Mediterranean Cycopaths

Pretty Good Friday

Target: Annaba – Tabarka (126kms)

Status: Achieved (Actual 124kms) – 176kms remaining

Report: With non-functioning toilets, mattresses that did little to buffer the barrage of prodding springs on any position change and the dank smell of urine permeating every corner, it is fair to say that The Royal Automobile Club Hotel – over the years host to thousands of people, and millions of bed bugs – had seen better days. Thus we didn’t need too much (extra) prodding to set a Cycopath Departure Time record of 06.45 for our final day cycling in Algeria.

To ensure the days toil didn’t run too smoothly, we were helped by a Police Officer (who we didn’t ask), who in turn recruited an English speaking local to explain to us that to get from our current location (which I pointed out on our map) to our final destination (which I also pointed out on our map) all we had to do was follow the big red line (on the map): Thankyou Christopher Columbus!

Minutes later a ute-driving local tried his best to take me out by turning right a millimetre in front of my wheel. Naturally, I deviated from my intended path at full sprint to chase him for 100m screaming (another) torrent of abuse. Humourously, our English-speaking navigational guru, not seeing the incident, chased me down the side-road in his car, in order to lead me back to the main highway and eagerly point out the Billboard-sized roadsign indicating TUNIS. Steam still coming out of my ears he was afforded my best wry smile.

Despite this it was a lovely day cycling around wetlands and through pine forests. This was the habitat of storks, wild boars and tortoises – at least if the road kill is anything to go by – but also surprisingly of eucalypt and wattle trees. The day was also a celebration of some fairly significant milestones: 13000kms cycled, last border crossing, last double chevron hill climbed, last friday on tour (ok, I know I’m stretching the point a little…).

Safer up there

So here we are in Tabarka, Tunisia – with a Jazz festival and beach to check out, it looks like a relaxing evening is in store.

Scrotometer: 2 significant hills (and several idiots) in the midday heat tempered an otherwise comfortable ride: 7.2/10

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July 13, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment