Rest Day, Khartoum
Khartoum was a rest day and
boy did we rest, I’m sure that if I looked in the guide book I’d find something interesting to do in Khartoum but as per usual we arrived at a hotel with so much to do that we just couldn’t be bothered !!
Washing is always top priority, Facebook, emails, photos and blogging come closely behind, showering, cleaning bikes, bike maintenance, kit repairs r buying new kit, eating, drinking and sleeping bring up the rear !!
After the four days we had prior to Khartoum we were covered in sand as was all our kit, there was sand in everything from my sleeping bag to my clean socks and everything else in between !!
We were fortunate, the hotel we were booked into ( thanks to Alan Knight ) was also being used by about 20 or more riders, there were six of us that were pulled to one side and told we’d be in ” the annexe ” ! We weren’t pleased but we followed the young lady about 400 yards down the hot dusty street, we were all weighed down by our baggage, we were hot, tired and not particularly happy !
We were led up a flight of stairs and let into an apartment, three bedrooms, three showers, lounge, kitchen, dining room, Wi Fi, comfy sofas, washing machine, fridge……man we thought we’d died and gone to heaven. We wasted no time in making ourselves at home, pretty soon the fridge was stocked with snacks and drinks. The electronic gadgets were on charge, emails and Facebook sorted, photos uploaded and blogs posted 😉
That night we went to the hotel roof terrace and met up with the other riders for dinner, the meal wasn’t great but the company was !! After the meal some were still hungry and went in search of pizza, we headed back to the apartment, Wayne, Trish and Sandy just got back, they’d been for a meal and said they’d been treated like gods, we vowed to go to the same restaurant the following night 😉
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel, it was included in the price and was a lot better than the meal the previous evening !!
Next on the to do list was to find Gus a new camera, his had broken a week earlier and he’d been using my spare ever since, after a lot of effort we found a camera and once again headed back to the apartment, coffee, snacks, Wi Fi and conversation, we had a great afternoon and then rounded our day of with a great meal at The Babylon restaurant. Bed early ready for an early start in the morning, up at 5.15 ready by 6.00 and back to camp by 6.30!!
Stage 16, Khartoum to Rafaa
142km, paved road, flat and fairly straightforward directions. The day started with the usual rider meeting, held at camp which was at the Blue Nile Sailing Club, we were given the days route and the schedule for the next eight days, it would be that long until our next hotel !!
As I said above the days stage although heading back out of Khartoum was fairly straightforward, not to many turns, not to much traffic but a really bad road, the righthand edge was crumbling away and you needed to be alert at all times !!
I have to admit to not enjoying the rid to lunch, I just couldn’t get into the groove, fortunately Naomi sat on the front for about 60km and I just pedalled behind the group, we made lunch in good time, ate well, chatted to friends then set off for a coke stop at about 120km, we met loads of people there and had a great cup of tea and a well earned rest before riding the last 20km to camp.
Camp was close to a road again but did have bushes this time if you needed the loo at least you’d have some privacy. We were told that they’d had trouble with bikes being stolen here in the past so we were extra careful to lock everything down !!
Bed was early due to the 160km we were riding on Stage 17, it would be the, last Stage on paved road for a while !!