I woke up this morning and as I do every morning when our tours are running and I am not on the tour (which is now most of the time), I turned the computer on and checked the emails and the twitter to see how the tour is doing or rather to check if all is well.
I read the few emails quickly and there was nothing unusual. So I had my breakfast and walked a half an hour to the office. Before I had a chance to say good morning Brian informed me that “we have problems.”
A truck had blown an engine. Blowing an engine on one of the two large support trucks when you have a tight schedule to cycle across Africa with over 60 riders is a problem. It is a serious problem when you are in a remote area of Africa where fixing an engine is not a simple matter. We have started taking actions that will hopefully solve the short term as well as the long term problem. The number one priority of course is to find a short term replacement which we are now actively pursuing. Hopefully we will have an answer by tomorrow.
Tomorrow is a rest day so at least we have 24 hours to deal with the breakage. The likelihood is that we will take an additional day to organize ourselves. It will also give the riders an extra day to recover from some tough cycling between Khartoum and Gondar.
And so it goes. Just another day that reminds us that this is still a very difficult expedition. Though we may now have almost full cell phone access, twitters and other new technologies, the basic challenges of crossing the African continent remain unchanged. It is an adventure every day from the first to the last. I am sure there will be more to come.