The First Week
If curiosity were pennies, then TDA would have made million by now. Here at day 4, the details of how this circus runs are slowly bubbling to the surface.
The transition of moving from a whole house FULL of things, to a duffle bag, no matter how FULL, is a daunting task for any. Not to mention that this is no Sunday picnic, nor a weekend in the mountains. The process of packing for this trip is likely a one of a kind experience for all.
Some read blogs and more blogs, others built containers to the exact dimensions of their TDA gear allowance, whilst others threw caution to the wind jumping on the first plan to Cairo. To think that every rider here now, will all be players on the 4 month story to tell, but for now are all still at the last chapters of a previous book. Some closed the company, others quit for good, some said good bye to families, and others look for new ones. All here for different reasons, that each of us are only starting to figure out.
For the silently nervous days leading up to our departure, riders picked up a few last minute supplies from town and sorted out any final logistics. The Sudanese embassy was agreeable, not a single hitch there, and just about every bike showed up. Our 99% success rate on bicycle attendance was quickly corrected by some keen scouting in Cairo by a few resourceful riders. One better-than-imagined bicycle was purchased and the rest of the riders bikes were furiously tuned by our trusty mechanic. Two brief rider meetings and we were ready to roll. Ready or not, it was clear that all the words in the English language couldn’t explain how the next 4 months are going to go, so it’s best that we just get going.
There will be highs and there will be lows, with the first two hours of the tour being no exception. 1) Tea at the Pyramids, 2)Riding in a 80 rider convoy through a loud, dusty city of 30 million. I’ll leave you to guess which is which. The trucks were loaded, riders where ready, and after a few tv interviews, and more than a few photo’s, the tour was off.
The first few days were long, with some riders just getting to know their trusted two wheeled friends, while the racers rev out of the gates, itching to see where they stand. With the top racers making it into camp before 1pm on our 176km day, the next test as the weeks go on will be endurance.
Now almost finished our first week on the road, camping next to the Red Sea, James grilling up a few dozen chickens on the beach, the sandstorm of last night feels like a year ago. No one can say what will happen over the coming weeks and months between the great adventures and the personal adversaries, but one this is for sure. With the spirit of adventure alive and buzzing through camp, excited voiced sharing stories from each day, laughing at today’s joys and yesterdays triles, what can I say but, we’re ready for it!