Sonya Ashbarry

Sonya a

Sonya Ashbarry

I feel blessed to have lived an eventful life, some of it extremely challenging and some extremely rewarding.

I'm a wife to my hubby Nige and a mum to two beautiful girls Kerry and Anna who are all grown up now.

I've always attempted to live life to the full, but as a breast cancer survivor, I've become even more determined to experience as much as possible. If an opportunity is there, I will be too! Even though my teeth are likely to be chattering, I'll have a good go!

I'm also the Director of Eagle Education and Training Ltd - The Association of Accounting Technician's distance learning provider of the year winner 2014!



Asia » China » Beijing September 11th 2014

WE DID IT! 480km and over 14000ft of climbing in 5 days!!! We cycled up to the Great Wall to the finish line which was our final steep climb. I'm amazed I managed today as I went to bed without dinner last night as I was feeling nausea. There was no way I was getting on that bus or walking up the climb! The atmosphere was awesome and the scenery stunning. After being awarded our medals and having a photo shoot we then climbed up the Great Wall!!! Jelly legs for sure! There are such a variety of people here all ages, shapes and sizes. Some are cancer survivors, some have knee replacements, one lost 8 stone in a year to be able to do this and the list goes on. I'm in awe of the ... read more
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Asia » China September 10th 2014

This challenge should have been titled mountain climbing on bike challenge! Yesterday we climbed 3800ft. Today the ride was around 78km but up the side of a blimmen mountain again climbing 5800 feet! My legs feel they've done exercise but they're not dropping off. Yet this morning they did not want to go at all! Fatigue! I ate well last night and this was the first hotel to cater for us Brits lol. Bacon, toast, eggs and chips for us for breakfast served with chop sticks of course. So we were well fuelled. However, Anna had to tow me for a few km. For non riders that means riding close to another rider to make it a little easier. I struggled to believe I could make it up those mountains today but your body starts to ... read more
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Asia » China September 9th 2014

I think my last blog was a bit boring because I lost my sense of humour after yesterday. It seems some are using strava and we climbed 4500 feet and cycled 104km yesterday. Today similar but 98km. So yesterday I learned not to cycle near the trees that overhang the road. As I arrived at at the rest stop Anna screamed at me to take my helmet off. I threw it on the floor in panic to discover a spiders web literally covering it with a GIANT spider in it! We are also riding on the opposite side of the road here. It felt fine until we were at a complex junction and Anna sped off as you have to do here to make it across in one piece and I screamed at her to stop ... read more
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Asia » China September 8th 2014

Wupwup we woke to a clear blue sky! Oh and what a difference it makes. Now we can appreciate the beauty around us. Today was the toughest day I've ever experienced in my life! We started riding through local towns and villages. Before today I said to Anna how subdued China is. But today it came to life! It seems they chill at weekends so that's why nobody was about. We experienced gridlock in a market town and were given a line dancing performance by two locals. We saw locals trading chickens and fresh produce as well as locals cooking in the streets. Anna said how awesome it was because walking you feel vulnerable and in a vehicle you don't appreciate much. As a tourist you wouldn't really visit these parts anyway. Then Anna joked: imagine ... read more
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Asia » China September 7th 2014

Ever tried eating a fried egg with chop sticks? Or spreading butter and jam? An interesting morning. Traditionally the Chinese eat broth with rice and noodles and pancakes for breakfast. So I'm guessing the organisers suggested food we might like to eat but cutlery wasn't on the menu. After a horrendous night we got off to a good start as the atmosphere is good. We cycled 66km today to break us in to our new bikes. The pace was fast at the front which was pleasing. We just have to wait at stop points for everyone to catch up which is fine. It's very warm and humid but the dreadful mist/fog isn't lifting so sadly we can't appreciate the scenery. We stopped at Buddha hill for lunch and had more rice and some form of meat ... read more
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Asia » China » Beijing September 7th 2014

Although I didn't arrive with expectations I discovered I have. Beijing was dressed in 27 degree sunshine in my minds eye not hiding behind a cloud of smog! I thought as we approached the country after 2.5 hour drive the smog would lift but it's like Bwlchgwyn on a foggy day but hot and humid. Weird in fact. So with little to see we all slept (14 of us on this flight). We were woken to our Chinese tour guide excitedly announcing our first sight of the great wall and we are searching with our eyes feeling unimpressed as you can't really see it! We were greeted at our hotel to be told there's a music festival on and they're sorry but we will be disturbed. As we approached our rooms we were greeted by backpackers ... read more
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Asia » China » Beijing September 3rd 2014

Am I excited? people keep asking. If I'm being honest, I'm trying not to think about it! I want to go without expectations so I can be prepared for anything and fully indulge in every moment whether it's fabulous or not so fabulous! Am I ready? people ask. Well in March I started by cycling 5-7 miles and now I can cycle 67! I have a few aches and pains but I'm very surprised by how amazing our bodies are! I couldn't do that! people say. YES YOU CAN. Me and Anna are joining 109 ladies. Most embarked on this challenge to get fit and make a difference. You will see that we are all different and I believe we all will achieve. So good luck to us all as we cycle 480km around China in ... read more
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Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu December 8th 2012

So yesterday was my last day and I was woken with a call at around 6.30am to tell me that the taxi driver had managed to find fuel and did I want to go to the airport via taxi. In an instant I said yes! It was the right decision - when I stepped out of the hotel there was a huge queue of traffic. Word had got out there was petrol in the pumps! People were literally pushing their cars along in the queue! My last day at work - no electricity all morning again - surrrrrprise! I spent the first hour doing a week-end (rather than month end) with Blessings and thankfully we got a cash reconcilation to balance for the first time! WUP WUP WUP!!!! Attention to detail has paid 'Kwatchaaaaaaaaaaa' (their currency) ... read more
My gift
Lake Malawi

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu December 6th 2012

Every time I finish a blog entry I think I’ll not have much to write about next time, and then life happens in Malawi! So what happens to a thief in Kasungu? I accompanied Charles on his way to obtain a second signature on a cash withdraw slip, as I needed to go to the bank too to withdraw yet more cash to pay for my accommodation. As we left the office I could hear lots of children singing very loudly. I asked Charles where it was coming from and why it was so loud. He said 'they are singing feef, feef' so I thought it must be some kind of celebration. As we turned the corner there were around a hundred or more school children on the side of the road and we were heading ... read more
The market
Another part of the market
The primary school

Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu December 2nd 2012

I’m a celebrity, please keep me in here…. www.tongle.com is a eco wilderness lodge deep inside Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve so a good 45 minutes (maybe even an hour) of the journey was literally through the middle of the bush in a 4 wheel drive. The ride was very exciting and I saw water buck and baboons on the way in which was a wonderful taster of bush life. This reserve is one of the country’s largest conservation areas so it’s not commercialised. It’s vast at 1800km2 and the terrain is rugged spanning altitudes of 500m to 1638m so seeing wildlife here is a privilege and not guaranteed! After being jiggled around all over the place and beginning to feel a little queasy I was relieved to be greeted by the management and team with a cold ... read more
My room
My bed
Shai and Emanuel




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