Natasha Johnson

Guest blog: A message from the Pope

The penultimate day: Gosford - northwards

(Andrew  Pope)

It was 7:00 and we awoke to the sight of cyclists riding outside our bedside window. Alas, it was not Reid but the locals out for their early Sunday morning ride. We were about 7km shy of Gosford. Things started as usual in our penultimate day (hopefully!) Just as we were about to leave, after one of our fastest pack-ups ever, Warren the washing fairy appeared at our door and kindly offered to take our washing, wash it and return it to us wherever we happened to be at the time, making one less job for the support crew. So, we can guarantee that Reid will arrive home in clean Knicks, we just need to try and get Reid clean with more than just baby wipes! 


At our first rest stop, a number of cycling enthusiasts enquired about the ride and expressed their admiration/shock at what Reid was doing. Several of these people generously supported us with a donation, as well as support via many packets of blue jelly beans. 


Conditions are proving to be very favourable today. A good headway is being made. Just before lunch, the support crew split and some of us headed off to find a Coles supermarket to do our last shop. I underestimated how far we had to drive to find the supermarket (may I just say that the Newcastle foreshore is very nice). Warren and his wife tracked us down and returned our daily washing (thanks again). We regrouped and continued northward to Brisbane, ticking off the 700km and 600km to go milestones. 


We attracted interest at numerous rest stops today with a large number of people approaching us to find out about the event, giving us the opportunity to share about the mission of Eagles Wings. Several generous people donated. Currently, we have stopped for dinner and anticipate another late evening, with Reid hoping to complete 400km today.


The chance to join the crew for the last few days of this adventure arose at the last moment. Sadly, I was unable to be with the team for the entire trip, but my experiences since Thursday have been extremely memorable. I have been privileged to witness what Reid has achieved. It has also been a pleasure to work with the support crew. 


As the event coordinator, it has been encouraging to see the generous donations to the work of Eagles Wings coming in, as well as hearing about how people are simplifying their lives. I look forward to seeing our fundraising goals achieved, but more importantly, seeing people engaging with Eagles Wings and the fantastic work that is being done in Southern Africa. Can I encourage you to please support this cause at


I'd just like to finish up with some words of wisdom from the Pope. Don't eat yellow snow and don't swat flies with your Oroton jocks in a campervan.







Aussie Challenge Day Thirty Seven
  • $795,000
  • Raised since 2008
  • 9
  • Countries cycled
  • 479
  • Participants
  • 34,700
  • Kilometres cycled