Arriving in Ethiopia
09.02.2009 45 °C
Je suis saine et sauve et toujours tres tres heureuse!!
Long time without writting but the internet connection in the last days have been so so bad - that it was hopeless to even try - for those of you who want a closer account - you can also go on the Tour D'Afrique website - they have equipment to keep daily updates and have photos!
I have lost the count of the last riding days - but overall impression - It has been the most cahllenging part so far!
WE had 3 long days with head wind when exiting Sudan. For the former TDC riders- I can only compare to the 150km rides we had in the Prairies with full headwind the whole day AND 43 celsius as of noon until 1730. The last day of these three days I was beging for mercy thinking am I crazy to do that or what? And then we had a coke stop just before camp and it was even - they had anyhing one could dream off: Cold apple juice, chocolate, chips, dates, etc: This was in Sudan and it was not an hallucination! I had 2 juice, 3 chocolate and 2 chips and some dates and then made it to camp to eat soup!!!!
Sudan is still my favourite country so far! The people and the sceneries have been so special and so far away from what we think off when listening to the news about Sudan!
And then we crossed the border to Ethiopia - It is a miracle that after 5 days of ridind in Ethiopia I am still in one piece: Yep the famous kids throwing rocks - this is true and ouch it hurts! But so far I manage and can say that there is more to Ethiopia than our fear of the rocks!
First there is the terrain: We had 2 days of climbing on pavement I cannot really describe: Imagine riding on a road that has rocks the side of my hand sticking out - it is like being shaken from all side and attemting to keep a balance on your bike while we climb 6% over maybe 10 km with days of 90 km and more.
I lost my EFI (every fabulous inch) and had to ride the truck on the second most difficult day of the tour - I was able to do 50km over 5.5 hours and my body said no more, my legs went on strike and my brain said wow! so I got on the truck.
The last few days have been on pavement and more easy so I managed to recover energy and I am ready to ride then next 5 days which contain the most difficult ride of the whole tour - the climb of the Gorge of Ethiopia - It is a day of 80 km with a limb of 22 km which takes in average 3 hours just to do the cvlimb so I might be out there very late that day - but will try my best. We will be at teh highst altitude of this trip
Seccond there is the sceneries: What a suprise: We are now in pastoral lanscape - green with cattles - also so different than the Ethiopia I expected.
It is truly beautiful and almost feel like it could b somewhere in the rural Quebec !
Third the people: Hard working people every where - the life here is very difficult - more than half of the population are children who are working in the fields or selling gum in the markets - They will be going to school for the elementary level but the access to secondary level is very very difficult!
I will write more on the life in Ethipia in our next rest day in 6 days
I miss you very much and many many thanks for the messages. As you can see I am tired but I promise to be more entertaining in the next blog.
I and Orimou are loosing weitght, a little tired but still happy and curious of discoveries!!!