Wednesday, April 6, 2011

TdA Stage 65. The EFI Disease.

141km. Field Camp to Empty School Field Camp.

The first few thousand kilometres and couple of countries of this trip were finished so fast that I sometimes wondered whether this was going to be the journey that I had envisioned. Sure, there were challenges, especially in Ethiopia, but time and distance passed much faster than I would have ever anticipated.

At some point around Nairobi, this changed. Perhaps fatigue or illness. Perhaps something else. Time slowed to a creaking halt and the two months that remained on this journey became an eternity. It started to feel more like work than a vacation.

Still, I keep pedalling each day because I am determined to achieve EFI. It is like a disease. I have had an inner battle between my EFI-dreams and my rational suspicion that a break from the bike would be beneficial for my physical and psychological health.

We had some good times in Tanzania that lifted my spirits; however, today was the first day since Arusha (three weeks!) that I felt excited about riding and about the rest of the tour. I hope that this continues as we still have another 30 or so days of cycling before we reach Capetown. I'd rather be enjoying the sights and sounds than counting down the kilometres on my cycle computer.

Paul, who is currently in second place in the race, lost his EFI today after an unpleasant and drawn out battle with malaria. Beyond the impact on his standing in the race, I know that EFI was important to him, so it pains me to see this happen.

For Paul to have reached this difficult decision point says a lot about how hard he has been struggling. I guess at some point, difficult decisions are not difficult, they are just necessary.


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