Day Off, Bahir Dar
Time to chill !
Waking up with nothing to do is fairly rare on this whirlwind tour and I planned to enjoy doing nothing. I feel well now, my only niggle is my rib from where I fell off my bike. I have very little laundry, the hotel will deal with that, my bike is clean and running well and apart from a haircut I don’t need to do anything 😉
Breakfast was included with the room, it wasn’t great but you can’t have everything !
We took a walk after breakfast, found a barber, haircut and a shave for 30 Bir, less than two dollars !!
On the way back we picked up the usual supply of toilet rolls and baby wipes before heading back to the hotel. We dropped of the shopping and headed for a walk down by the lake, to be honest we were not that impressed with the view but we did find a great little cafe that served a fantastic Machiato Coffee !
Later in the day we spotted three cyclists complete with panniers, we eventually ended up at dinner with them and a few other TDA riders. Eric and Annemieke or Mieke (pronounced Micky) as she prefers to be called were with a friend of Eric’s called Peter. Mieke and Eric were 5 months into a trip from Capetown to Holland, unsupported !! You know just when you think your doing something impressive you meet two people who completely out do you 😉 Peter was joining them for one month from Addis Ababa to Khartoum. Three great people with some great tales to tell and no doubt even more by the time they finish. There raising money for a school in Kenya and have a blog site if anyone’s interested :-
After wishing them well it was time for bed, an early start and 162km beckons tomorrow !!
Stage 26, Bahir Dar to Bush Camp
Breaking free !!
I’d decided to prove a point, today’s stage at 162km is not only long but has some fairly good climbs. Now normally people are used to seeing me just plodding along somewhere near the back but today I was out to prove that even on a touring bike weighing 19kilo I could actually compete !!
I set off early and joined Bridgette, Natalie, Michael and Alan, it wasn’t long before my intention and pace saw me leave them behind and for the next 80km to lunch I was on my own, I kept up a steady pace and was only passed by the racers. I had a little trouble from some stone throwing kids but nothing to serious and I certainly wasn’t hurt.
I arrived at lunch just after 10.30am and spent a good twenty minutes eating, drinking and filling water bottles ready for the 80km afternoon session. My knees were aching quite badly and I was fortunate that Stig had some painkillers.
The first 10km after lunch were uphill and against a headwind, it was tough going and nearly bought me to a standstill. The painkillers started to take affect shortly after that and for the next 40km or so I found a good rhythm again, with about 25km to go I was finally caught by Vince and cycled in with him, we arrived at 2.30pm, half an hour ahead of my predicted arrival and a very happy man 😉
Bike maintenance saw me fix a puncture followed by rider meetings and dinner, Phil got out the guitar later and sang a few songs, makes a nice change 😉
Bed early again, 117km and more monster climbs tomorrow !!
Stage 27, Bush Camp to Forest Camp
Another tough day ahead, 117km and 1800m of climbing…..ouch !!
I set of early again, my head has been a little upset recently and I decided that I’d push hard and see if I could shake my black mood, I don’t need depression now, it’s tough enough without it !!
I made good time to lunch despite the hills, I arrived just after the racers,they has started after me but passed me on route !!
Lunch was a swift affair as I wanted to get to camp as early, the scenery was the only spoiler to my plan….you can’t help but stop and take photos !!
By about 12.00 I was feeling the pace and the last big climb of the day was on unmade road, I was overtaken by Bridget a fiercely competitive mountain biker, I followed her wheel for as long as possible but eventually her stamina and skill on unmade road proved to much. I got into camp about 15 mins after her, delighted to have arrived so early but very tired as well !!
The camp was one of the nicest, in a forest, we had shade for a change 😉
Tent up, bike and all the rest of the usual evening chores sorted it was time for bed by 8.00pm, the tough days don’t stop here !!