November 24, 2016 BH South Africa

Afrikalegburn – Grant Clark – Day 9

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“To raise exposure, funds and books for Shine, I will endeavour to cycle from Cairo to Cape Town arriving in time for the 40th Cape Town Cycle Tour on the 12 March 2017. One week later I will be on the start line for the toughest mountain bike stage in the world, The ABSA Cape Epic which will kick off 8 days of grueling riding on the 19 March 2017. One week after completing the Cape Epic, I will line up for the IRONMAN SA Championships in Port Elizabeth on the 2 April 2017.”

Day 9:

Luxor to Edfu – 116 km. The other side of bicycle trips. Transitional towns. The current view from my hotel window…much like Qena, Edfu is not a town I really want to hang out in. By all accounts it’s supposed to be a friendly town and has the well preserved Temple of Horus. But the ride into town hasn’t given me any inclination to hang around. Having said that, wherever I go, the people of Egypt have been amazing, super friendly and kind. Today’s ride was great, the majority of it along the East bank of the Nile with lots of greenery, the famous river on my right side and stark desert mountains on my left. My headwind appeared in the am and I took it quite chilled in the first half stopping off halfway to have tea with some locals in a small village. I bought some supplies for lunch, rode a few km out of the village and found a bench where I had lunch and a short nap! The 2nd half of the ride saw a tailwind appear and I was also encouraged by the 3 wheeled motorbike taxis that often pulled up along side me to chat. I would use a couple of them to draft for a few kms 🙂 “Where you from? What’s your name? Welcome!” It is getting confusing though, when I’m talking to the locals, I’m South African, when I’m talking to the police, I’m English (I’m using my British passport), when the locals ask my name, I now call myself Jon! One syllable, easy to pronounce. No one can pronounce Grant..I’ve given up ?I got held up at one checkpoint where they went through the now painstaking process of checking my passport and doing everything they could to get me to put my bike in the truck. The General (I got told to call him the General) said “there has been trouble today on the roads, you put bike in car). It was fairly obvious that he was making it up and even he didn’t believe himself. I was by now only 20 km from Edfu. I firmly shook my head and brought out my now well practiced mime of pedaling. “Shukran, but I go now”. He sighed. “Ok” I had a lovely 20 km ride in…