Greetings from the capital of Sudan, Khartoum. Khartoum is the second largest city in Sudan. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile, flowing north from Lake Victoria and the Blue Nile, flowing west from Ethiopia. Population is 5 million.
We arrived to the city in a convoy and a police escort. It was an easy 88 km (55 miles). Traveling as a convoy is the safest way to get in and out of a busy city.
We had 4 good days of riding with favorable winds, so the cycling gods were with us. The desert camping the past three nights was mixed. The second night was horrid. The wind was howling and the fine sand was once again blanketing everthing inside the tent. The third night was a dream. The wind died down and we camped just outside a little village. It was magical watching the sunset that evening, after lounging around in a tea house for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
The day was not without incident, as Steph was knocked off her bike by kids throwing stones and whipping her with a sugar cane stem. Unfortunately, she was riding alone, but as soon as she fell the kids ran away. The truck was moments behind her and gave her a lift to camp. She has a few scrapes and bruises, but was back on the bike today and led the group out of camp for about the first 25 km. She’s a tough lady.
On the off day, Katja and I wandered through the market in old town. We tasted some of the local cuisine, but stuffed ourselves with “Snicker Bars.” That seems to be the treat of the trip. Ther’re tough to find, but when someone does, they could be traded for gold, amoungst the other riders. Maybe not gold, but at least a tube or two.
Two guys are leaving us. Dave Hocking planned on only doing this first section, but Larry McNeil decided to head home. He’s had some health issues right from the start and hasn’t road much at all. They’ll be missed by the gang.
Fun Fact: Paul Taylor from the UK has climbed all, SEVEN SUMMITS. For those not familiar with them, he has summited the highest peaks on all seven continents, including Everest. Evidently, there are less than 200 people in the entire world that have ever accomplished this feat.
Today’s Fout Stars:
left – Cohen Hocking, 23, living in Prince George, BC. Traveling the first section with his dad Dave, Cohen will be with us to Addis Ababa, where he’ll meet up with his girlfriend. They’re going to hike in Ethiopia, before heading to the DRC to see the mountain gorillas. He’s a real adventurer, that’s says traveling through Africa on bike, is the “coolest” way to see things.
center – Davis Hocking, 51. Dave has just completed the first section of the TDA and will be leaving us tomorrow. Dave lives outside Vancouver and runs a manufacturing and installation company of counter tops.
right – Larry McNeil – 63 lives in Denver. Larry confesses to be a retired professional nerd. Cycling is a passion, as 3 years ago Larry spent 3 weeks in a coma after a cycling accident. His brain started to hemorage and he successfully went through surgery, that brought him back from a near death experience. Larry got back on his bike and signed up for the TDA. He had read about this adventure 10 years ago.
standing – Steve Chatterton, 64 resides in St. Paul, Minnesota. A retired electrician, Steve has done numerous triathlons, marathons and many self supported cycling trips throughout the USA. He’s divorced and has two daughters.