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Dongola to Dead Camel Camp
It’s the first day I have been able to start the morning riding without my wind jacket. The weather is definitely warming up.
Sometimes I like riding with other people and sometimes I like riding alone. Today I decide I want to start the day alone. After about 20km of solo pedaling passing the odd rider, some riders passing me a big peloton passes through. One of them pushes me in – “come on Claire, what are you doing – close the gap” another yells at me. So I jump in and we’re averaging about 33km/hr, relatively easily. We all take turns pulling on the front but after my turn pulling I am buggered and fall off the back.
Riding alone definitely has it’s advantages – my favourite is that I can look up and look around, appreciate the desert. Unfortunately my cycle computer broke somewhere on the way to Egypt so I don’t know how much further it is until I get to lunch. This means I spend half an hour hallucinating lunch trucks on the horizon. My stomach is definitely ready for my tuna sandwich today!
I ride on from lunch and the day just gets hotter and hotter, I pass a coke stop on the way but realize my Sudanese Pounds are still in the pockets of my pants from yesterday so I don’t stop. I can feel the sun burning my arms. Ram catches up to me and we stop under the only shady tree we have seen all day to reapply the sunscreen and take a break. Megan catches up to us and tells us it’s only 10km until camp which makes me feel a lot better.
I roll into camp and jump off my bike. First things first though – I check out the dead camel then jump in the nearby canal, cycling clothes and all. It’s so cool and refreshing in there and I know they won’t take long to dry in this dry heat. I pitch my tent, and jump back in the canal for the second time. Then it’s time to open up clinic but everyone’s pretty healthy at the moment apart from a common head cold that’s going around – not severe for anyone to take time off riding their bike.
— Claire Pegler
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