Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TdA Day 5. Treasures of Safaga

139km. Safaga Beach Camp to Police Check Stop Camp.

We woke up to the sound of prayers over a loud speaker from the mosque shortly after 5:00am. This is our typical wake up time. I've really come to love the sound of the prayers; it beats an alarm clock and so nicely fits the soundtrack of this chapter of my life. I think that it has even helped me come to enjoy waking up before sunrise; something that I thought I'd left behind when I stopped working.

Suddenly 139km doesn't seem like much distance at all. Carrie got chased by a three legged dog during the ride, which was hilarious for me but rather terrifying for her. That was the first dog that had the balls to come out on the road to chase us. I guess that it shouldn't be surprising that he is missing a leg.

This was by far the most relaxed day that we've had so far. Bas and Scott hung back from the main peloton for a relaxed day and acted as good meat shields for us. We rode in an awesome group all day. Good tempo. NoHomo introduced me to Hoho's, which are a nice alternative to the Snickers/Bounty diet that I've been keeping during the rides. A nice find!

Our camp for the night is also a police stop. We arrived relatively early and it was still hot out, so I found a tap with running water and I tried showering there in my underwear. Probably not the most culturally sensitive thing to do in a muslim country. I definitely had an audience. But it feels so good to have clean hair; I could not resist.

The shovels were out in full force tonight. When you camp without toilets, you have to have a system to deal with waste. Ours is to dig 'cat holes'. For most of my life, talking about taking a shit has been taboo. But, suddenly, now that we are digging cat holes, we are keenly aware of the bowel condition of our friends based on the pace and frequency at which they walk/sprint toward the shovels. I've seen the Indiana Jones trilogy many times, and I've never seen an archaeologist run for a shovel. It can mean only one thing!


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