It’s 2.30pm and I am yet to start the day’s ride. Too much time spent filming local wildlife. There is no way I will make it to the next campsite before dark. Or could I? What did you say, irresponsible corner of my brain? You want me to go for it? You think I can make it? I hit the trail. There are way more hills than yesterday but I have no time to stop and rest. I don’t even leave my bike when I need to piss, just twist and unzip. The sun disappears over the horizon. Its glow lingers for a while then it becomes dark. This isn’t so bad, I think. Then I turn a corner and hit sand. It’s too soft to ride. I start pushing. I keep pushing. It’s all uphill. I shatter the still night with a frustrated scream. I feel minutely better and keep pushing. I let myself think about arriving at the hut, spreading out my sleeping gear, laying back and listening to music for a few minutes before cooking a nice hot meal and turning in for the night. I see a light where the hut should be. The bike rack is full of bikes. Dammit! A group of fourteen riders with a support vehicle have claimed the place as theirs. I eat a cold dinner to avoid disturbing those in bed with rattling cooking pots. I find a small gap on the bunk and prepare my bed. Someone farts. Someone else giggles. I am kept awake by a symphony of flatulence. The pitched roof directs the stench to where I lie. I’m in hell. I hate people. I would prefer to push my bike through soft sand in the middle of the night. Tomorrow I will be alone on the trail again. The thought begins to comfort me. The guy below me farts.

Harry, one of the riders, was a nice 67 year old man who showed interest in my journey and passed me quick snippets of wisdom when we passed each other, as if he didn’t want his life experience to go to waste. (1) Life is too short for should haves. (2) Three things are key to a masculine soul: a man needs adventure; a man needs a beauty to rescue; and a man needs something to fight for.

Day 26 (pic)

No way was I going to miss out on filming these guys

Accommodation Free-camp (Booner Mundak hut)
Distance ridden today 55.31km
Average cycling speed 13.5kph
Total distance ridden 1,382km