Category Archives: Travel

A Month to Go!

So today marks one month to go before my flight to Khartoum to begin the Tour!

Things I’ve finished:

  • Ethiopian Visa obtained! (just now as I started this) – The Ethiopian Consulate in Toronto is *closed*. The Ethiopian Embassy in Ottawa is the only option for this now in Canada.
  • New bike purchased (neither my carbon road bike or my full suspension were recommended for the tour by anyone). I ended up buying a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which though heavier than I’d’ve liked, it’s a solid reliable bike that should be easier to repair in the middle of no where (Africa). Steel welders can be found everywhere, I’m told. 🙂 Ordered a few sets of tires for the variety of conditions one might find in 11700km of Africa
  • Travel Health Insurance – Travel Guardian & Travel Underwriters.
  • Plane ticket purchased (Calgary to Khartoum via Toronto and Istanbul, January 5th!)
  • Hotel booked in Khartoum for the days before the tour.
  • Vaccinations (Meningitis, Hep A, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Polio) – 4 shots in one day, including two in the muscle… Couldn’t lift that arm for at least 2 days, ouch. Got my Yellow Fever card which is required to get into some countries that care about that sort of thing.
  • Requested previous vaccination report… I know I got Tetantus/Diptheria 2 years ago when I cut my leg on a friend’s skate during a hockey game (lol), but I don’t know about Hep B. Probably in High School. Waiting to hear back.
  • Paid Tour d’Afrique Inc for the Tour – Ouch, my bank account. 🙁
  • Got prescription for general antibiotics, cholera medication, and two types of Malaria pills. I need to look into this further. One’s definitely more recommended than the other, but the highly recommended one is about $70/12 days compared to $100/100 days or something. Making total costs $800+ or $150ish. Must investigate drug plan, actual exact costs, side effects, etc.
  • Lots of lying awake thinking about things too much.

Things I need to look into soon:

  • The two weeks at the end of my trip, I’d really like to goto Rwanda and see Gorillas. Need ideas about that before I leave at a minimum, or possibly even booking something.
  • There’s a 3 day break on the Tour in Tanzania near the Ngorongoro Crater, where there’s a number of awesome Safari options. Need to figure out how people on previous tours booked something during this time. Possibly book my own things.
  • Flying to Rwanda from Cape Town
  • Packing Lists times a billion
  • They suggest multiple bags to keep everything separate in the lockers, have to look into these.
  • More batteries? What electronics to bring? What am I going to do re cameras?
  • Spare parts for the bike
  • SIM cards and Cell phone frequencies there
  • Plug standards
  • Books to bring
  • Should I bring pencils for kids in Ethiopia? Or try and outrun the rocks they throw? Possibly both?
  • Apps to blog on the run without internet
  • Texting home to Canada
  • Registering @ for being out of country… Need solider dates of border crossings. Swore I saw an itinerary somewhere.
  • Where to find 100% DEET juice
  • Setup my tent to make sure it’s got all the parts.
  • Find a footprint for tent
  • Like a billion more things I can only think of at 2am

Tour d’Afrique 2014!

Tour d'Afrique 2014 Route
Tour d’Afrique 2014 Route

So, I have something crazy to announce! What am I going to do with all this funemployment I have? I’m doing the Tour d’Afrique 2014! I signed up yesterday and bought my flights and am paying the tour cost balance while in Toronto next week (Tour d’Afrique Ltd is a Canadian company that does tours all over the world these days, but started with the TDA 12 years ago).

This year due to unrest in Egypt they are starting the tour in Khartoum, Sudan! Sudan!! Not exactly known for its stability either, I guess, but they’ll have security and police along bits that are rough… We go from there to Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, and finish in Cape Town, South Africa. 9 countries, 11693 km, 94 days of biking, 27 days of rest.

My blog is about to get much more interesting!! 😀

I’m amazed that I was able to sign up this late, but very glad I was. The hotel in Sudan is taking care of our Visas there, I have a letter of support to get a visa for Ethiopia, and then the rest we get at the border(s). I made a vaccination appointment and am trying to get travel insurance, something that may be difficult for Sudan as the Canadian gov’t recommends against unnecessary travel there… There’s a company in the UK that may insure people there still though, looking into it. I’m not even entirely sure exactly what kind of insurance wouldn’t be covered in a place like this. Lots to figure out!

I’m hoping at the end of my tour (May 10 – 121 days after the start on January 10) to visit Rwanda or Uganda and more importantly, the Bwindi Forest National Park, where Gorillas can be trekked to! I’ve got 15 days there, just hoping something will fit.

I’ll return to Canada May 25, hopefully a changed (and super tanned) man, and without all the 10s of diseases I’ll be vaccinated and medicated against, lol! 😉 I guess this blog may need a name change, since if I’m cycling 11 thousand plus kilometres, I guess I have to be a cyclist too instead of just a runner. 🙂