UPDATED January 16, 2008

BY The TDA Team

IN Tour d'Afrique

no comments

UPDATED January 16, 2008

BY The TDA Team

IN Tour d'Afrique

no comments

Mustafa

Our time skirting the Red Sea has come to an end and we are now gaining altitude. A steady climb, today’s stage followed a road nestled amid dusty, corrugated mountains. In previous years, this stretch has been particularly difficult due to strong headwinds. I was stationed at a rest stop, 100km into the ride. This is where I met Mustafa.

An Egyptian policeman, he and his crew wore wool sweaters and long johns while the sun battered our post. I could barely tolerate the sun with a thin undershirt. He puffed a hookah as we spoke. With each inhale, the glass base echoed with bubbles, only to end with a plume of smoke escaping from each nostril.

As riders came and went, we snacked on typical Egyptian morsels; their favorite being foul. Don’t let the name fool you, foul is a delicious bean dish similar to hummus. Served with copious amounts of vegetable oil, the dish is complemented with chili powder and other ground herbs. With a fork to further mash the beans and mix the dish, it will satisfy any hunger, even that of a TDA rider.

Riders lucked out with a tailwind for the better part of the day. We are a day away from Luxor and everyone is anxious for our first rest day. This will be a time to reflect upon the past six, and to prepare our bodies for the next stretch.

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