Khartoum to Cape Town Briefing Highlights! January 08 2014
Today we had our first TDA briefing. I wanted to share a few of the highlights. I am very happy they have a great sense of humor! I am excited to start biking on Friday morning we head 81km. I have volunteered to be a traffic control person, which means after the police escort goes by, I will continue to stop the traffic. I have a yellow vest just so it is official!
When describing the tour, Randy, our organizer said, "The TDA is like an experiential means of travel." Which is part of the reason that I joined! I wanted to see Africa in as many of the real life circumstance as I could, and meet as many locals as possible. With each new country Randy described on our bike route, my goosebumps grew and grew.
Some of the advice that was given to us was, that when you are lost, make sure not to ask where is the town, but, do hand motions and say, "Which way did all the white people on bicycles go." We are known throughout the villages we stay in as a a tent city; a traveling bike circus.
At one point in Sudan, we camp in an abandon zoo, where we are the "animals on display" and the Sudanese come to watch us prowl around the camp site. Randy also said that many of the locals invite you into their homes for fried donuts, tea and whatever else they can possibly offer you. Although I have signed up for the race part of the tour, I want to have as many of these types of experiences as possible.
One of our drivers, Noah, is from Zimbabwe. He wanted to make it clear, "Do not mistake me for another man, as we are many Africans, and all look like. Make sure you see me in the TDA tour van in case you need help"
One of our cook informed us that, "We will all turn into savages within three weeks."
Another interesting fact that I realized is that I am happy to have brought more than one pair of bike shorts. Their was a man on a previous tour who was really happy to find a good place to do laundry half way through the trip, as he only had on extra pair of bike shorts.
We went for a short 20km bike around the city, dodging cars, bus, tuks. Tomorrow the tour officially starts I am thrilled to have the opportunity to have this awesome experience!