Day 4: Port Said – Ismailia: A Bad Day on the Highway

Tuesday May 24, 2011, 81 km (50 miles) – Total so far: 370 km (230 miles)

After a fruitless search for breakfast in the morning I set off down the highway to Ismailia. The wind had been against me for the last 3 days but today it was eventually behind me and I was glad of it. I was feeling pretty bad all morning but by mid-day I was feeling terrible. Bad stomach cramps were setting in and everytime I got them I would have to stop and double over in pain until they went! Aswell as this I was feeling pretty weak, probably due to the sickness and not getting a proper breakfast into me. I put the head down and pushed on, thinking the sooner I reached Ismailia the better.

After bypassing El Qantara, halfway through the day, a toll booth appeared. I snuck around this with a couple of motorbikes and continued on along the highway. The last 40km were pretty bad, the hard shoulder was very narrow and trucks were screaming by too close. I was feeling sick and miserable so was glad to reach Ismailia as soon as I did with the tailwind. As I was cycling through Ismailia a car nearly crashed into me pushing me right into the kerb. In my agitated state I started shouting at the driver and was met with all of the passengers screaming back at me in Arabic.

I quickly found a cheap hotel and didn’t bother to haggle down the price. It had been a miserable day for me, partly due to the traffic but mainly due to the bug I had picked up that was getting progressively worse. On the bright side the day could have been far worse if I didn’t have a tailwind behind me or I had been caught and turned back at the toll booth. I try not to complain too much as I’m fairly lucky to be cycling around Egypt but I will say it was not a day I would like to repeat any time soon.

The only photo needed to describe today. Except instead of a canal to the right there was usually barren wasteland!

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