Day 11 - Stage 10 - Desert Camp to Abu Simbel (150 km)

Monday: Start of a typical morning in the Egyptian Desert...

Get up and take "Doug" for some quality time out into the still-dark desert surroundings. Away from the still-snoring or stirring tented camp. With only the Milky Way high up in the sky and the odd camper's headlamp shinning here and there in the clustered tents, (we are getting used to packing up our bags & tent and preparing for the ride, by the light of our headlamps).

Julian checking his bike at sunrise
Early morning camp lights as the riders stir, a few moments before sunrise

Just before breakfast, I discovered my bikes front wheel needed air, grabbed the foot-pump, only to realize I needed to change the tube. So while everyone was having a leisurely breakfast I was fixing my puncture. It has been good going, my first puncture and over 1 000 km cycled. Unfortunately my breakfast was very rushed indeed!

The first Coke Stop was at 50 km into the ride, and we stopped (we don't normally stop between the Start and Lunch) but I needed something salty and something to give me a sugar rush, so crisps and soft-drink it was.

First Coke stop of the day
Riders discussing their day's ride so far

Andy feeling good and sharing his laughter

Roasted chicken crisps and Fanta Apple what more can a man ask for?

The Desert scenery is beginning to change as we approach Abu Simbel

Lunch was at the 80 km mark, again at some random bus stop, close to a new housing development the Egyptian Government is building, but uninhabited at present.

It was Judith's first 150 km distance and she cycled well, we finished it at an average riding speed of 24 km/hr. However, with 5km to go I hit the brick wall, and pulled up for a Coke stop only 1km from the finish, I just had to get my sugar level up. One Pepsi (no Coke) later and the problem was solved, but not before we were joined by two police cars and the TDA 4x4 bakkie (utility vehicle). Quite an audience to watch Bridgette, Judith and I drinking soft-drinks!

New housing development constructed by the Egyptian Government the Desert (still to be occupied)

Today's Lunch Stop at the 80km mark

Lunch Truck time

Canal transporting water from Lake Nasser 

Time for a short recovery break at the Canal

Welcome to Abu Simbel

On arrival in Abu Simbel, we booked into the 'Eskaleh Nubian Ecolodge', being one of the last riders to finish on the day, our choice of rooms was limited, so we decided to take the Honeymoon Suite! One thing about this Tour, sometimes things don't go as well as planned, but then again, don't sweat the small stuff.

Of course, after the Mandatory (Mando) 'Team Carbo Load' meeting, the length of today's race, the heat and any other irritating nuisances were soon forgotten - life is great!

Andje & Judith enjoying the Tilapia 

Alex showing us the correct way to eat Tilapia
Only coke available with dinner... 

Eating out at a local Egyptian Restaurant 

The Chef busy cooking up our Tilapia and chicken

Dinner was in town, we joined a group of the riders, walked into town and sat down at one of the local restaurant's (eating house). Food was either Chicken or Fish, I chose fish, and had the best Tilapia I had ever tasted, and that includes the delicious Tilapia I have previously eaten in Uganda.

On the way back from Town, we stopped at one of the  local pavement Coffee Houses and had tea with the three local Egyptian Cyclists who had been cycling with us all the way from Cairo. They will be leaving us tomorrow, and going back to Cairo by bus.

Tomorrow is our second rest day, after today's ride, bring it on!

Mike T

Charles and the Treloars having late night tea at a street cafe with our Egyptian Cyclists


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