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Old 01-06-07, 11:20 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by Rowan
If you could actually read between the lines, you would see that various people here, while not endorsing how Flic has planned for this adventure, are actually offering some very substantiral and important advice, based on their extensive experience.

Seems to me that amaferanga is one of the few on this thread who has actually been to Africa, and not done a couple of randonnees and a trip a round their own back yard.

That counts as experience well worth listening to.

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Old 01-06-07, 11:22 AM   #227
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There was a book "Journey to the Source of the Nile" written by a guy named Nick Sanders, published by himself in 1983, detailing how he did the same thing as you are planning. Nice pics, interesting stories. But I never bought that he did the whole thing alone and unsupported, or entirely by bike.
I've spent enough time going up and down many of those same roads in trucks and buses, then and since, to know better. I've also spent enough time on touring bikes to know what is reasonable, and whats not.
Just riding your bike out of Cairo will be a major chore. And if the train between Cairo and Luxor is taking occasional potshots from angry hostile fundamentalists, will somebody on a bike fare much better?
It would be a fun trip, except for some of the political strife in Sudan and east Africa. Maybe you've heard of some of the difficulties in west Sudan? Its not much better in east Sudan, which is receiving refugees--once again--en masse from Ethiopia and Somalia.
Aid workers have a bad reputation there. They are being kidnapped, brutalized and killed. Somebody on a bike will also be fair game.
The Nile is a big-ass river, with lots of filthy water in it. It needs to be treated aggressively before it is drinkable. There are no bottling plants in southern Egypt or northern Sudan, and soda pop machines are pretty scarce. As in non-existent.
What will you eat? Are you planning to compete with the locals for food?
When you get off the boat from Aswan in Wadi Halfa--if its running then--you will be lucky to score a bunk at the "hotel". You'll probably be sleeping in the dirt near the railroad tracks. Avoid the area on the south end of town near the big rocks: thats where all the dogs, and people, go to take a dump. Those aren't pebbles in the sand. And the dogs aren't so friendly. I wouldn't stick my hand out to them to say Hi.
That terrain will be difficult to plan for. You'll encounter sand, dirt, mud, rocks, rivers, sloughs, rocky cliffs, and no pavement for most of it. Truck and bus drivers won't slow down for you, but may stop and rob you of your money, food and anything shiney.
And lets not forget about the insects. I hope you like flies and mosquitoes. And all the other little things that crawl.
Maybe you can find a Peace Corps or aid worker forum and ask about some of these issues there for more information.
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Old 01-06-07, 11:40 AM   #228
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Yeah I know I havn't toured on a bicycle before, I just don't really think it will be that hard...
You are serious about this? This isn't some comic relief post?
So, I have to admit that when I made my post a few minutes ago, I didn't read throguh the entire thread, just the original post. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered.
But I did forget to mention about corrupt border officials, police, and anybody else wearing part of a uniform with their hand out expecting a bribe.

I hope that whatever it is you and your friends are out to prove or accomplish are able to in a most memorable way. Good luck.
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Old 01-06-07, 02:53 PM   #229
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You are serious about this? This isn't some comic relief post?
So, I have to admit that when I made my post a few minutes ago, I didn't read throguh the entire thread, just the original post. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered.
But I did forget to mention about corrupt border officials, police, and anybody else wearing part of a uniform with their hand out expecting a bribe.

I hope that whatever it is you and your friends are out to prove or accomplish are able to in a most memorable way. Good luck.
If she were going with friends, I probably wouldn't have even posted my first post on this thread. But she is a young girl who is planning to spend 8 months cycling around Africa alone ........ despite the facts that:

-- she has an extremely limited quantity of cycling experience in her life (a few days?)
-- she doesn't know a thing about bicycles or bicycle equipment
-- she has only purchased her bicycle a couple weeks ago
-- she couldn't be bothered to take it on more than one test ride since she bought it
-- she is leaving in a week, and doesn't have the faintest clue how to remove her front wheel, let alone change a flat tire
-- she thinks all the government warnings about other countries are highly over-exaggerated, and that she can disregard them all

If she were planning to spend 1 month cycling around Australia (where she is from) alone, I'd have the same concerns I've posted here.

If she is determined to go to Africa, I'd strongly suggest forgetting about the bicycle, buying a decent backpack, and planning to take trains, busses, or whatever other methods of public transportation she can find. Then, if she does want to do certain portions of her trip by bicycle, she might be able to pick something up in a town along the way to use for a few days.

It just boggles my mind that there are people here who know she has absolutely no experience with bicycles and cycling at all ... who are actually encouraging her to do an 8 month trip alone where she is planning to depend almost entirely on her ability to cycle and keep the bicycle maintained.

I'm all for adventure ..... but I personally prefer to take on adventures with a bit of experience and knowledge -- either my own, or that of people with me.
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Old 01-06-07, 03:14 PM   #230
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Flic, if you have not done so already, might I suggest you consider getting a Hostelling International membership

http://www.hihostels.com/dba/continent-AF.en.htm

From my experience with HI, the hostels have to conform to certain standards, so you have a pretty good chance of getting a decent place to stay. Also, you might be able to hook up with other young people travelling through Africa. And, because HI is in the tourist business, the staff might be able to give you some helpful tips on the political and environmental conditions you are considering travelling through, as well as some suggestions for alternate forms of transportation. The site I linked above even mentions some of the best ways to get around.
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Old 01-06-07, 03:17 PM   #231
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Originally Posted by sunday driver
Just riding your bike out of Cairo will be a major chore. And if the train between Cairo and Luxor is taking occasional potshots from angry hostile fundamentalists, will somebody on a bike fare much better?
An English friend of mine wanted to cycle from Cairo down to Luxor a few years back and the security police stopped him. This was after some tourists were rounded up and butchered at a site by fundamentalists. Yeah, I deliberately used the word "butchered" because that is what happens when you are hunted down and have your throats slit one by one.

I'm hoping that Flic is also stopped by the security forces before she gets too far. This trip is do-able but I shake my head at her posts and wonder what she would say to me if I told her that I was going to sail solo around the world and that my only deep-water experience is on a ferry?
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Old 01-06-07, 03:31 PM   #232
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Old 01-06-07, 03:59 PM   #233
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09:30. Likely 10:30 before I get out of customs and immigration.

And bungees... in my experience, they are the only way to go on rough roads, so long as they are tightly attached over your load. The bungees on the side of road come from cars and trailers, not bicycle tourists. I've lost more off the back of my bike with straps and buckles in the short time I used them; I've not lost a single thing with bungees. Just make sure you never let a bungee down into the chain or the hook grab around a spoke of the wheel. You might also check a dollar store for bungee nets that will enable you to keep more stuff under more control on the bike.

It's really important you get some tuition AND PRACTISE in getting the front and rear wheels off, and ensure the quick release levers are done up properly, along with the brake cables. And to have a pump, and to be able to replace a tube, and to identify and remove whatever caused the puncture in the first place. As to two or three tubes, I prefer 3... I have been caught with double-gee and goatshead thorns on too many occasions not to. I suspect Africa has its own version of this bane of touring cyclists, especially if you intend to go off sealed roads.
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Old 01-06-07, 05:05 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by sunday driver
There was a book "Journey to the Source of the Nile" written by a guy named Nick Sanders, published by himself in 1983, detailing how he did the same thing as you are planning. Nice pics, interesting stories. But I never bought that he did the whole thing alone and unsupported, or entirely by bike.
I've spent enough time going up and down many of those same roads in trucks and buses, then and since, to know better. I've also spent enough time on touring bikes to know what is reasonable, and whats not.
Just riding your bike out of Cairo will be a major chore. And if the train between Cairo and Luxor is taking occasional potshots from angry hostile fundamentalists, will somebody on a bike fare much better?
It would be a fun trip, except for some of the political strife in Sudan and east Africa. Maybe you've heard of some of the difficulties in west Sudan? Its not much better in east Sudan, which is receiving refugees--once again--en masse from Ethiopia and Somalia.
Aid workers have a bad reputation there. They are being kidnapped, brutalized and killed. Somebody on a bike will also be fair game.
The Nile is a big-ass river, with lots of filthy water in it. It needs to be treated aggressively before it is drinkable. There are no bottling plants in southern Egypt or northern Sudan, and soda pop machines are pretty scarce. As in non-existent.
What will you eat? Are you planning to compete with the locals for food?
When you get off the boat from Aswan in Wadi Halfa--if its running then--you will be lucky to score a bunk at the "hotel". You'll probably be sleeping in the dirt near the railroad tracks. Avoid the area on the south end of town near the big rocks: thats where all the dogs, and people, go to take a dump. Those aren't pebbles in the sand. And the dogs aren't so friendly. I wouldn't stick my hand out to them to say Hi.
That terrain will be difficult to plan for. You'll encounter sand, dirt, mud, rocks, rivers, sloughs, rocky cliffs, and no pavement for most of it. Truck and bus drivers won't slow down for you, but may stop and rob you of your money, food and anything shiney.
And lets not forget about the insects. I hope you like flies and mosquitoes. And all the other little things that crawl.
Maybe you can find a Peace Corps or aid worker forum and ask about some of these issues there for more information.
Absolute crap.
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Old 01-06-07, 05:09 PM   #235
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You are serious about this? This isn't some comic relief post?
So, I have to admit that when I made my post a few minutes ago, I didn't read throguh the entire thread, just the original post. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered.
But I did forget to mention about corrupt border officials, police, and anybody else wearing part of a uniform with their hand out expecting a bribe.

I hope that whatever it is you and your friends are out to prove or accomplish are able to in a most memorable way. Good luck.
Myths. Never met a single corrupt border official. In fact without exception they've been incredibly friendly. Same goes for the police and soldiers I've met in Africa. This may not be the case all over, but it certainly is the case on the route Flic is planning.

Please stop with the perpetuating utter bollocks and untruths.
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Old 01-06-07, 05:11 PM   #236
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Originally Posted by Machka
If she is determined to go to Africa, I'd strongly suggest forgetting about the bicycle, buying a decent backpack, and planning to take trains, busses, or whatever other methods of public transportation she can find.
This is what my parents thought (in their ignorance) before my first trip. Now they know better.
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Old 01-06-07, 05:15 PM   #237
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Absolute crap.
Which part?
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Old 01-06-07, 05:16 PM   #238
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An English friend of mine wanted to cycle from Cairo down to Luxor a few years back and the security police stopped him. This was after some tourists were rounded up and butchered at a site by fundamentalists. Yeah, I deliberately used the word "butchered" because that is what happens when you are hunted down and have your throats slit one by one.

I'm hoping that Flic is also stopped by the security forces before she gets too far. This trip is do-able but I shake my head at her posts and wonder what she would say to me if I told her that I was going to sail solo around the world and that my only deep-water experience is on a ferry?
This part of the route is notoriously difficult to cycle unescorted. Options are either to give up and take some alternative form of transport or to have the police escort you. Both are possible.

But this is a tiny part of the journey.

Note the difference between sailing round the world and cycling across Africa - you can stop cycling at any time if it doesn't suit you.
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Old 01-06-07, 05:25 PM   #239
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Aid workers have a bad reputation there. They are being kidnapped, brutalized and killed. Somebody on a bike will also be fair game.
Crap. The hundreds of cyclists that passed that way last year survived. You did know that HUNDREDS of cyclists passed that way last year didn't you?

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What will you eat? Are you planning to compete with the locals for food?
Food. Just the same as everyone else who travels this way. Get in touch with reality mate.

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Originally Posted by sunday driver
That terrain will be difficult to plan for. You'll encounter sand, dirt, mud, rocks, rivers, sloughs, rocky cliffs, and no pavement for most of it.
That's one of the reasons why people like me and Flic and many many others choose to cycle in Africa!

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Truck and bus drivers won't slow down for you, but may stop and rob you of your money, food and anything shiney.
Crap.

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Originally Posted by sunday driver
And lets not forget about the insects. I hope you like flies and mosquitoes. And all the other little things that crawl.
Flic is from Australia. Oooh flies, how will she cope?

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Originally Posted by sunday driver
Maybe you can find a Peace Corps or aid worker forum and ask about some of these issues there for more information.
Yes, well Aid workers really know what's going on as they drive around in their shiney land cruiser from secure compound to secure compound.
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Old 01-06-07, 05:58 PM   #240
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Why waste the time of embassy staff when parents or friends can keep track of your progress?

e.g. I think it'll take me 5 days to get to the next town with internet cafe/mobile phone coverage so I'll add 3 days on to that and tell my parents/friends that if they haven't received word from me after 8 days then I'm (possibly) in trouble somewhere between town A and town B and they should then make enquiries through the embassy.

I don't think the embassy of any country would be mounting a full scale search for a tourist missing for a few days.
So in your mind, she shouldn't waste the time of embassy staff. OK, fine. Tell her parents and friends instead. And then if she is a few days late, her relatives and friends can contact the embassy instead. Is that what you mean? By your reckoning, the embassy won't care if she's headed toward trouble--and certainly won't try to warn her off hotspots or away from bad weather coming--but will show concern in some manner if she is late in turning up. Unless she's British, and they don't have the resources to care. But she's Australian, and they do have the resources. I don't quite follow your line of reasoning there.

Even if she were to travel by train, truck or bus, hours late turn into days late and even weeks late because of ferries not waiting for trains, trains breaking down, sandstorms, trucks running low on fuel and making detours to look for more, land slides, swollen rivers, washed out roads, missing bridges, missing road signs, whatever. Use your imagination, and it can happen in Africa. Any number of things can go wrong, even for the people who live there all their lives, know the countryside well, know the ins and outs of travel in their own parts of Africa. But the expectation is that she and her group will fare much better because they are on bikes? It sounds like they should be relying very heavily on luck and guardian angels.

And is she to expect that there most definitely will be internet service and cell phones/land lines available where ever she gets to? Just a week ago, there was an earthquake in the ocean south of Taiwan. Who would've expected that internet service to China would've been as disrupted as it was for so long after? Can nothing like this happen to her? There cannot be forest/brush fires disrupting cellular and land line transmissions? Or something like that little settoo in east Africa the last week or two? Is that over, or will it blow up into something bigger? She won't fall and hurt herself, break her bike, pick up a serious water borne diarrhea (there are other ways of developing diseases than by drinking the water.) When the romance of the idea wears off and she gets sick and tired of the whole thing, or gets sick, or gets tired, how does she get home by herself? Can she travel to the nearest city with an international airport and not be taken advantage off? If she shows a level of naivete just about bikes and preparation for bike touring, will she not be just as naive in traveling solo in a place she is entirely unfamiliar with?

I'm sure its quite possible, but maybe with better planning and a more prctical approach to it than "Im going next month but my bike is broke. What kind should I get?"
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Old 01-06-07, 06:17 PM   #241
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But the expectation is that she and her group will fare much better because they are on bikes? It sounds like they should be relying very heavily on luck and guardian angels.

If she shows a level of naivete just about bikes and preparation for bike touring, will she not be just as naive in traveling solo in a place she is entirely unfamiliar with?

I'm sure its quite possible, but maybe with better planning and a more prctical approach to it than "Im going next month but my bike is broke. What kind should I get?"

Keep in mind ... she is not travelling with a group. She is doing this 8 month tour SOLO. And she has said it herself that she's relying heavily on luck.

It was my advice a while ago that she wait a year, learn to ride and maintain a bicycle, and then go. My suggestion would also be, and I think I referred to it earlier too, that she find a group to travel with. There's safety in numbers in so many ways.

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Old 01-06-07, 06:27 PM   #242
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amaferanga ....

I haven't read every post in here, so maybe I missed it, but I don't recall any practical advice from you. It seems to me that most of what you've posted consists either of:

-- "you'll be fine, you know all you need to know" to Flic (who obviously doesn't know all she needs to know)

or

-- "you're wrong, you're all wrong, you don't know anything" to the rest of us (who are experienced cycle-tourists).


Note that those of us who have been discouraging this particular cycling tour, because Flic has no knowledge of bicycles and cycle-touring, have been the ones to provide real, practical advice on how to deal with many of the situations that can come up with cycle-touring, and especially extended cycle-touring.

Note that you have not done that. I believe you did mention in one place that you could give Flic some suggestions for places to stay and get food etc., but you weren't going to because you figure she could fend for herself. Why not??? Instead of petting Flic, and criticizing the rest of us, why don't you provide some practical advice for her? She's determined to leave in a week ... she needs all the help she can get! Tell her how to get out of Cairo ... you've apparently done it, you must remember how you did it. Tell her how you got through the borders without any difficulties. Tell her how long ago you were in Africa and what the political climate was really like at the time. Tell her how long you'd been cycling before you did your tour. Tell her how much bicycle maintenance you knew ... how many times you had to use it on the road ... what she should bring in the way of tools and other supplies. Tell her where to get food, where to find a good place to sleep. Tell her how much water you had to carry, and how much you drank along the way. Post your ride report, photos, etc., etc.

Let's hear some practical advice from you for a change!

Last edited by Machka; 01-06-07 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 01-06-07, 06:42 PM   #243
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flic

Read Josie Drew's accounts of her travels, mainly alone! I have had the pleasure of hearing her giving a talk at our club awards dinner, amazing lady.

http://murl.se/19059

for her nightmares
__________

or for her home page

http://murl.se/19061

If this has been posted before, just ignore it.

george
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Old 01-06-07, 06:46 PM   #244
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Crap. The hundreds of cyclists that passed that way last year survived. You did know that HUNDREDS of cyclists passed that way last year didn't you?
Food. Just the same as everyone else who travels this way. Get in touch with reality mate.
That's one of the reasons why people like me and Flic and many many others choose to cycle in Africa!
Crap.
Flic is from Australia. Oooh flies, how will she cope?
Yes, well Aid workers really know what's going on as they drive around in their shiney land cruiser from secure compound to secure compound.
Hundreds is not a large number in Africa, or anywhere else for that matter. And I seriously doubt you have met and talked with each of them to see how it went, and if it was their VERY FIRST bike trip. Thats the point some of us are trying to make. Troubles don't have to come to hundreds of people, just one. And troubles are more likely to come to someone that is not entirely prepared. And it sounds as if she is more on the minimal side of preparedness.
Next, she WILL be in competition with MANY other people for food, and food she will often unlikely be familiar with. Unless she eats packaged food, which gets pretty boring after a while.
Once again, this being her VERY FIRST bicycle tour, and evidently not even knowing how to change a flat tire, the terrain might prove to be a bit difficult for her and her friends. Which of her friends will help her remove and replace her wheel, and help her fix her tire? Or will they all take turns? And what does she have to offer the rest of the group that they can't do for themselves? If she were in a group ride with these same people at home on a Sunday morning, could she keep up, or would she come off the back like a candy wrapper out the window of a pickup truck? After a couple months of riding, will she get stronger because of the riding? Or weaker because of fatigue? Or will something as simple--and complex--as home sickness overtake her?
Flies. Yes, flies. And yes, I'm sure there are plenty of flies in Australia. But she too will get a lesson in flies.
And aid workers that drive around in shiney Land Rovers from secure compound to secure compound.....hmmm, I guess the 4wd Rovers are a giveaway as to the terrain, and the secure compounds are a giveaway to the level of security. Will she have the luxury of secure compounds?

I think SD and Machka and a few others were trying to warn her about a few things that maybe she hadn't taken into consideration in her haste to be a part of her group trip. There's no reason she can't do a little more planning and research, do a couple of other trips, learn about bikes, if she really likes the idea of 8 months on a bike (most people get pretty tired of them after 8 days,) and when she's actually ready for that kind of commitment, then go for it. Does it really have to be right now, this year? It just seems like a set up for failure.

And if I may say so, amaferanga, you are completely irresponsible for encouraging her to the extent that you have to do something as risky and poorly planned as what she has in mind. Maybe you got away with it, but not everybody does. If you have so little respect for other people's families, you should just leave them alone.

Mate.
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Old 01-06-07, 06:47 PM   #245
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So in your mind, she shouldn't waste the time of embassy staff. OK, fine. Tell her parents and friends instead. And then if she is a few days late, her relatives and friends can contact the embassy instead. Is that what you mean? By your reckoning, the embassy won't care if she's headed toward trouble--and certainly won't try to warn her off hotspots or away from bad weather coming--but will show concern in some manner if she is late in turning up. Unless she's British, and they don't have the resources to care. But she's Australian, and they do have the resources. I don't quite follow your line of reasoning there.

Even if she were to travel by train, truck or bus, hours late turn into days late and even weeks late because of ferries not waiting for trains, trains breaking down, sandstorms, trucks running low on fuel and making detours to look for more, land slides, swollen rivers, washed out roads, missing bridges, missing road signs, whatever. Use your imagination, and it can happen in Africa. Any number of things can go wrong, even for the people who live there all their lives, know the countryside well, know the ins and outs of travel in their own parts of Africa. But the expectation is that she and her group will fare much better because they are on bikes? It sounds like they should be relying very heavily on luck and guardian angels.

And is she to expect that there most definitely will be internet service and cell phones/land lines available where ever she gets to? Just a week ago, there was an earthquake in the ocean south of Taiwan. Who would've expected that internet service to China would've been as disrupted as it was for so long after? Can nothing like this happen to her? There cannot be forest/brush fires disrupting cellular and land line transmissions? Or something like that little settoo in east Africa the last week or two? Is that over, or will it blow up into something bigger? She won't fall and hurt herself, break her bike, pick up a serious water borne diarrhea (there are other ways of developing diseases than by drinking the water.) When the romance of the idea wears off and she gets sick and tired of the whole thing, or gets sick, or gets tired, how does she get home by herself? Can she travel to the nearest city with an international airport and not be taken advantage off? If she shows a level of naivete just about bikes and preparation for bike touring, will she not be just as naive in traveling solo in a place she is entirely unfamiliar with?

I'm sure its quite possible, but maybe with better planning and a more prctical approach to it than "Im going next month but my bike is broke. What kind should I get?"
**** happens. Some people like adventure, some cower in the corner if you say "boo".

What was that little setto in East Africa last week? Was that Uganda or Kenya or Tanzania or Ethiopia or Eritrea or Djibouti or Somalia? I'm guessing you mean the Somalia/Ethioipia situation, in which case you'd be fine provided you're not in the particular area of Somalia where the fighting occurred. Most of Somalia wasn't bothered by it. Uganda wasn't bothered by it. Nor was Tanzania. Nor was Eritrea...... It was a regional conflict in a very small region of a very large CONTINENT. If you're not in that region it almost certainly won't effect you. I was in Ethiopia while there was significant tension between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 2004. In fact I was within 30 kilometres of the Eritrean border at one point when there were rumours of an impending war. But the exclusion zone was 20km from the Eritrean border so it didn't effect me. I was in the DRC in 2003 while there was a civil war. But I'd spoken to people living in and around the border with the DRC (spent an evening drinking in a bar with those infamous corrupt border officials who turned out to be ordinary, intelligent people (unsurprisingly)) so I knew that the part of the DRC that I was in was safe. Its a huge country. I was in northern Tanzania in 2003 during a time when Burundian rebels were fleeing their country and occasionally robbing people on a particular stretch of road. Since I spoke to local people there (as was the case everywhere I went) I knew what was going on and avoided one particular stretch of road. No big deal.

If Flic gets sick or bored with cycling she jumps on the next bus or hitches and that's that. Very simple really. Main roads are serviced by various forms of public transport for local people moving around selling things. Small villages have basic guest houses for people moving around selling things. Such guest houses can be used by passing cyclists.

I've spent 12 months cycling in Africa usually drinking untreated water, didn't take any prophylactic for malaria and rarely used insect repellent, but I survived with only a few bouts of Giardia and got malaria once. That's what I chose to do, not saying everyone should do the same. IT'S REALLY NOT THAT BAD!

My point about informing embassies about your every move was that its completely unnecessary where Flic is going, unless she should choose to head into a war zone, which she will know beforehand because she will be talking to people everywhere she goes. Its clearly good to have someone tracking your progress, but not someone who will launch a full scale search if you're a couple of days late. As above, **** happens. If someone were ever tracking my progress I'd hope that they'd start worrying if I were a couple of weeks longer in making contact than I'd said. But I never give exact timescales. "You'll hear from me in a few weeks" is good enough normally. I'm an adult. I can look out for myself and should someone choose to kill me then that's unfortunate, but I'd rather that happened while cycling in Africa than walking along the road on my way to work in the UK. Probably equally unlikely to happen. I don't expect my embassy to help me and anyone relying on their embassy to bail them out no matter what is just an idiot.

And please, before you offer the benefit or your experience, read the previous posts. There is no group.

Go cycle in Africa then offer advice on cycling in Africa. Then maybe what you say will have some substance.
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Old 01-06-07, 06:48 PM   #246
Rowan
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flic

Read Josie Drew's accounts of her travels, mainly alone! I have had the pleasure of hearing her giving a talk at our club awards dinner, amazing lady.

http://murl.se/19059

for her nightmares
__________

or for her home page

http://murl.se/19061

If this has been posted before, just ignore it.

george
It's Josie Dew, just in case it doesn't register on a google search.
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Old 01-06-07, 07:02 PM   #247
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amafarenga

You're now at most four years out of date, three at the least, with your reconnaissance reports. Much changes in that time -- vis a vis the security restriction in the US and Britain.

And I would consider drinking in a pub with border officials to be a form of graft and corruption... not obvious, but alcohol is as good a lubicant in officialdom as oil in the palm.
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Old 01-06-07, 07:03 PM   #248
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Once again, this being her VERY FIRST bicycle tour, and evidently not even knowing how to change a flat tire, the terrain might prove to be a bit difficult for her and her friends. Which of her friends will help her remove and replace her wheel, and help her fix her tire? Or will they all take turns? And what does she have to offer the rest of the group that they can't do for themselves? If she were in a group ride with these same people at home on a Sunday morning, could she keep up, or would she come off the back like a candy wrapper out the window of a pickup truck? After a couple months of riding, will she get stronger because of the riding? Or weaker because of fatigue? Or will something as simple--and complex--as home sickness overtake her?

The thing is ..... she isn't going with friends, she's doing all this by herself ... if something happens to her bicycle out in the middle of nowhere, she'll have to deal with it by herself. And at this moment in time, with a week to go till she starts the trip, she has admitted in one of her most recent posts that she is incapable of dealing with any bicycle issues.
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Old 01-06-07, 07:08 PM   #249
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Note that you have not done that. I believe you did mention in one place that you could give Flic some suggestions for places to stay and get food etc., but you weren't going to because you figure she could fend for herself. Why not??? Instead of petting Flic, and criticizing the rest of us, why don't you provide some practical advice for her? She's determined to leave in a week ... she needs all the help she can get! Tell her how to get out of Cairo ... you've apparently done it, you must remember how you did it. Tell her how you got through the borders without any difficulties. Tell her how long ago you were in Africa and what the political climate was really like at the time. Tell her how long you'd been cycling before you did your tour. Tell her how much bicycle maintenance you knew ... how many times you had to use it on the road ... what she should bring in the way of tools and other supplies. Tell her where to get food, where to find a good place to sleep. Tell her how much water you had to carry, and how much you drank along the way. Post your ride report, photos, etc., etc.

Let's hear some practical advice from you for a change!
I haven't cycled in Egypt or Sudan, I never said I had.

I don't need to tell her where to stay as such information is easily had from locals.

I was in Africa in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Before my first tour I'd done a single 4 day tour in Scotland.

I'd never spoken to or been in contact with anyone who had cycled in Africa before my first trip, but that wasn't a problem since I was looking for an adventure and didn't want to know everything before I left. I knew enough to survive.

I knew virtually no bike maintenance. I thought that 1 chain would last forever, couldn't change a spoke, couldn't service bearings, couldn't do much really beyond changing a tyre and adjusting gears and brakes. Guess what though - I learned pretty damn quickly.

You seem to be unaware of the best way to learn and completely unaware of the reality of the African continent. Clearly nothing I say will convince you that Africa is actually quite pleasant place to be, particularly if you are a (relatively) rich non-African.

I've been in touch with Flic outside of this thread so I have given her some essential tips on things like water, but (speaking from personal experience) there's no better way to learn about cycling in Africa than to................

I don't wish to argue with you Machka, as I've said before when it comes to your thing you do give some great advice, but this thread isn't about randoneurs and I don't believe you've set foot in Africa or taken on a big adventurous tour so I'm really not sure why you're posting here. You have offered lots of advice, but most of it is irrelevant (e.g. the stuff about some hostelling association - you really think there are hostels in Ethiopia or Uganda or Zambia that are members. Do you think there are hostels all over Africa?)
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Old 01-06-07, 07:11 PM   #250
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**** happens. Some people like adventure, some cower in the corner if you say "boo".

What was that little setto in East Africa last week? Was that Uganda or Kenya or Tanzania or Ethiopia or Eritrea or Djibouti or Somalia? I'm guessing you mean the Somalia/Ethioipia situation, in which case you'd be fine provided you're not in the particular area of Somalia where the fighting occurred. Most of Somalia wasn't bothered by it. Uganda wasn't bothered by it. Nor was Tanzania. Nor was Eritrea...... It was a regional conflict in a very small region of a very large CONTINENT. If you're not in that region it almost certainly won't effect you. I was in Ethiopia while there was significant tension between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 2004. In fact I was within 30 kilometres of the Eritrean border at one point when there were rumours of an impending war. But the exclusion zone was 20km from the Eritrean border so it didn't effect me. I was in the DRC in 2003 while there was a civil war. But I'd spoken to people living in and around the border with the DRC (spent an evening drinking in a bar with those infamous corrupt border officials who turned out to be ordinary, intelligent people (unsurprisingly)) so I knew that the part of the DRC that I was in was safe. Its a huge country. I was in northern Tanzania in 2003 during a time when Burundian rebels were fleeing their country and occasionally robbing people on a particular stretch of road. Since I spoke to local people there (as was the case everywhere I went) I knew what was going on and avoided one particular stretch of road. No big deal.

If Flic gets sick or bored with cycling she jumps on the next bus or hitches and that's that. Very simple really. Main roads are serviced by various forms of public transport for local people moving around selling things. Small villages have basic guest houses for people moving around selling things. Such guest houses can be used by passing cyclists.

I've spent 12 months cycling in Africa usually drinking untreated water, didn't take any prophylactic for malaria and rarely used insect repellent, but I survived with only a few bouts of Giardia and got malaria once. That's what I chose to do, not saying everyone should do the same. IT'S REALLY NOT THAT BAD!

My point about informing embassies about your every move was that its completely unnecessary where Flic is going, unless she should choose to head into a war zone, which she will know beforehand because she will be talking to people everywhere she goes. Its clearly good to have someone tracking your progress, but not someone who will launch a full scale search if you're a couple of days late. As above, **** happens. If someone were ever tracking my progress I'd hope that they'd start worrying if I were a couple of weeks longer in making contact than I'd said. But I never give exact timescales. "You'll hear from me in a few weeks" is good enough normally. I'm an adult. I can look out for myself and should someone choose to kill me then that's unfortunate, but I'd rather that happened while cycling in Africa than walking along the road on my way to work in the UK. Probably equally unlikely to happen. I don't expect my embassy to help me and anyone relying on their embassy to bail them out no matter what is just an idiot.

And please, before you offer the benefit or your experience, read the previous posts. There is no group.

Go cycle in Africa then offer advice on cycling in Africa. Then maybe what you say will have some substance.
So maybe when she's riding her bike looking for the exclusion zone, she can wear brown camophlage riding clothes, so if and when the **** hits the fan, it won't show up on her too much.

A little bit of giardia or malaria never really hurt anybody, right? But are you familiar with schistosomiasis? Dysentery lasting anywhere from a few months to ten years. Essentially untreatable. And she wouldn't get it from drinking the water, but from swimming in it, or bathing extensively in it. From the Nile. Were you aware of that one? Its just one that is easily got, not so easily got rid of. How many others are there that she is not aware of, because she hasn't done the reading?

And once again, you say that anyone relying on their embassy to bail them out is an idiot. But you also said that her family or friends can contact the embassy to look for her if she's late in showing up? Which is it? Rely on the embassy or not?

But you're right: if she gets tired of riding the bike, she can just pull over to the side of the road and wait for the bus. Simple as that. Easy peasy.

Mate.
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