Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TdA Stage 4. Having Cake and Eating it, too.

100km. Desert Camp to Safaga Beach Camp.

There was a crazy sandstorm last night. It felt like armageddon was upon us. I thought my tent was going to rip off and fly away, Wizard of Oz style. The dust was fine enough to get through the mesh layer in my tent, which was hard on the eyes and lungs, but I suppose that everyone is in the same boat. It was a relief to wake up and sea that I was still in the same spot.

Carrie and I tried again to stay on the men's peloton but got dropped in a hurry. Bas came back to pick us up and bring us back, but it was too much for us to sustain. So Carrie and I dropped back. Not 2km later, they were still within eyesight (so close, yet so far away). Their presence got the attention of a pack of wild dogs (we are guessing that there were 8 or so). The dogs weren't quick enough to get to the road in time to chase the boys. It was a different story for us. Fortunately, for some reason, they did not set foot on the road. Nonetheless, it got the blood flowing.

Thanks to a nice tail wind, we were in before noon. Though I will be camping on the beach tonight, I was able to get a shower at the hotel next to the campground. Felt so nice to use a toilet and shower. I can't believe how far I can feel from civilized society after only a few days from these luxuries.

With the afternoon free, Carrie and I set out to find a birthday cake for Lindsay who turns 57 today. You might be surprised how much you can communicate with someone who speaks another language if you are willing to draw pictures. We drove around town in the back of a man's car to try to find a bakery that could make a giant cake to feed 70 people. It felt like we were doing something sketchy as we would drive a few blocks and the driver would stop the car and get out and Carrie and I would sit and wait and then the driver would come back and go a few more blocks and do the same again. In the end, our local search came up empty. So, we found someone who had a brother in another town that was 60kms away who had a friend who knew someone who had a bakery. We hesitantly handed over a big pile of money and, a few hours later, a man showed up in the alley with a gigantic chocolate cake in his trunk. It said 'Happy Birthday Lindsau'. Close enough.

There were no candles to speak of, but we found some small scale pyrotechnics to shove into the icing for effect, and a plastic little flower that opened up when it was set on fire. Although I've had more snickers bars in the last four days than anyone should eat in a year, it was really nice to have some cake after dinner. This is life.


Blogger BikingBakke said...

I'd be interested to know how effective your "large pile of money" would be at securing larger scale "pyrotechnics" in that part of the world.

January 25, 2011 at 3:53:00 PM MST  

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