A REAL fast day...with help....!

Beyond the Saddle ....Cairo to Cape Town
Howard Fairbank
Wed 7 Feb 2007 17:14
Position 12:55.204N 35:24.088E

20km south of Gedaref at an open campsite in a quarry!

148km cycled today, and by all participants it was the hardest day's cycling we had......long distance and strong wind (20 knots) virtually headon for 120km's of the route.... I started early from our 'mountain' base campsite, thinking we had entered the mountain area....but leaving with a head wind, was soon going through the pass between two mountains, into a vast open expense and straight road that lay ahead.... But it was a beautiful orange sunset, and in the distance were three lonely mountains protruding out of the horizon, similat to sSpitskoppen in Namibia..... Just before leaving the pass the wind really funnel around the one mountain, making a crosswind that blew me and my bike off the road... Once through the pass wind reduced to the 20knots, and I just put my head down for the 90 mins to the next village... I caught my friend Tom, and we cycled into the village togetehr for a spicy local coffee and a bit of relaxation on a Sudanese open air bed!

Then fate played us a wonderful card.... we linked onto the back of a slow moving petrol carrier, both drafting behind the truck, with the driver's encouragement for the next 3hrs.... This meant we averaged 43 km/h for the next 120km,,,not stopping for lunch or anything...it was just to good to be true! As you can imagine it wasn't relaxing, and quite nailbiting at times, being less than a metre behind this huge truck...! We got to the finish about 90 mins ahead of the racers who were all really puzzled!

Scenery and culture stuff for the next newsletter....

Tonight is our last night in Sudan.....by this time tomorrow night I'll hopefully be in Eithiopia javing a few cold beers for the first tim in weeks!

Talk to you tomorrow