“It’s not that we spend five days looking forward to just two. It’s that most people do what they enjoy most on those two days. Imagine living a life where everyday are your Saturdays and Sundays. Make everyday your weekend. Make everyday a play-day…”
― James A. Murphy
We never really got into the whole thing of Friday Saturday weekends in the Middle East, it is so nice to have real weekends, i.e Saturday and Sunday!
Funnily enough, we kicked off the weekend on Friday night by going to the Tiki Bar (Bar/ Restaurant on site) where we enjoyed a variety of Middle Eastern food. Sadly, there was no Machboos or any Yemeni food which is definitely our favourite Middle Eastern food. Nonetheless, there was a nice variety of food which we enjoyed, of course, these were accompanied by a few beers and chatting with friends.
Saturday, was packed with fun. Starting off at 6am and heading out for a long bike ride. Here’s where I am having to adapt a bit but in a good way. People I have met here so far who are into cycling, are considerably faster than me. I am more used to touring rather than speed mountain biking. It was a great ride, heading out of town and towards the Lemur park. On the way back, we headed through Bazaar Kelly which is absolutely massive. It is packed with people, pouss pouss, tuc tucs, cars, trucks, vans, buses, chickens, people walking pigs you sort of get the idea. Not the best of places to have a puncture, but, such is life. As my riding partner was pulling away from me, I felt the back end of the bike go “funny”, this was followed by that rather depressing hissing noise indicating I had a very flat tyre. I managed to catch my riding partner’s attention and he turned back to make sure all was OK. Well, it wasn’t. My tyre was totally flat, and this was definitely not the best of places for it. From a safety perspective, I had some concerns but then again, rather than wasting time being concerned, I just got on with it. I found a quiet(ish) area, walked the bike there, and proceeded to strip the back wheel off and change the inner tube. Yes, I carry several spares with me, inner tubes being the most important spare of the lot! Interestingly enough, nobody paid any attention to us, a couple of little kids probably no older than 4 or 5 walked up to us, I let them have my old inner tube which they were very happy with. In the midst of all this, my pump decided it wasn’t too interested in doing its job, fortunately we had a spare pump. Soon enough, my bike was the right way up and we were back on the road. We arrived back home at about 9am after a 56 km bike ride. I was covered in mud and tired but having thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
After a shower it was all back to normal again and time to carry on with the rest of the day. Katja had a whale of a time at a birthday party later on.
The evening was then followed by a second Arabian food evening!
Sunday there is a scheduled power cut for maintenance, power is due to be off for several hours. Not that we really noticed it as the power generators kicked in and life continued as normal. Which is great as we are in the middle of cooking Sunday roast for a bunch of people. Or I should be a bit more specific. Cathy has been cooking since this morning as well as making a delicious cheesecake. I have been busy cleaning my bike!
Yes, I know, it is only August! But, as all our plans involve traveling, we need to book things nice and early. We decided to out on hold our initial plan of going to Australia for Christmas. Instead, we decided to go back to the UK for 10 days, spend Christmas there. Then head off to Bulgaria and spend New Year’s Eve with friends in Sofia and then head off to Spain around January 4th for a week before heading back home to Madagascar around January 14th.