Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2114, Hurghada – Al Ismaileya: Sahara Heat Stroke

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Dec - 15 - 2016

Distance: 67.7 km
Ride time: 5:17:03
Average: 12.8 km/h
Max speed: 24.8 km/h
Total: 53163 km

After the rest day in all the comfort Hurghada has to offer, it was a bit of a shock to the system to be out cycling in the severe Sahara heat again. I started early and enjoyed my two hours of comfortable cycling while the temperature kept rising.

After leaving the last resorts of Hurghada behind I was once again in the desert. The head wind had only gotten stronger compared to the last days. With the head down between my shoulders I was struggling to keep the speed above 10 km/h.

Wise from experience I was bringing enough water – the problem being that the water soon got so hot that it was pretty much undrinkable. Furthermore, there was no shade to be found in the desert, and I was beginning to suffer.

When I saw truck parked next to the road with no people around I saw my chance for a break away from he burning sun. Lying there, under a truck in the middle of the Sahara, was one of those moment where you start to questions what you are really doing there.

After a half hour break I was back on the road to something I can only describe as pure suffering. With gale force winds right in my head and a temperature around 45°C I was reaching my limits. When my legs started to get soft and I began to feel dizzy, I knew I was approaching a heat stroke.

Luckily that was also when a gas station showed up in the distance. Fighting my way to the gas station required everything I had left. When I finally got there I immediately bought two cokes and two ice creams and sat down in the shade. The feeling of relief was immense.

I spent the next hours at the gas station, drinking one bottle of cold water after the other, while my physical and mental well being slowly returned. When my appetite reappeared I went over to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed an Egyptian meal consisting of chicken, rice, beans, salad and bread. That was when I really started to feel human again.

The tiny settlement where I had ended up only consisted of the gas station, a restaurant, a police checkpoint and a mosque. Literally four building in the middle of nowhere in Sahara. I went over to the mosque and asked if I could put up my tent behind it, sheltered from the wind. “Sure enough, you are most welcome” was the friendly answer. I then let the police know about my plan, and with the last rays of sun I was soon asleep in my tent.

I’m only 4 days away from Cairo and the end of Africa, but I’m sure those 4 days will test my endurance to the limit.

Categories: Egypt
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Wow. Some really tough challenges! You obviously made it out alive. 🙂

  2. Yes Stephen… at least I’m still here to tell the story 🙂