Gondar Rest Days
This rest day is really best put into perspective to appreciate what a beautiful thing this is. First, picture the closest you’ve ever been to total physical collapse. Picture that the time is 2pm, in the middle of the Sahara, it’s 50 degrees, there is dust and dirt all over your face and body, your legs are burning from the previous 600kms of off road, your stomachs feeling weak, you’ve already drank 8 liters of water and can’t seem to get enough, the road is made of sand and corrugation, add some saddle sores and bicycle which, due to all the sand, is also not working it’s best by now, and you tell me if you feel riding another inch, let along an entire week in these conditions. Just as the light appears at the end of the tunnel ; the day into the rest day has come, there is just another 2,500 meters of climbing before you get there. I’m certain the TDA is cited on a Wiki article on ’What is Pain’.
Riders pile in one by one, collapsing into our glorious hotel camp, mentally and physically bankrupt. What first; the shower, the beer, or to simply not move from this very position? Out onto the vista overlooking the city of Gondar, the air is cool, the beer is cold, and a full menu of not-so-camp-food is available at the drop of the hat. After a good 24 hours of this the lobby of the hotel still resembled that of out-patient lounge at the hospital, but all is on the up and up by now. The picturesque city of Gonder is a place where many could simply retire from the life of TDA and live in what feels like a mini-heaven already. For one there is beer, which really just makes everything ok, add fresh blended fruit juices, the best coffee yet, delicious local food, and more than a few night clubs. Let’s make a deal, if someone’s getting kicked off the island, you can kick me off right here.