The last three days have been, to say the least, interesting writes Scott Kennedy.
The tour started in Cairo with a visit to the Pyramids. What a place to start this adventure – the stunning sights of the ancient world on display viewed through the gape of the start line. With little fanfare beyond a plethora of photographs, the ride was under way. Cruising past the Pyramids we snaked our way through the suburban sprawl of Cairo. Some 17million people call the place home, all living on top of one another.
After seemingly hours we broke free of the city and made our way into the desert. The barren landscape would be our home for the next foreseeable future. Devoid of anything it was strangely otherworldly. Like a Martian landscape all you could see was sand, rock and sky in every direction.
The riding was not without its challenge – a few steep hills predicated with a staunch headwind. It was a challenging way to begin. After some 130km, we finished for the day, happy, tired and ready for bed. The camp for the night was in the desert, miles from anything, no different then any other stretch of land for as far as the eye could see.
The second day brought some nice tail winds as the road lead its way to the Red Sea. Upping the ante the speedo read 165km by the end of the day, definitely a long hard day in the saddle. I spent much of the time in a good group of riders, moving in an efficient pack. We flew along at a great rate, making good times and forging comradeship. The camp again was at a non-descript section of desert, only this time beside the Red Sea. We were there in enough time to go down to the water and go for a swim – the water was cold yet refreshing, a fine way to clear off all the grime after a few days of riding.
Day three started off with charging tail winds and monster speeds. We managed to cover a stunning 135km in three and a half hours! It was unbelievably fun – moving in a pack at that speed was an unreal sensation. The perfect roads were made for this sort of travel and to move along amongst 12 people nearly tire to tire at 40kph was a surreal sensation.
Tomorrow will be tougher, we head into the mountains and make our way to the Nile. It will be a challenging climb, but the effort will be worth it. Luxor and the Valley of the Kings beckon just over the horizon. Soon we will leave behind the featureless desert and return to the Nile, where ancient ruins and sights to see will become a part of daily life.
Life on tour is the simple existence that I’d hope it would become. We wake, eat ride, eat, sleep and repeat. It’s a wonderful way to live free of the clutter that dominates – even my simple life.
I’ll leave you now as I must get back to the beach!