162 km (105km for me): Bahir Dar to U-turn Camp. The air raid sirens woke us up at 0530 this morning (their version of ringing the school bell). I am not sure if that is preferable to the call to prayer, but the siren ensured the “zip-zip” of the tents started early. After sleeping 14 hours, my tummy felt better, but I was unsure of my energy. So, I decided to ride the lunch truck to lunch and then ride the second part of the day. The BEST decision ever!
Kristian and I had a great conversation out to the lunch site, we helped set up the food, and then started riding at 930. After we went through the first town, we both said, Wow – this is so different! Normally, the racers and faster people have zoomed through the village so the residents have seen 40 people or so by the time I get there. Being the first furunji (foreigners)of the day, the villagers expressions and energies were so different – disbelief, surprise, broad toothy grins, relaxed – it was a wonderful experience and one that showed the difference between self-supported riding and group riding.
– 2 kids running with us, barefoot, and keeping a 20km/hr pace!
– teaching one child to say “where are you goING” instead of “where are you go”… the children have an excellent ear for mimicry in this country.
– a group of 8 kids walked up a hill as fast as I rode, talking away about school and distracting me (thankfully) from the hill
And from others today:
– two of my fellow riders stopped to play ping-pong with the village kids (foozball is popular too) and buy bamnboo benches
– one fellow rider hit a cow with serious damage to his front wheel