Today we confronted cycling's breakfast climb. The old road from Shelui to Singida passed through the famous steep Sekenke mountains where, because of the sharp incline, it was a place where heavy duty trucks occasionally failed to pass through.
The new road avoids Sekenke and has a less severe incline - for vehicles. For cyclists there is little relief. Even Ross admitted later today that he also was forced to get off his bicycle and walked. I was relieved to hear that; I thought there was something wrong with me.
In contrast, during this cycling trip, when I stop for a few minutes at an uphill section I get a huge relief on my aching leg muscles and when I resume, except for 2 minutes of added stress, the rests provide a welcome relief.
The next village following the long Sekenke climb was Misigara. There we had one more round of tea and chapatis: I had three; Ross had one. Food is a necessary fuel to a cyclist. And the more regular it is consumed the easier it is to cycle for prolonged hours.
We also bought from a machinga (itinerant trader) two daggers, adding to our collection of self-defense tools. I told Ross: "No one with evil intentions would get close to if you hold one of those." Unless he is crazy. I cautioned him to remember to pack his dagger in his checked luggage during a flight. I said: "Airport security will not permit you to take that inside a plane."
Getting caught with such a memento from his Tanzanian trip would be, we agreed, one of the surest ways of getting on a free private jet flight to Guantanamo Bay. And it doesn't help that the edged blade gives it an arabic character.
|The memento from Misigara next to my bicycle.|
Next: days off