Day two in the books

Well, I started sweating at 7:30 when we woke up to start packing and didn’t stop until about 8 pm after I had made us some dinner using our alcohol stove…thankfully using our alcohol stove.

Last night we went to make dinner and realized I had bought white gas – the wrong kind for the stove we brought. So I found some paint thinner type stuff that is supposed to work and it did…but smelled so toxic and caused so much soot that my hands, the floor, our pots, our utensils, and our bathroom sink were black black black. I woke up this morning on a quest to find an alternative and thankfully I found the right stuff. I was so happy to use it tonight. And I have to say I was pretty proud of myself for walking into an unknown community as the only white person and just act like I belonged until I found what I needed.

We did 54 miles today which is more than I thought I could do. The roads are pretty horrible so far – full of potholes to dodge, ruts and wash outs. The downhills are refreshing and cool off the body, but speed must be kept in check or you’ll fly over the handle bars like I almost did twice today. At one point I was trying to share the road with a car coming from the other direction and our mirrors clipped each other but we just smiled at each other and kept going. John’s panniers keep bouncing off and he has had to stop to adjust and jury rig various solutions.

More hills today (3500 feet of climbing) – I only had to push my bike at one point but it was so heavy at the height of the sun and heat and so I had to rest at the top and force myself to eat some jerky because I felt like I was getting heat exhaustion. After a pep talk from John and him talking a lot of the weight off my bike, we set off again. Then we lost our friend Josh (a good friend from Colorado who chose to come and ride with us for the first two weeks). Finding each other again took about an hour of time, lots of backtracking and phone calls to our local friends who worked hard to connect us again. We now have some rules in place for if we get separated again. We were so happy to find each other!

Best parts of the day were flying down a hill into a valley with a farmer herding cows and a huge flock of white cranes taking off as I rode through and all the kids as they call from the roadside and run along side us for a surprisingly long time.

We decided to just really push the miles to try and make it to the next bigger town that might have a cheap guesthouse and made it here just before dark – $5 a room for a bed and some hot water to splash in. We are feeling clean and safe and thankful. Tomorrow we hope to see the Nile.