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16

Feb

Diary of the World Record: Day10

  • By Vin Cox

16th Feb 114.2 miles.

Sandstorms!

Quick start due to traffic flowing at my speed, then the wind started.

I stopped for lunch properly, which was big and great for 5 Dinar (£2.50).

Nice moment when I stopped for water & to fix tyre: Stranger bought me coffee & cake after I fixed my bike – he was impressed I was riding in the storm.

Only 6mph at one point today!

Filthy, simple but friendly hotel £7.50 with hot shower.

114.2 miles @14.1mph

The sandstorm was insane.  Cycling was brutally hard and extremely dangerous for hours.  Just watch this short clip and you’ll understand:

The hot shower in the hotel was en suite (or more accurately; in the corner of the bed room), but the toilet and sink were shared, dirty, and the loo was just a hole-in-the-ground with a water hose to wash your bum clean. I had to push a bit to be allowed to take the bike to the room, which is odd in such squalor.  The final thing I had to do in the hotel was ask for some clean sheets on the bed; it looked like the last few visitors hadn’t showered before bed.  They did think I was a fussy foreigner for that.  The top blanket on the bed was a beautiful hand-made and patterned wool carpet.

Vin Cox in Tunisia shortly before a sandstorm.

Vin Cox in Tunisia shortly before a sandstorm.

I noticed increasing numbers of “Fuel Stops” at the roadside which almost defy explanation: Basically, there’d be what looked like a homeless person’s cardboard and rag shelter, and a large stack of assorted containers (mainly old drinks bottles).  A hand written sign would alert drivers to the crazy low price of the fuel which I assumed to be stolen (selling for about 20p a litre!).  The guys in this business lived rough, guarded their fuel with their lives, made a pittance, and were in great danger all the time.  I saw one guy filling up a lorry from his pile by hand!

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