Day 6 – 107km
Start – desert camp 40km east of Qena
Finish – Luxor – Rezeiky Camp and Hotel
Today was a non-race day so everybody travelled in very chatty groups. The course was relatively flat. There was some wind but it wasn’t too strong. We rode towards the Nile at Qena and then headed south to Luxor.
We had been warned to watch out for small kids swinging big sticks and throwing rocks as we road down the Nile. In years past there had been problems. We were the second group – the first was the serious racers. In our group of eight only one person had anything thrown at them – a small stone that barely reached. In the slower groups however, a few people were slapped and things were thrown. In years past the kids had lined up with stalks of sugar cane to take swings. None of that this year. It was more high-fives that turned into slaps.
The ride before lunch was fairly casual – a nice ride into Qena and then a short 20 km ride along the Nile-side canal to lunch at 62km. I did not make the same mistake today that I made yesterday. Even though it was still early and I wasn’t too hungry, I made myself eat. I am glad I did. We picked up the pace for the last 45km into Luxor – horses to oats. We all knew that a rest day – and another hotel room – awaited.
After a warm shower we headed into town for a second lunch. This time at the right time. In the evening Luxor really comes alive with gaudy carnival-type lights and colorful market stalls selling everything under the sun. We wandered through the souk. Most of the traders seemed too demoralized to even hassle us. A few did in a half-hearted way. Or perhaps it was pretty clear to them that we were not the money-spending type. They are pretty shrewd judges of character.
A beer back at the hotel and bed by 8:30.
Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.