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12/02/11 – another record breaking day and rock throwing kids

March 5, 2011

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I was awoken this morning by a lorry driver who was cutting across the desert and saw my little tent in the middle of nowhere and thought he’d take a look. He impatiently honked as he pulled up outside (as if I couldn’t hear he was there) and asked what I was doing. I said sleeping. He then asked me if I needed anything, water food etc, I said I was cool then he drove off.

Another beautiful day, tailwinds again saw me doing another 135km. Big big days in the desert!

I passed through the small town of As Sukhnah in hope of getting some water (should have asked the lorry driver). I was greeted by a lot of very curious and dumbfounded faces. I managed to get hold of some water from what seemed like half the male population of the town crowded around me. I cycled off to yet more dumbfounded faces, and a lot of kids.

Now kids, they’re the worst, only just better than dogs. They chase you, just like dogs, and you have to deal with them in the same way as dogs; outrun them. They also move in packs, and as soon as one spots you, he barks and shouts and lets all the other kids know of your whereabouts and they all come with teeth out. These kids in particular were of the stone throwing variety. The bike grabbing kinds were also in abundance, and I made sure I got out of the town as quickly as possible. Some days you’re just not up for the hassle, and today was one of those days. It didn’t help matters that I went over a particularly acute speed hump and dislodged one of my bags, causing me to stop and allow the crowd of gnashing kids to catch up with me. Safe to say I escaped unscathed, though next time I might hurl a few rocks.

I took the time when I left the town to phone my dad and wish him happy birthday – very strange having a familiar phone call in a world as unfamiliar as the middle of the desert – it was great to hear him anyway and I missed being at home.

The road beyond As Sukhnah seemed to melt away under my wheels, and before I knew it the sun was going down and I was looking for camp. I came off the road and found the ruins of a small building nestled in the sand, the perfect end to a long and quiet (minus the stone throwing kids) day.

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