by food poisoning
Food poisoning and broken bikes have not dampened the spirits two intrepid cyclists trying to break a world record in order to help build two new schools in one of the poorest countries on the planet.
Reza Pakravan and Steven Pawley are biking the infamous and treacherous 11,000 miles from Kapp to Cape Town to raise £28,000 for the charity Azafady and in the process are attempting to break the world record for the route.
Although the initial plan was to travel 110 miles a day for 100 days, several setbacks in recent weeks have slowed their journey.
Reza said: "We both got food poisoned in Ethiopia. Hygiene is a big problem here. We had to go to a local doctor and were prescribed some medicine.
"Strangely enough our western medicine didn't work at all, however local medicine worked immediately.
"Steve's dérailleur mount broke. This was a real nightmare. We lost a lot of time but managed to get it fixed."
"It was not only the food in Ethiopia which caused problems for the pair.
"It's been very tough. Pushing 30kg up the mountains, climbing 12 degree gradients, bad roads, tropical rain everyday - it's a hell of a job in itself, let alone stone throwing kids and people trying to grab stuff off the back of your bike.
"We also got very sick here and had to take a day off the bikes. At the same time we saw some lovely people, amazing scenery and tasted the best coffee in the world."
After visiting Madagascar in 2009, Reza said his life was changed and he wanted to do what he could to help.
He said: "They're an amazing charity, who combine humanitarian work with conservation in a country that is often overlooked.
"In area I was working in 90% of the people live on less than 80p a day, and 40% of children die before they reach 5; combine that with the fact that nearly 90% of the animals and plants are endemic to the island and I firmly believe this is a country that needs our support."
If you want to help visit http://www.bmycharity.com/schoolproject.
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