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Entry 25 // The Race...Day 4 of 5

Update by: Nick | February 28th 2011

5:00 am came early. We started to pack up while it was still dark and hit the road as soon as we were finished. We only had 250 miles to go. We should have no trouble making that by noon. Even though we pitched our tent on the side of the road, we didn't have anyone stop and bother us all night.We were pretty lucky. The weather looked like it was going to be on our side today. The dirt road was the same as the day before. The adventurer who came from the opposite direction as us was incorrect; the condition of road wasn't worse. This was more good news for us. Maybe we would finally have an easy day. We spent the first few hours of the day trying to drive fast and get to the next major town along the dirt road. That town would be our last gas station for 150 miles, so we needed to stop there. The ride their was beautiful.It looks like their bridges are not always up to code. It's a good thing the water wasn't flowing today.After a few hours of driving through gourgous scenery we made it to the city were we could buy gas. While we were their we stopped and tried to find a snack. We managed to find a Coke and a plain tortilla shell. So that's what we ate; one tortilla shell. I think they called it a pancake, but it was a tortilla shell. A guy at the gas station said their was only 103 kilometers of dirt road left. Not bad. This means only 1.5 hours of dirt roads then 100 miles of tarmac. We should be able to do that fast. We leave the city and hit the road again.
I stop to put my helmet camera on and a little old lady comes to talk to us. We have absolutly no idea what she was talking about. She spoke zero english, not even hello. After 5 minutes of her trying to talk to luke I say goodbye and wave. I guess she thought that meant, "come over and talk to me. I feel left out". Because that is what she did; now she spends the next 5 minutes talking to me. Finally, after smiling the whole time, we wave goodbye and start up the bikes. I don't care how often it happens; I always get a smile and feel good when kids get excited and wave at us. The best is when they are so excited they jump up and down and wave both arms, or when a pack of kids try to run next to you waving the whole time.The guy at the gas station was right. After 103 kilometers we hit Tarmac. Nothing could stop us now.I guess I lied. We made it 10 miles on the tarmac and Luke gets another flat front tire. Not a big deal, that is only a 20 minute fix. Luke gets to work and finds the leak. Strange, it's less than an inch away from his last whole. Something is probably in his tire causing him to get flats. Luke takes the tire off and finds the culprit, it looks like a small thorn was stuck in the sidewall. That's good, now we should have no more flats. That was the good news, the bad news was we didn't have any patch glue. I guess I was right when I said it could make the future a bit more interesting. Since we can't patch it, Luke can just put a new tube in. Luke starts digging through his gear and gets out his extra tube. Jokes on him, he accidentely brought two 18 inch tubes instead of one 18 inch and one 21 inch. That's no problem, I have an extra 21 inch tube for my bike. We get out my extra tube and blow it up. Joke was on me this time (and still on Luke), my brand new tube had two holes in it. How does a new tube straight from the box have two holes in it? I guess it was my turn to go get help.
I take off with my bike and drive 10 miles back where we came from and find a motorcycle shop. They either didn't understand or wouldn't let me buy their glue from them. But they did patch the hole for me for only 33 cents. It took quite a bit of time but they finally finished. I hightale it back to Luke so we can get driving again. Luke spent the hour I was gone working on his tan and listening to music.Now that the hole was repaired, Luke had the bike together in no time.The tire held air with no problem and we started cranking out the miles again. This time nothing could stop us!I lied again. Apparently we are not suppose to make it to Timmer and climb Kilimanjaro. Luke coasts to a stop on the side of the road and tries to start the bike back up. Fuel injection codes start flashing again. We are lucky (or maybe not) the fuel injection code is 3 long and 7 short. Do you remember when Lukes bike died in Zambia? Well, it decided to do it again. At least we know how to fix it. Luke gets started. This time it's easier since it's light out. The last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster. Every days something happens and we think it's impossible to make it to meet Timmer, then somehow we manage to fix it and there is still hope. This is just another one of those times. The bike died and we thought we were screwed, but then we find out we can fix the problem in 30 minutes. Great! Lets get to work.
I think finding hecklers in Africa is as easy as finding Coke to drink. Even miles away from any sort of village we see a guy selling Sunglasses and other miscellaneous trinkets.Luke fixes the bike and we are ready to ride again. Everything goes easier the second time doing it. The hecklers heckling even paid off for them. Luke decided to buy some sunglasses for Kilimanjaro. I guess everybody won. We hit it hard ready to make up some time. FYI it's about 4:00 pm, so we didn't make it before noon like we expected. We had one more curve ball thrown at us though, but it was easy. The road was under construction and we had about 10 miles of nasty road, which didn't help in the make up time department.
Do you know when you leave your gas cap open, and people try to tell you by pointing at your car and you have no idea what they are talking about? Well we had no idea how to tell this guy what was up, so we didn't even bother.The road constuction ended and we finally started making up time. We made it to Arusha and got gas. Now we were only 50 kilometers from Timmer and it was 5:00 pm. We fill up with gas and try to find some food. Remember, we've only eaten one tortilla shell and had a Coke to drink. We find a street vendor and grab a french fry omlette. Why are people so excited about these things? They are not the best.
We know we are suppose to meet Timmer in Moshi, but we have no idea where he is staying in Moshi. We would call him on the satilite phone if it was working, but it's not. So we use my cell phone. Luckly Timmer answers his phone. We tell him we are 50 kilometers away and he yells with excitement. He went 7 days with no idea where we were or if we would make it. And from his point of view, it wasn't looking good. By now it was dark outside and we were suppose to begin the climb in 14 hours. He had pretty much given up on us by now. He tells us the name of the hotel and we find it on the GPS, we'll be there in 1 hour. Luke and I take the center lane out of town, and by center lane I mean the center line. People from both lanes have no chose but to move over. The finish line is in sight and we are on a mission. We role up to the hotel at 7:30 pm. We find Timmer at the buffet and run over. WE MADE IT!




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