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Memories of the trip so far: Week 3

Life beyond the loo...

After my 3rd night resting in the same Libyan hotel, I gained enough strength to begin again, gently. A 50 mile test to Misratah, the last town on Libya's north west strip before I'd enter the desert.

The traffic was terrible, lorries everywhere, and I was forced to crash off the road or be mashed under the approaching hooting truck twice in the first 4 miles. The adrenalin helped get my body working though, and I survived.

Vin in the Libyan desert

The challenge of the ride to Surt was for the next day. 260km of empty desert roads were actually a massive relief, and the wind was behind me for the first 100miles as well. I was exhausted, but elated to achieve it and to face only a 100 mile ride for the next day. That 100 miles was full of roadkill including camels and many dogs like those whose live brethren chased me all day.

Crazily, another 260km monster day was needed just 2 days after the first, this time to Ajdabiya. An amazing tailwind early on meant 100 miles before lunch even with time out for punctures. But then the wind turned and grew into a sandstorm for my finish. Totally exhausted, I managed it, but couldn't contemplate the 200km due for the next day, and I had the runs again.

My guide, Walid, really came good now; he decided we'd camp part-way and I could set-off whenever I was ready. I got 70 miles out of a day I was about to abandon!

The day after I was stronger, and a tail wind - which was a sandstorm for a while - helped me all the way to the other side of the desert with a straight 260km again! Practically in Tobruk, I was fired up for starting on Egypt, so next morning I was rolling by 5am for the border.

I had a short stop to see war graves pre-dawn, and another stop to watch the sun rise before reaching Egypt at lunch time. I saw dragonflies again in the last few Libyan miles, just as I had in the first few - an association which will stay with me. The border was the slowest yet, but I got through to descend the hill into Egypt and a new chapter of the adventure.