Day 3 in Porto Alegre and this place continues to amaze me.
Today I went for lunch with Denise Crawshaw-Pellin who’s the British Consul here, and she’s been really supportive of my cycling challenge, having arranged yesterday’s event with the mayor’s office. Also thanks to her it’ll be great for me to have contacts at the other British Consulates along my route.
After lunch we made our way to the Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre where more local press were waiting outside to greet us along with some hospital staff. The reason for this welcome was that we’d been invited to visit the Children’s Cancer Institute which has been developed using money from corporate and public donations, so there’s some crossover with my own charity project and the press were interested to promote both. For me the experience was both uplifting and humbling. It’s such an incredible place, giving the kids and their families free medical and personal support through their ordeal – what could be tougher than your child having cancer – but this place gives them great hope with a superb patient recovery rate of 80%. I was privileged to visit and it really put my own ‘challenge’ into context. My highlight was being presented with a gift my a little girl called Ketley who then gave me a hug and posed for photos with me – prepare to have your heart broken by this courageous little angel:
I had to pull myself together after that since the press wanted to film me cycling through the city to the stadium, so off we went in the 35+ degree heat! This time we got closer to the Beira-Rio than yesterday:
Now onto the #SambaCycle itself! On Tuesday morning at 8am I’ll be back at the stadium along with the press pack but this time the ongoing construction work will pause as we go inside for me to cycle around the pitch before heading off on the first stage on my trip, a 100km ride East to Osorio near the coast, bring it on!!!
UPDATE 27/01/14: Here’s the news report about my visit to the hospital, complete with Ketley interview clips! They really didn’t need to show me missing an easy pot when I played her Dad at pool though…