Early rise at 6am. We hear the others waking up in the next door tent.
A few minutes later, there is a general hullabaloo to pack up camp.
We make the most of the first rays of sunshine to dry our damp stuff of the night.
It is a happy chaos. There are bike short and wet tents hung in the trees, we are all folding, rolling and cramming things into our panniers.
Tea is boiling on the camping stove.
Then, it's time to go! We pedal slowly the first few km to warm our legs up. We are hungry, so we stop in the first village we encounter to have breakfast. Always the same, 3 fried eggs with rice and cooked plantains! All accompanied by weak coffee. We love the kitsch flowery tea mugs!
Back on the road, it's 9am but we cannot hang about. In 2 hours the sun will be too strong to cycle!!
We cycle through amazing landscapes, people are often surprised to see us, but always welcome us warmly.
Dogs bark at us, they are afraid of the bicycles and become agressive. They all run after us. The only way to stop them is to put a foot on the ground! Surprising but efficient.
Two hours and a few km later, it's indeed too hot ! We look for the first spot of shade to rest. A mango tree will do the job perfectly!
Followed by a well-practice business of unfolding the rug, setting up the camping stove, fill up the sauce pan with different vegetables we found on the way, and we let stew.
Silence while we lunch, apparently we were hungry.
The sunshine is still too hot, so we take a nap. If we squeeze together we can fit four of us on the rug. We read, we sleep, we play backgammon and work on the bikes.
It might be a good idea to think about getting back on the pedals.
So we pack up everything and set off again!
We cycle mostly one after the others or two by two.
In the uphills, the groupe disperses as everyone goes at their own speed.
Every now and then, vehicules beep their horns as they pass us. The first one a few meters before to warn us of their arrival, the second next to us to say hello, ans the third one to encourage us!
It's nearly 4pm, we cannot wait much longer to find a camp spot as the night falls at 6pm !
There are three criteria for a good spot : a soft grass, close to a water source, and hidden from view.
Here it's not difficult to find, you only have to get away from the road.
We decide to set up camp.
We enjoy the last light of the day to put up the tents, blow up our mattresses, and take our sleeping bags. We then take a cold shower thanks to our water bag suspended from a branch. The most courageous take a full shower whilst the others just wet under the arms.
The night falls and the head torch switch on. We unit around the camping stove for dinner. It's delicious, when camping we enjoy even more the meals !
We end with a herbal tea, small pleasure of the evening.
Above our heads, stars and constellations that we don't know.
Even though it's only 8pm, it's not difficult to go to bed!
Travelling by bike means eating and sleeping much more than usual.
Warm in our sleeping bags, we read and fall asleep.
Not for long, in a few hours we will need to find the courage to get up during the night to pee!