albeit involuntarily. For the second time, I crashed on my bike. The first was in early February and was fairly minor. I was crossing some RR tracks and the front wheel slid out from under me and I went down. Other than a spectacular bruise on my left hip and a sore left shoulder, I was ok after a couple of days and able to resume riding.
The second crash was last Friday. Or was it Thursday? I have completely lost track of time. Regardless, a couple of days after leaving Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, I was going down a hill and had to brake. Just as I started braking, I hit some speed bumps that I didn’t know were there. My front wheel must have twisted and I went flying over the handlebars. It was one of those slow motion things – I knew I was going down and it seemed like I was in the air for several seconds but there was nothing I could do about it.
I landed on my head (were it not for the helmet I surely wouldn’t be here – I’m not exaggerating) and right shoulder. I was in a fair bit of pain, and when we got to Addis Ababa, the medic took me, along with very sick staff member, to the Landmark Hospital. X-rays revealed 4 broken ribs 😮
After weighing some options, I decided to fly to Dubai where I’m recovering. I’m really hoping that within 2 weeks or so, I’ll be able to rejoin the group when they get to Nairobi to either cycle with them or at the very least ride the support vehicle so I can still experience Africa. So here I am in Dubai, missing my riding buddies, and trying to stay positive. It could be worse – at least I’ll be back! Other people on this, as well as previous tours, haven’t been so lucky – for some, their tour was over following an injury/illness.
And since I now have reasonably fast internet, I can blog. Unfortunately, my camera has gone missing so there won’t be any visuals, at least for the moment. Instead I’ll recap some of my favourite moments and highlights of this tour:
The excitement of leaving the Giza pyramids on January 14 to start our expedition
Finishing a very long ride – 168 km. before it got dark. I didn’t think I could do it and was so happy not to have to get picked up by the support truck
Sudan. I will forever have a soft spot in my heart for Sudan. There is a quiet and peaceful vibrancy that I felt almost as soon as I got off the ferry at Wadi Halfa. Without exception, along the road and in villages, we were greeted with Salaam Aleikum (peace be with you) and warm smiles.
Playing and interacting with Sudanese children. One of the riders had brought a frisbee and at one of the camps she brought it out. Immediately several children, shrieking with joy and excitement, joined the game. At first it was just the boys, but after some coaxing the girls joined in. They were clearly delighted and it was such a pleasure to watch them at play. A few times, an adult with a child in tow would ask for pens and papers so their child could draw. Everyone who had anything like that very happily gave it to the kids. Who needs video games or TV?
The delight of the kids whose pictures I took, both in Sudan and Ethiopia. They absolutely loved having their pictures taken
Completely losing track of time. Most of the time I didn’t know what day or time it was. The sun was my guide for the beginning and end of the days
Donkey showers in Sudanese villages
Kidfo, an Ethiopian dish of ground meat and spices served with teff (is it weird that food is a recurring theme here??)
Ethiopian coffee ceremony, and Ethiopian coffee in general
The simplicity of life now. We just get up, pack up our stuff, eat breakfast, cycle most of the day til we get to camp, put up our tents, eat, socialize a bit, then go to sleep. No responsibilities, no obligations, no deadlines
The (relative) absence of cell phones
The rare occasions when we were able to get hot showers
There are many more, but these are just a few that spring to mind