|Sunrise & early morning bike-gathering...|
Desert Camp to Khartoum (88 km)
Thursday: The day's riding-orders were to cycle to lunch at the 67km mark, have lunch and then at 11 am, form up into a convoy and ride into Khartoum. We thought it was going to be an easy ride, but weary legs and a crosswind decided otherwise.
We were the first to leave camp, but were soon overtaken by all the other riders. Judith was struggling at the back, and we decided I would cycle on at my pace and she would cycle with Sweep Rider Helen.
If it was going to result in her arriving late for the lunch time rendezvous, then Tallis would go back and pick up Judith and Helen in the Land Cruiser and drive them to lunch.
True to form; 5km from the lunch truck rendezvous, the Sudanese Police stopped all the riders until we could form a convoy (they were so keen they just couldn't wait until the lunch truck) much to the agitation of the riders.
After a lengthy wait, they decided we could cycle on to lunch, so with much fanfare we rode to the lunch truck . At this stage Judith and Helen were still nowhere to be seen...
Lunch was taken on the outskirts of Khartoum in an area covered by litter, and we were surrounded by Police and Traffic Officials, it was organised chaos, Sudanese style.
To my astonishment and admiration, Judith arrived accompanied by Helen, she had cycled all the way and it wasn't necessary for Tallis to fetch them after all.
After lunch, we formed up into our designated positions, slower riders in the front, behind the Land Cruiser. So the Treloar's had the distinction of leading the convoy of TDA riders into the city center of Khartoum. Thanks go to "Super Muzz Murray" who pushed Judith (who was totally exhausted by this stage) on numerous occasions, as well as Bridgette, who shouted encouragement, ensuring she stayed in front behind the Cruiser.
Thanks also go out to the Sudanese Police and Traffic Police who with sirens blaring, ensured we reached the Hotel Camping Grounds in one piece, since the traffic in Khartoum was horrendous. Notwithstanding that our TDA convoy had the distinction of backing up the traffic for kilometers in all directions!
Judith and I booked into the Grand Hotel Villa, after cycling the equivalent of over four Cape Argus Cycle Tours, and after 'enjoying' three Desert Camps we were determined to spoil ourselves.
We unpacked our bags and accompanied by Niklas, we went off to the Hotel Restaurant, where we killed the salad's and pudding's from their late afternoon buffet.
Back in our room, Judith had a late afternoon snooze, while I caught up with social media at the Pool Area. Then after taking a shower, it was early to bed.
Tomorrow we hope to just relax and take in some sight-seeing.
Lunch on the outskirts of Khartoum
|Waiting for the Police Convoy to form|
|Welcome to Khartoum...|
|In the Hotel Restaurant killing the salads and puddings at the late lunch buffet|