Sportswise is very lucky to have many loyal patients that continue to come back to us time and time again. We have known Juliette Clarke since 2006 and always love hearing about her hobbies and latest adventures. As a cycling fanatic she has been to many parts of the world, but in late January she had the opportunity to go on a cycling tour to Ethiopia.
The main reason for Juliette’s presence on the trip was to assist Richard Nerurkar from Tadele Travel and the #CycleEthiopia team. In her spare time she has worked as a cycle guide for many years, leading rides in the UK, Europe and South Africa but this was her first visit to the northern region of sub-Saharan Africa.
Juliette tells us “This was a voyage of discovery for me, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. What an amazing country, beautiful people and incredible scenery. What I experienced was a world apart from the Ethiopia I saw on the television in my twenties, ravaged by famine and civil war. In recent years, with political and economic stability, Chinese investment has created a road infrastructure that is a pleasure to ride on, with topology on a par with many Pyrenean climbs.
This is a country where the people remain materially poor but are spiritually rich; they welcomed our presence in their beautiful country and it was, for all of our party, a life-affirming adventure.
The highlight for me was the chance to meet, ride with and now call my friend, a truly exceptional person, Karen Darke. Karen has an aura around her that is hard to describe unless you’ve had the privilege of meeting her. She is tough, she is resilient, she has mental fortitude in bucketloads but she is also soft and kind and generous and appreciative. She is a Paralympic Gold medalist yet still doesn’t realise quite how remarkable she is. To have ridden with her day after day was an honour and if just a little of the magic she has rubs off on me, I’ll be a better person for it.”