The toughest day yet....

Beyond the Saddle ....Cairo to Cape Town
Howard Fairbank
Sat 10 Feb 2007 23:11
Position: 12:37.255N 37:28.081E The town of Gonder.

Cycled 106km today...and what a tough day it was....montainous terrain, bad roads, lots of dust, hounding kids, but lovely scenery....

I left before sunrise, knowing there was a big day ahead. Scenery reminded me of the Eastern Tranvaal, Blyyde river Canyon, and it was clear we are progressing towards joinging up with the Rift Valley....the real stuff is 4 or 5 days off!

I knew there was a big hill today, and it started after I had passed through a little village at 15km... the total climb was from 1150m to 2286m, and took about 2hrs, with many 'thank god its finished' false summits, and lots of swithbacks eventually leading to the 'Roof of Africa´.

From the summit it wasn't all downhill, with a plateau, and then lots of
rolling hills and valleys, each one taking its toll on the legs.... lots of retirements today, so I was happy to arrive at the finish at 3pm, 6th person home, after a few stops and diversions.

It was real hot out there and huge amounts of liquid and food were consumed along the way. The scenery was great, and I am now looking forward to two nice rest days ahead.

Just had a WONDERFUL bath, put on clean clothes, and had a few beers with dinner...all feels great!

Its been a big week.....more than 800km cycled in 6 days over a very diverse set of terrain and road conditions.....

Newsletter will follow in the next few days....