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On the road . December 2010 . Tunisia, Libya and Egypt

map route Tunisia, Libya and Egypt

New Palace Hotel [website] Cairo, Egypt, 04-01-11
Quick dash to the border

Kairouan to 14km after Ben Gardane
(5 cycle days; 1 rest day; 512km; 1182m)

Kairouan to 8 km after El Hencha (99km; 245m)
8 km after El Hencha to 3 km after Smara (100km; 195m)
3 km after Smara to Gabes (84km; 195m)
Gabes to Houmt Souk (116km; 344m)
Houmt Souk to 14km after Ben Gardane (113km; 203m)

Slow start to a fast finish
I should have read the early morning signs. The table we approach looks like six hungry animals have scoffed what they can and walked off leaving a disarray of food bits and service. I know the French do it too, which is probably where this habit originated from, but I find eating off the table quite discerning. Especially seeing as no-one in this hotel bothers to clean it down in between patrons. I push everything aside to make space for us and a man appears with a tray of breakfast items. It is customary in Tunisia that a pastry, white bread rolls, margarine, jam and coffee or tea be included in the price of your accommodation...

read on
tip of the month tent door mat Tip of the month: a door mat for keeping your tent clean

If you would rather that the sand, mud and dirt stay outside the tent, then why not set up a little doormat in the opening. I'm not suggesting that a loaded cyclist cart a piece of rubber carpet around, but instead use the resources around you.

On occasions we've cut up shopping bags, spread out plastic sheets, found old planks of wood or concrete slabs and improvised with cardboard boxes. Even dry pine needles are effective, as are stones and gravel. This little precaution really does help keep some of those grimey elements out of your tent when the perfect patch of green grass is not available to camp on.


Kairouan (Tunisia) - Cairo (Egypt)
a record 2121 km
Riding days: 22 in total!
Alti meters: 6298 metres up
Weather: cold desert patches, starting to warm up
Best accommodation: since we used it so many times this month: our Helsport tent.

Special thanks to:
The couple who stopped to give us two cans of almond drink, introducing us to this delicious Libyan juice, ironically produced in South Korea • Abdu the taxi driver who really tried his best to find us cheap accomodation in Tripoli • Ahmed the Moroccan man who made a mean cup of Turkish coffee; who helped Ali find a gas fitter; and also presented us with a takeaway lunch as a parting gift • Omar in Misrata for his music tape and the directions to the bus station • Barbara for her wonderfully generous warmshower hosting in Al Bayda and inviting around some very interesting people for a chat

01: broken spoke (Ali)
02: broken spoke (Ali)
08: slashed tyre (Son)
17: flat tyre (Son)
26: flat tyre (Son)

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