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by SS at 3:52 pm on Friday 29th January

Well, I'm still EFI, for the moment. Determined not to give it up, I put aside medical advice not to cycle and cycled the whole 150 kilometres today standing up. Most of the weight is transferred to your legs when you stand up, roughly doubling the load on your knees and quads, so I took care to stretch my legs every 10 kilometres or so. At the moment they don't feel too bad but I worry that this is one of those cases where the day after always feels much worse. Tomorrow is another 150 kilometres and the Egyptian doctor I saw said 3 or 4 days of avoiding sitting in the saddle. It's now been 3 days, so I'm comtemplating my options for tomorrow.

Sudan is a beautiful country - unlike anything I've ever seen before. The landscapes are stunning panoramas of sand and rock, reminding me of the Planet Tatooine from Star Wars. (Mental note: put Star Wars soundtrack on MP3 player) It's crazy warm here, and is only going to get warmer as we head further into the desert. My water consumption is beginning to go up rapidly too. The sunset from the camp was beautiful tonight, an array of colour that seems impossible to replicate photographically.

Our camp tonight is by the river Nile. I found it strange but obvious that the Nile should flow through Sudan - years of education have left the notion fixed in my head that the Nile only passes through Egypt. There are swathes of flies around, about two dozen or so are camping on the roof of my tent. There are also some scary looking insects around; when I went towards the trees earlier to discard some of the water I'd been drinking all day, my eyes slowly came to focus in on some floating object right near my face. It took a few split seconds to realise that this was a spider at which point my reflex reaction was to bend backwards as fast as physically possible. No sign of the spider since, and luckily the encounter wasn't messy as it could nearly have been.

Connectivity is good but strangely difficult in Sudan. My Kenyan sim card is now working, and I bought a local number too. The only problem is that neither lets me send text messages to the UK, which renders my Twitter updating almost pointless (I'm now phoning in coordinates to home!). However, the local sim lets me use GPRS at a not-too-unreasonable rate, which I will try once I pick up some more credit in Dongola in a few days time.

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"Our thoughts define our reality." - Anon.