Happy Birthday Laura

Day 31, rest day, Goha Hotel, Gondar

I didn’t leave the hotel today. I ate a lot. I cleaned and tuned the bike. I was able to borrow John Chevis’ and Skype Liz and the girls. It is Laura’s birthday tomorrow. She is now 9! Her party was yesterday. So we caught up and shared a bit of her birthday excitement.

Many people are sick and nursing minor injuries. Around noon Vince came back from downtown and started throwing up violently. I got him a bucket, put it next to the bed and got him lots of fluids and some drugs. He slept for most of the next 7 hours and then woke up feeling a little more human. He is a big tough guy and was completely knocked for six. For some reason people start to get sick in droves in Ethiopia. We have been on the road for a month, the body is a bit run down and defenses are low, people succumb. One of the riders suffered a knee injury a short while ago. By Gondar it had become septic. He was taken to hospital in Gondar and put n an antibiotic drip for a week. The plan is that he will rejoin us in Addis. One of the cuts I had received on my right leg when I fell on the sharp gravel on the off-road section had also started to turn septic. This morning I squeezed what seemed like an ounce of puss out of it. There was a nasty red inflammation the size of a 50 pence piece.  When I first fell the wound had been cleaned and dressed by the medic. Since then I had been careful to clean it with alcohol swabs and put antibacterial cream on it in the mornings. It still became infected. It is hard to keep things clean when you cycle for 7 or 8 hours in blowing dust with sweat dripping off you. So I started a course of antibiotics and hoped it would clear up.

The group was fairly subdued this evening. Everybody knew we had lots of hills ahead. Keeping healthy was a priority. We all ate as much as we could and went to bed early.

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