We had a nice surprise delivered to us last night in the form of a thunder storm and a night of rain…we haven’t had that pleasure yet whilst on our trip in Africa. The down side was that our campsite turned to a sticky clay that made all the riders look like they were wearing giant slippers this morning as they headed off to complete the infamous Blue Nile Gorge Riding day which involved an 18km downhill (losing about 1000m) and then riding 22km uphill (to an elevation of 2500m)…sounds brutal but not for this brave crew who literally cruised the whole ride. If we could say the same for the support trucks – the day would have been far too easy but with the rain and the amount of traffic that goes up and down a couple of trucks came unstuck and caused a major traffic jam at the top of the gorge so as the riders headed down…the trucks and support staff watched, waited and enjoyed tea and a noisy market like atmosphere.
Once they had cleared a side road the trucks were able to move slowly along the road (at a speed of about 10km per hour) bumping and shaking their way down. If you think the riders achieved greatness in what they did today then…so did the trucks.
This road is steep in places, bumpy, rocky and seriously busy with traffic and people. However, more than one rider has announced that it was an awesome feeling looking across the other side of the gorge and seeing the road they had ridden down and up. Nice work! At present, there are thunder clouds building, showers and running hot, riders are enjoying a view from the top, bikes are getting freed of mud and grime, beer and coke is flowing and a barbecue is just about to happen while Johnny Cash is playing on the stereo.
Our campsite tonight is CPAR (Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief) and it is nice to be able to enjoy the grass and the quiet atmosphere (trucks still rumbling by on their way down the gorge) as well as the amazing view with a gaggle of little children staring at us through the front gates.