Invitation to Malawi Cycle Challenge

Alex Gibson

Alex Gibson

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Open Arms Malawi is inviting readers to sign up now for “the challenge of a lifetime” - an exhilarating 10-day cycling adventure through some of Africa’s most scenic landscapes.

The challenge will take place between September 15 and September 24 2017, and will be a major fundraiser for Open Arms Malawi next year. Anyone who signs up to take to the saddle will ride 337km against the picturesque backdrop of southern Malawi, cycling from Lilongwe to Blantyre in seven days action-packed days.

Cyclists will pass through rural villages and small towns to experience village life off the beaten track, and have the opportunity to see magnificent wildlife. There will also be a chance to visit Open Arms Malawi’s Infant House in Malawi to see how children benefit from the work that participants will be supporting,

Open Arms Malawi provides medical attention, shelter, food and love to some of Malawi’s orphaned and abandoned children and works to ensure that the children in their care have the chance to grow up with the love of a family and the security of a home.

One rider already signed up and starting their training is Alex Gibson from Knaresborough, who will be cycling with partner Alastair. For anyone who might think that the challenge is just for experienced cyclists, Alex has never cycled before and is eager to throw herself into the trip.

Alex said: “I’ve never cycled before - apart from hiring a bike at Center Parcs. Before training could begin I had to acquire a bike. It’s my first time in Malawi, although I have visited other parts of Africa before. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to visit the Open Arms Homes.

“This is the chance to get off the sofa and make a difference to a child’s life- how exciting is that?”

Any adventure seekers interested in joining Alex and doing the challenge should visit: www.openarmsmalawi.org/cycle to sign up and find out more information, or email judith@openarmsmalawi.org

The cycling route will take riders to the vibrant trading town of Salima and towards Lake Malawi with its freshwater beaches. From there, participants will pedal along its shores for an overnight in Monkey Bay, then move on to the old colonial town of Mangochi. Upon arrival at Open Arms Mangochi, the team will be welcomed with music and dancing, before going on to see first-hand just how much of a difference the work that they are raising money for makes to children’s lives. The route continues south along the Shire River to Liwonde National Park, and the journey of a lifetime ends in Blantyre with celebrations.