Mediterranean Cycopaths

Never a Dull Moment – 1 DAY LEFT!!

Target: Tabarka – Mateur (107kms)

Status: Re-aligned (Actual 116kms to Mejez el Bab) – 58kms remaining 

Report: The weather forecast for our final days (35°C+, strong headwinds) meant there wasn’t going to be an easy run home – not that this epic trip warranted one – but we would try our best to manage the elements smartly and hopefully lady luck would see us through without too many (more) hassles.

We were 3 kilometres out of Tabarka when I heard the “Oh, Sh#t” from behind me. At first I hoped it was the Tunisian I had just overtaken on his (very slow) motorcycle, but the chances of him having a thick Australian accent, I knew, were slim. It turned out Sean, upon looking down to check the map, had realised that it wasn’t there. Along with his handle bar bag to which it is usually attached. After a mad dash back on Tahumi, he found it safely stashed at the hotel, with its invaluable contents fully intact. Never a dull moment with the boy – always trying to keep me entertained.

He met me up at a town down the road, after what had been a pleasent and interesting 30kms cycle through winding valleys and gently undulating hills – Commonwealth War graves, good views of the coast and lakes and a multitude of street side vendors cheering us on. It was here that things took a turn for the worse, literally.

We, foolishly and somewhat absentmindely, followed the signs to Tunis out of town, instead of our intended route closer to the coast. 6kms in we realised our mistake but, seeing as both routes were exactly the same distance, we thought we would continue on the ‘main’ road anyway, rather than back track to the leafy scenic route.

4 hours of woefully barren landscape, 10kms of roadworks, a punctured tyre and several long hills in sapping 40° heat later, we called it a day.  It was like having a hair dryer directed at your face for the duration and when reaching for some relief in the form of a water bottle, you invariably find that it has heated up to the point of being undrinkable, certainly past any level of ‘refreshment’, despite having been filled with ice cold H2O 30 minutes previous.

Punctured and Pissed Off

So, we are dog tired but two-dicks happy – well poised, at 58 kilometres out, for an early morning assault on the finish line tomorrow and our hotel has a bar for a few contemplative Saturday night beers this evening.

After a prick of a day like this the big positive that we will take, as with all the hurdles we’ve had to over come in the last 6 months, is that it will make tomorrow’s celebration all the sweeter…

Scrotometer: As mentioned above, the scenery was woeful and we were sweating like perverts in a police line-up pretty much the whole day. But with the finish line nigh, no matter how many curve balls are thrown our way, we are floating in the saddles: 6.8/10 (nearly floating)


July 14, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments