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23rd Jan 2011 – Harry’s final day on the bike and my body gives up

March 5, 2011

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It may have been Harry’s final night cooking, but in the middle of the night i starting feeling rather rotten. Several trips out of the tent in the darkness and a severe lack of sleep led to a rough night. It culminated in a settling of sickness that left me very weak and feeble.

Thank goodness it was the last day before the big break in Damascus. I struggled to pack my tent, and struggled even more to get on the bike. The next 30km into Damascus were a severe struggle.

Luckily I had my support team with me, where the guys took it in turns to cycle infront and behind me as I gingerly made my way on the bike. I couldnt get above 15km\h, having to stop every 20 minutes to run to the nearest available toilet (usually in dire states of hygeine) or whatever roadside hump was available.

I’m not sure what caused the illness; probably a combination of exhaustion, dodgy water and general filthy living. My body had had enough.

As we were progressing ever so slowly towards Damascus we were overtaken by the National Syrian cycle team: dressed head to toe in lycra and on super light bikes they were curious as to why we were going so slowly. I had barely the energy to stand up let alone talk to them so i took a seat while Harry and Julian made conversation.

Eventually we hit a downhill and Damascus appeared. I started to feel better; probably just the adrenaline of relief kicking in. We go to the centre of town and i collapsed in an internet cafe while the guys found a hotel for us to take refuge. Luckily there was one round the corner and we pushed our bikes through the hustle bustle. We reached the hotel and did a little celebration dance in honour of the end of Harry’s trip, and i crashed out in the room while the guys went to explore and eat.

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