DAY SEVENTEEN… 47.60 miles (76.60 km)
This morning having eventually roused the hotel lads to let us out of the hotel, we set off on what was to be a short 35mile ride to a hotel that Tim had identified on Google Maps. Soon we were back on a shadeless four lane highway, very little traffic, other than a long stream (or maybe a caravan) of camel carts, plodding along the road. Whenever we stopped, in true hare-and-tortoise fashion, the camel convoy overtook us.
Having reached the midday hotel destination, or the place it should have been, we realised that it was not in existence (yet), despite many photos on the Google Maps ! This was a bad moment. We sat down in a rather edgy place. Some sort of bad feeling had arisen between the people there. In fact there was a bad feeling about the whole area; people were forceful and unpleasant, asking for money, shouting at us, drunk and generally not at all respectful.
Tim and I quickly set off on our bikes to get away. However, more cycling was not really what I wanted to do, with the heat of the day getting oven like, plus having set myself this rather low bench mark for the day, so we looked out for a pick-up truck that might offer us a bit of a lift. We found one and took a lift for some miles, then cycled the rest of the way to our accommodation for the night.
Our night’s stay is an organic “eco retreat” farm, where we are staying in little adobe huts. Everything is very authentic, even down to the cow dung floors (now removed due to problems with them getting wet in the bathroom area!). The owner is an organic farmer, and the food, delicious. All grown and made by him, down to the oil he uses to cook it. He is struggling with the weather, like us. Apparently, the season is one month behind itself, i.e. October temperatures in November, so he can’t plant his winter wheat yet, as he would normally do. The effects of climate change.