Monday, March 28, 2011

TdA Stage 58. Been Caught Stealing.

123km. Rice Field Camp to Chitimba Beach Camp.

Our gang of white people with fancy bikes, combined with a couple of large overland support trucks inevitably catches some attention as we travel through poverty stricken countries. This is especially true when we camp in the more remote areas where tourists don't normally bother to stop.

Typically, this has led to crowds gathering like an audience to watch us go about our daily business; erecting tents, eating, napping. And, from time to time we encounter 'petty' theft over night, even when we hire local security to keep an eye out. Bike shoes left in tent vestibules have been a popular target (rather unfortunate, given that they would be considerably less valuable to someone who didn't have the matching pedals).

Last night, the target was something a little bit more spectacular. When the ground conditions are suitable, we drill holes in the ground and put up two tent-like shelters that function as temporary toilets. This morning, we woke up with only one. This is the first time that I have heard of someone stealing a toilet. But, then, this is africa and I have experienced a lot of firsts here.

The ride today was relaxed. Mostly flat. Morning rain to get the chamois moist and gritty for the day.

Chilling out by a campfire drinking Malawi Gin on a serene beach on Lake Malawi this evening, it is hard to believe that I was soaking in a rice field, surrounded by hundreds of curious children less than 24 hours ago. Changing places every day is exciting, especially when you get an upgrade like this!


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