We’ve had lots of kids again today. Every few kilometers, a bunch of boys would run into the middle of the road as soon as they see me coming. I make every effort to wave, smile and greet them in Egyptian Arabic. That seems to work without fail, almost.
I was crossing through our last villages, just five kilometers from camp. Once again, a bunch of boys threateningly moved into the middle of the road as if to create a blockade, armed with sugar canes.
“Hello!” I shouted from afar. They didn’t move. “Izzayyak,” Egyptian Arabic for how are you, I added, and they smiled, yet kept pointing their sugar canes at me. “La, min faDlak,”—no, please—I smiled at them, and they moved aside.
“Well done,” I thought to myself, and was about to speed up again when three hard canes hit me with full force—two on my back, one on my calf. Now I know how it feels to be caned—it bloody hurts!
Then I recalled the accounts from prior riders that I’d read, and reminded myself that this was to happen sooner or later. At least they didn’t point the canes between my spokes, which would have ended a lot worse. Just like the stone throwing yesterday, this was yet another reminder to always watch out and never get too confident.
Stage 8: Idfu – Aswan (Egypt), 103km
Road & traffic condition:
Hectic traffic through Idfu, then a few villages here and there. Potholes and speed bumps as usual, also patches of sand in between that are scarily slippery if one doesn’t slow down.
Sunny, perfect for riding—to me. Some of the guys feel that it’s getting too hot towards noon. As we women need to cover up, I had invested in lots of cooling materials. They work like a charm. I don’t feel hot at all while riding.
Chicken for lunch, and Errol’s minced meet for dinner—I’m loving it!
Our camp tonight is pretty cool, and—like yesterday—people are enjoying ice cold beer. We even have (cold) showers and proper toilets (without flush)—enough to keep us happy 🙂
The caning was quite an experience. On the positive side, my body & mind couldn’t be in any better state. I’ve zero pain and seem to be getting stronger by the day. Spirits still going high.
Winning our first stage (women’s race) was kind of fun—am competing against myself 🙂
Chilling with Wynand and Muli (our lunch truck driver and camp support) over a shisha gave a nice finish to an almost perfect day.