The last two days have dwindled away in my memory already - lucky I am taking photos and writing a daily (mostly) journal to keep the details somewhat alive
. Which is good, because it was for me both the best and the worst days so far. 2 days ago, I got a pinpoint flat (no longer running tubleless on the back, remember) and had to stop 1km out of camp. 45min later as in my inexperience I kept losing my air removing the presta valve core with the crossover from the pump (Peter and Greg are probably groaning at this point) I was ready to go again. 61km later I was at the top of a 800m climb, hoping that the taste of the head winds i had felt on the way up was the end of the misery. At 136km, still alone, and feeling mentally somewhat unstable, I was wondering how the excellent paint job was managing to resist the sand blasting. I have been told by someone older and wiser (thanks Kalsey) that some days on the trip there will be points that you just need to go to your tent, so dinner thrown down (never eaten) and rehydration taken care of, I called it an evening. Did I mention that you should never lose the Pack!!
Needless to say, I was looking forward to an easy day to loosen my cramping shoulder (my only mechanical deficiency at the moment) and some rest time to wash all my grotty Knix, to reorder my already awry packing system, and to see if there is still a world outside of the windy desert roads of Egypt. That was yesterday - 93km at 35kph and setting up tent before 10;15am yesterday. The traffic was boisterous (mostly the ecstatic kiddies hopping up and down in the bike path trying to dish out high 5s), but the wind was minimal and the company awesome as usual
. It felt like the end of a long week at work, and some people certainly drank like it was last night, much to the general entertainment of the riders who i feel are still recuperating before pushing their bodies to any further extremes just yet.
So, to wrap up this extended blog as I still have to visit the Karnak Temples and change my rear tyre back to tubeless, high points - an Egyptian seminar last night for interest in local history, chocolate bars for breakfast, finding that I do have the spare tyre that I though I didnt, lowlights - handwashing all my cycling gear (but with a beer in hand), the Threading (girls - you probably know what this is) that accompanied my head shaving, and the lack of Mars Bars in Luxor.
I am sitting here in Rezeikys fine establishment, wondering at how this great establishment is not listed at the top of all the tourist reviews of Luxor. Of course, it could be that the general tourist doesnt venture down a dinghy alleyway to a large steel door built to hold out Mossulinis troops, hoping that there might be a secret garden tucked behind it with a poolside bar where a man with a gigantic white moustache can procure most delights a deprived cyclist could want (except Mars Bars, which are currently worth about $100 ea to every rider on the tour). It is a hotel, but the camping is second to none where the ablution block is about the best i hope to expect for the next 3months. Furthermore, the cubicle includes a shower and a toilet - which takes care of those situations where you climb into the shower, turn on the water and suddenly feel the urge to have to hope out and relieve a full bladder!!